The One Who Made It: Charlie Sheehy



The One Who Made It: Charlie Sheehy

Charlie Sheehy is the one who made it,” said 22-year-old Mario Lopez, assistant trainer. Veteran boxing coach Robert Fernandez told me to make sure to include Lopez in this article, because he's been assisting Miguel Rios, Charlie's head trainer, by holding mitts in camp. “Charlie has the city behind him, he is the one who stayed with it.”

Glowing praise for the shining light from San Francisco. While some have chosen to pouty mouth or what have you to get major Instagram likes, Sheehy is training out of his lifelong gym in Brisbane, California, working with Miguel Rios. He's one of a slew of blue-collar trainers who work all-day and devote their evenings to working with the youth for free. It is the hallmark of Jimmy Ford’s fight institution he created. Ford has never charged a young child a dime, as he wants to make a commitment to keep the youth off the streets.

This type of selflessness is what raised Sheehy (5-0) and veteran voices have guided him, as well. What some people call failures I call wisdom. Bruno Escalante is a great fighter, but never got his big fight, but gives everything he has to work with Charlie Sheehy. Mike Bazzel is an ace mechanic of boxing, capable of training, serving as a cut man, cutting a fighter’s weight, and just generally uplifting team morale. You have Peter Kahn, Sheehy's manager, who has seen the good and bad of the sport, and uses both to benefit of Sheehy.

Charlie Sheehy looks to go to 6-0 on March 25, 2023.

“This feels like my first pro fight,” said Charlie Sheehy, who was kind enough to talk to me out of respect, but tired from training four-and-a-half-hours in one day, of his March 25 assignment.

I have always thought the world of Charlie Sheehy. Former Thompson Boxing heavyweight LaRon Mitchell, a close friend of mine, used to always pull him and Andre Conway to the side and force me interview them. Though I am not a part of the team, I care, and unlike a lot of these guys who lie and claim objectivity, I believe in a sport like boxing nothing is objective. The people you are around, you care about more, and the level of damage this sport can bring…you wish the Christmas sprit for all the people you care about, ‘it is better to give than receive.’

So yes, when it comes to the Charlie Sheehys of the world I am biased, but I am also not unreasonable. I just stand on virtues and am unashamed to care about people who I have seen from the ground up.

That speaks to the major issue of his career. Unnoticed. Despite winning more national titles than fingers on his hands, knocking out all but one of his opponents, Charlie Sheehy is still not getting the spotlight other young fighters often get with a deep amateur pedigree. He was a fighter who was on pace to be an Olympian. The undertone from the team though, is this– Sheehy is always overlooked. ‘It was that way in the amateurs, and it is that way as a pro,’ said a gym goer, whose name I didn't catch.

Sheehy is a beloved pillar of San Francisco boxing, because everyone remembers him. Everyone saw him fight at some point. Yet, Sheehy is humble, and speaks to the nature of his gym.

“I remember seeing Joe Gumina and LaRon Mitchell training in the gym when I was a kid,” said Sheehy. “So who knows, maybe they want to follow their dreams, because they see me a [Top Rank signed fighter] training in the gym.”

Charlie Sheehy will be in his first six-rounder against a red-hot fighter, coming off a marquee win, in Angel Rebollar, on March 25.

Lots of folks are rooting for this hard working hitter

Rebollar just recently upset Salinas, California’s Justin Cardona, and had a loss to Top Rank lightweight Abdullah Mason. Now it is Sheehy’s turn. Every opponent he has faced has been tough, but this might be the toughest of date. Rebollar has a professional team, good fighters like Justin Viloria leave comments on his Instagram, the guy can fight. It is clear this isn’t a developmental fight – this is a prove it fight.

So – Charlie Sheehy aims to do what he has always done, like his coach Miguel Rios taught him. As the role models he looked up to set the groundwork for him to get up on time, clock-in, and clock-out. Fighters like Timothy Bradley Jr., might not get the praise early on, but they seem to be beloved after they retire. Maybe it will be that way for Sheehy, who to me is a hardworking fighter, who doesn’t fit into a box, but can really box.

He fights March 25th, in Fresno, at the SaveMart Center, on ESPN+, tune in if you like watching good fighters who have equally great back stories.