Charles battles bladder cancer

Showtime's Nick Charles has been behind the microphone to call hundreds of fights. Now, he has his own fight on his hands.

Charles, the blow-by-blow announcer for Showtime's "ShoBox: The New Generation" series since its inception in 2001, has taken a leave of absence from the network because he is battling bladder cancer (stage IV urothelial carcinoma).

"Having bladder cancer is clearly the greatest challenge of my life," Charles said. "Now it's time for a face-first assault. Like a fighter, just give me one round at a time and I'll eventually win. I have a positive attitude, a strong Christian faith, and an amazing support system especially within the boxing family."

Charles, 63, began treatment last week at the University of Texas M.S. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"All of us at Showtime are behind Nick and his family in this difficult fight," said Ken Hershman, senior vice president and general manager of Showtime Sports. "We look forward to his full recovery and return to 'ShoBox' telecasts."

Besides his work on Showtime, Charles has called numerous boxing cards on other networks and served as a sports anchor for CNN in 1980s and '90s, winning three Cable Ace Awards. Charles won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in broadcast journalism from the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2008.

"The love of and for my wife, Cory, our beautiful 3-year-old daughter, Giovanna, and my three grown children and their families makes for all the motivation I need to make it," Charles said. "Thanks to Showtime for being family and for the overwhelming and loving response of the boxing community. We are an amazing group when it comes to adversity and inspiration."

Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com