Charles Wilton Inspires Wheelchair Boxing

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To excel at any sport requires hard work, discipline, passion and believing that you will overcome all obstacles to accomplish your goal.

Dream Boxer, a short documentary by Canadian filmmaker Jonathan Jude follows the journey of Mississauga’s wheelchair boxer Charles Wilton (34) who has cerebral palsy that more than meets the criteria listed above.

His training consists of working out five to six times a week at the UFC Gym where he currently lives and does a wide-range of isometric and aerobic exercises.

In the film, Charles shares his dream of becoming the first wheelchair boxer, which leads to his first fight in the ring in the short doc airing on CBCShortDocs.  

In wheelchair boxing, the chairs are locked while using their upper bodies to fight.

In a Q&A interview, Jude reveals his thoughts on making the film.

Q: Do you think Charles’s story could inspire growth in wheelchair boxing?

A: For the able-bodied community; boxing is a great way to get active and build confidence.

It’s also one of the hardest workouts.

It’s no different for folks in the disabled community, however, finding accessible spaces, opponents, trainers, and equipment is increasingly challenging.

Charles and his community are in the process of setting up the Canadian Wheelchair Boxing Association (CWBA) a non-profit that will partner with various fitness organizations to promote and encourage folks with disabilities to participate in the sport of wheelchair boxing.

Q: When did you become aware of Charles’s story and what was the process like in making the film?

A: Charles story began (to) unfold as we got to know each other. I would chat with him and his manager, Sean over coffee where I got a good sense of some of his back story, his current situation and his goal of getting his first fight.

It was during the first on-camera interview where we did a deep dive into his past, he told me he’s an open book and I took that has an invitation to ask him anything.

The process of making this film was like a rollercoaster.

Things were constantly changing and fights were always on the brink of falling apart due to the nature of the sport.

At first, many organizations were really excited about this opportunity but soon hesitant when the sanctioning and insurance came into play.

Q:  How important was it to make this film?

A: This film was the most important part of my life for two years. It took me through a personal journey that I’m forever grateful. I came out a much more compassionate and understanding person.

It’s also important for the folks in the Para sports world to have a range of representation on screen.

Q: The title Dream Boxer…How did you come up with it?

A: Netflix put out our original film title a few months before we did. It took a long time to settle on Dream Boxer because I was so attached to the original title.

In the end, Dream Boxer really came out by focusing on the theme of the film, Charles as a character, and Charles’ ultimate goal.

Q: Can you elaborate on Charles’s training?

A: He works his core as any boxer would but he understands that the nature of the sport requires him to have exceptional core strength as all the power needs to be generated from this area.  Charles also has a few trainers and sparring partners that come out during training camps before the fight.

They are all volunteers and do it because they want to see him win and get better.

Charles also uses a mindset called ‘beast mode’ that helps him get through the extremely strenuous workout.

He’s focused on the task at hand and nothing slows him down.
Q: Who is the film for?

A: The film is for anyone that has put their goals on hold. I think it’s natural to take a break from something you’re pursuing but I hope those that watch this film feel a slight spark to get back at it.

Charles has had many obstacles and setbacks trying to achieve his goals, (notably having) to pause the pursuit of boxing, to re-evaluate his priorities and then figure out a way back into it. You can too.

Charles loves the film and that’s my number one priority.

For more information about the film –

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