Southern Area title contender Chris ‘The Flash’ Evangelou (13-3) has recently swapped the squared circle for the stage show.
At a glitzy film premiere of his starring role in feature film ‘Shadow Boxer’, the pugilist-turned-performer thanked his guests for attending, talked enthusiastically about the making of his new film, and then revealed for the first time his decision to hang up his gloves during an emotional, tearful speech.
Despite winning his last four fights and positioning himself in good stead for domestic honours in 2016, talented welterweight Chris Evangelou had the conversation no fighter ever wants to have.
The Masters champion was medically advised that a hand injury suffered during his clash with Croatian Zoran Cvek in 2014 at the York Hall in the heart of Bethnal Green would now require immediate and extended attention.
The unwelcomed news forced ‘The Flash’ to reconsider his fighting career. Despite the door closing on one opportunity, however, it allowed another to open; a stage door, in fact. The Enfield man decided to revisit his first love before boxing – acting.
“I broke my hand in boxing two fights ago, came back too quick, but won both fights luckily, but I was told by the surgeon to take time out from boxing and the gym for it to heal.
“It was during that time off, I said to myself ‘What do I want to do in life?’ I was going to get a 9 to 5 job, but then I used to be an actor when I was a teenager, but boxing took over when I was around 17 or 18. I couldn't do both so I picked boxing over acting, as it is a young man's sport, and I knew that I could always go back to acting later if I wanted to.
“So I decided to go back to my first love because that’s what would make me happy and I got head shots together and asked a Facebook friend, who was an agent, who liked my pictures and said I had an edgy look and that she could do a lot for me.
“The very next morning I started my career as an actor and have never looked back. I managed to sign with the agent, Mandy Perryment, who took me under her wing and has guided me ever since. It’s been three years and I’m loving every minute of it.”
Fast-forward to present day and the enforced choice has paid off for Evangelou, who has been lining up the acting credits ever since, even starring in films, and more recently trying his hand as a writer and producer too.
Beginning with a two-episode appearance in mini-series Streetfighter: Resurrection, he has steadily pushed his screen time further and further.
The 33-year-old recently hosted a film premiere at the plush Prince Charles Cinema in London to showcase his starring role as Mason Mendoza in a short film entitled ‘Shadow Boxer’, which also stars renowned ‘Braveheart’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ actor James Cosmo, who plays the role of his father.
Evangelou co-produced the short film with Ross McGowan, the story written by his own hand based lightly upon his own image. It was filmed completely in a just a few hours at the historic York Hall venue in London, where Chris appeared eight times during his professional career.
“I teamed up with Deadline Films UK and produced an epic short film, I’m proud to say I wrote the story for, called ‘Shadow Boxer’. I also got to play the lead role opposite the amazing actor and gentleman, James Cosmo.
“We also managed to book a private screening at the historical Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square in November. We have high hopes for ‘Shadow Boxer’ as we will be submitting it in every major film festival around the world.
“There’s a feature film I just finished shooting in August too, where I played the lead. That film is called ‘Card Dead’ and it’s an English gangster film all about revenge.”
The talented Londoner’s social media has been consumed lately with pics of him mingling with his co-stars at another flashy film premiere; this one was to display Guy Richie’s latest masterpiece, ‘The Gentleman’, which stars Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, among other big industry names.
“Last year was a breakthrough for my career,” he explained. “I managed to book two international commercials for well-known brands and a huge feature film [The Gentlemen] with an all-star cast. Also, it’s made by one of my favourite directors [Guy Ritchie].”
The ambitious actor already has three movies in the pipeline for the New Year and is also becoming known in Hollywood! The go-getter jetted out to showbiz centre of the world in October with a view to lining up future work and networking with agents and directors. The trip was successful and he plans on returning again next year.
Philosophically, Evangelou added, “Taking that time out of my boxing career was very difficult for me and I was very down. But it is true what they say, everything does happen for a reason. I can honestly say that I’ve never been happier and I love what I’m doing with my life right now. It’s something I have always wanted to be a part of since I was a kid.”
To follow Chris on Twitter click here @ChrisEvangelou