Portrait of the Germany World Championship Team: Christos Cherakis (Light Flyweight)
Top boxer and two-time “elite student”
At just 20 years old, Christos Cherakis is not only a top boxer but also a super student. Firstly, for example, the light flyweight from MBC Ludwigsburg has been nominated for the World Championships from 25 August to 2 September in Hamburg and, secondly, he has recently been given the award “Elite Student of the Year” for the second time (http://www.willy-hellpach-schule.de/joomla/index.php/neuigkeiten/22-olympiastuetzpunkt/47-willy-hellpach-schueler-christos-cherakis-als-eliteschueler-des-jahres-ausgezeichnet). At “his” Willy Hellpach School in Heidelberg, this top talent is currently preparing for his Abitur (university/college entry qualification). At the same time, Cherakis, already a two-time German elite champion in the limit up to 49 kilograms despite his young years, is training for his home World Championships at the Rhine-Neckar Olympic Training Centre in the same city.
With the title in the men’s class in 2016, Cherakis, originally from Ludwigsburg, stood out not only from an athletic point of view; he also shone with his academic prowess. Thanks to a local sponsor, the award is coupled with a prize of 7000 euro, which goes to the Olympic Training Centre in Heidelberg. Following on from 2014, he accepted it once again last December. Cherakis also took part in 2015 and 2016 in qualifying competitions for the Olympic Games in Rio, which is why the date for his Abitur exam was postponed by one year. For years now, he has been number one in Germany in his age class in the lightest class of boxing.
Cherakis, however, came to boxing more by chance: when he was only 12, his father, Panagiotis, used to take him to a gym which also offered boxing. Christos succumbed to the fascination. Today, the young man is one of the leading lights in the Heidelberg Olympic Training Centre’s sports boarding school. His strengths include his footwork, as it should be for a light flyweight who also wants to be internationally successful. His most dangerous weapon is his lightning-fast jab. Now the super-agile Cherakis also wants to prove his class at the World Championships.
Cherakis attracted a great deal of attention at the 43rd International Chemiepokal Tournament (CPT) in Halle/Saale, the “mini world championships” on German soil, last year: at that time, he created a sensation – as a flyweight up to 52 kilograms – by defeating China’s top favourite Bin Lyu by 2 to 1 on points. Bin Lyu was the reigning world champion of the APB professional series under the auspices the world association AIBA, an event that has been cancelled in the meantime. The analysis on the internet site of the German Boxing Association is as follows: “His nifty footwork and precise punches surprised the Chinese.” http://www.box-sport-verband.de/2016/03/43-cph-christos-cherakis-wirft-apb-weltmeister-aus-dem-rennen-erik-pfeifer-geht-ko/
This top technician in the ring has been a member of MBC Ludwigsburg since 2011. There, he is supported by none other than the Head of Competitive Sport in the state association of Baden-Württemberg: from the outset, Achim Böhme had a high opinion of his lightest protégé, who boxed in the preceding three years at a martial arts group in Bönnigheim. He packed Cherakis off to the Junior State Championships, where he won his first title straightaway at the age of 15. Many more followed. This is why Cherakis – logically – is the main German hope for a light flyweight title at the World Championships. His role model is Mike Tyson, the former American professional heavyweight. Even though Cherakis naturally does not weigh in with as many kilos, his punch, his dynamics, his determination and his will to fight are also world class. This is why his next port of call after his Abitur and the World Championships in Hamburg is likely to be the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
At boxing2017.com we introduce further top athletes of the German World Championship Boxing Team: Omar-El Hag, Igor Teziev, Silvio Schierle, Hamza Touba, Abbas Baraou. Follow us at Facebook or have a look at boxing2017.com regularly – there will be more news to come!
© Peter Jaschke