Los Angeles – December 17, 2020 – Junior Middleweight contender Charles Conwell (14-0, 10 KO’s) ended 2020 with a statement and kept his undefeated record intact as he defeated Kazakh brawler Madiyar Ashkeyev (14-1, 7 KO’s) via referee’s stoppage at the end of the ninth-round in the main event of Ring City USA’s final fight card of the year. Fighting from the famed Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Conwell put on an impressive performance in which the Cleveland native came out confident and established his dominance in the early rounds. Thursday’s fight night closed out Ring City’s 2020 slate of fights, which kicked off on Nov. 19.
“I felt good tonight,” Conwell said. “I’m getting more and more comfortable in the ring and more comfortable with the experience I continue to get.”
Both Conwell and Ashkeyev entered the fight cautious in the initial seconds, however, both got comfortable immediately and traded punches consistently a minute into the fight. By the end of the first round, it was already a physical fight, with both fighters throwing punches in flurries. Conwell went for Ashkeyev’s body early on, trying to land decisive punches as Ashkeyev forced the fight to be fought from the inside.
“I think I’m the only undefeated contender fighting,” Conwell continued. “And I think that means a lot – I’m making great progress and I’m ready for a bigger payday. The more I fight, the better I get. I’m only 23-years-old and I want to keep fighting.”
By the third round, the entire fight was being fought from the inside, with Conwell exhibiting extraordinary patience in waiting to land the most effective punches. Ashkeyev’s warrior mentality was obvious and he stayed resilient, insisting on finishing out the fight after undergoing punishing fifth and sixth rounds and showing clear signs of exhaustion by the seventh round. While Ashkeyev endeavored to continue fighting, referee Jack Reiss called the fight at the conclusion of the ninth round in agreement with Ashkeyev’s corner.
In co-feature action, Junior Featherweight Eduardo Baez (18-1-2, 6 KO’s) fought to a gritty unanimous decision victory over Narek Abgaryan (14-1, 6 KO’s) in an eight-round slugfest. Baez relied on aggression while Abgaryan stayed strategic, depending on footwork and choice uppercuts. Baez kept the pace brisk and used his conditioning to seize control of the fight. He overpowered Abgaryan, a Freddie Roach trained fighter, who remained dependent on precise footwork and thought-out strategy. Baez seized control in the final rounds and rode the momentum through to a victory scored 80-72, 80-72, 79-73.
WBA Women’s Featherweight Champion Jelena Mrdjenovich (41-10-2, 19 KO’s) defeated Paola Torres (12-5-1, 5 KO’s) via unanimous decision to retain her title in what was a hotly contested and action-packed fight. Mrdjenovich came out aggressive in her U.S. debut following a decorated career in her native Canada. The 38-year-old withstood numerous headbutts from Torres to grind out a victory scored 97-93, 98-92, 96-94.
“Training camp, everything about this was difficult. I wanted an easy night tonight, I wanted to showcase my power and come out pretty,” Mrdjenovich said. “I had a great camp. Having Brad in my corner really carried me through the emotional times. I really wish I would’ve made it quick but I know [former trainer Milan Lubovac] carried me through this.”
The fight never let up in its intensity and action. Torres lived up to her name “La Fiera,” putting on the pressure and keeping the intensity high and the pace fast through ten rounds. Torres showed off her incredible cardio in her ability to keep the pressure on for the entirety of the fight. But Mrdjenovich’s experience and composure carried her to victory, staying locked in focused even after a headbutt from Torres opened a cut over Mrdjenovich’s right eye.
In special feature fights streamed live on Twitch, heavyweight Stephan Shaw (14-0, 10 KO’s) earned a unanimous decision win over Lyubomyr Pinchuk (12-2-1, 7 KO’s) in what was a gritty and action-packed eight-round fight.
Pinchuk, fighting in only his third heavyweight bout since moving up from cruiserweight in 2019, didn’t hesitate to get close and work the inside. At 223.6 lbs., Pinchuk carried his weight well and employed a mix of head movement and well-placed jabs to make Shaw earn the early rounds.
But Shaw’s composure stood out and carried him through. Shaw, who has sparred with the likes of former heavyweight champions Deontay Wilder and Andy Ruiz, established an early feel for his combinations and caught on to Pinchuk’s movement. Shaw was able to land sneaky but significant punches as Pinchuk backed out to gain space. With 15 seconds left in the third round, Shaw teed off with an impressive combo that established his control over the action.
Shaw, who had only gone six rounds once before, showed impressive conditioning and command of space as the rounds continued. His ownership of the angles, combined with impressive body shots and uppercuts, had Pinchuk on notice. While Pinchuk showed heart and resilience to take the fight the distance, Shaw’s use of solid right hands and punch selection earned him a unanimous decision victory, scored 80-72.
In additional Twitch action featuring a pair of fighters making their professional debut, Kelvin Davis (1-0, 1 KO) made a strong statement, knocking out Michael Honesto (0-1, 0 KO’s) 27 seconds into the second round of a scheduled four-round junior welterweight match. Davis was consistent in the 3 minutes and 27 seconds of action. Davis started out busy, snapping a sharp right jab and using his height and speed to his advantage. Honesto, who has a background in martial arts, struggled to find his footing and get a sense of the spacing within the ring.
Davis cornered Honesto against the ropes and scored a knockdown with 10 seconds remaining in the first round. Referee Jack Reiss was hesitant to start the second round but allowed it at Honesto’s insistence. But Davis made quick work of Honesto, and Reiss called the fight less than 30 seconds after the second round began.
“I feel good. [The fight] didn’t last that long and I wanted to go more but hopefully next time I can go longer,” Davis told ringside reporter Curran Bhatia. “I was controlling the pace of the fight, working my jab and really just feeling the fighter out. I placed my shot and he went down.”
Former two-time welterweight champion Shawn Porter called the action alongside NBC Sports blow-by-blow commentator Todd Harris. Brian Campbell served as fight night analyst with Curran Bhatia reporting from ringside. The final Ring City fight card of 2020 will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST on Dec. 17. Ring City fights will stream live on the NBC Sports app, with highlights featured on NBC Sports’ YouTube Channel.
About Ring City USA
Ring City is boxing’s newest sports media platform. Working in tandem with a variety of promoters and talent, its new boxing series places an emphasis on competitive matchups that genuinely test the fighters and excite the fight fans. Ring City provides great fights in the ring and compelling shoulder programming outside of the ring. Ring City is the proving ground where up-and-coming talent can earn their stripes and launch themselves into the upper echelon of boxing stardom.