In recent years, boxing has seen the rise of young prospects and champions come out of cities that weren’t one of the major ones you would expect, like New York and Los Angeles.
The Midwest has been pretty busy establishing itself as a breeding ground for young fighters.
When looking at the city of Cleveland, OH, one fighter comes to mind and his name is Charles “Bad News” Conwell (12-0).
Conwell is a former Olympian from the 2016 team who has the amateur pedigree that you look for in a young prospect. He has fought his way up the ranks and quickly established himself as the #11 ranked junior middleweight for the IBF.
Conwell is right on the line of prospect and contender so his next few performances will determine if he truly deserves to be established as a contender for the title.
In speaking to the 22 year old Conwell, I get the feeling that he is a humble individual who believes in his skills and knows that there is still some learning to do as he continues to move up the ranks.
I had an opportunity to speak to Conwell recently, so get comfortable and get to know the man, the fighter, Charles Conwell.
AG: Thank you Charles for taking the time to conduct this interview. For those that aren’t too familiar with you, give us a quick bio blast.
CW: I grew up with both of my parents in my life. I started boxing at the age of 11 and my dad was the one that introduced me to the sport. One summer when I was going to the fifth or sixth grade, my father said to me, “You’re not about to run around here all summer, do you want to box?” Once I started to box, I didn’t stop all the way until I was eighteen. I won my first nationals about two or three years after I started, along with winning Ringside Championships. After winning those tournaments, I started to feel good and started telling myself that I could actually win and that this was fun. I kept winning so I started to take boxing seriously.
AG: During the Quarantine, what were some of the things you did to try to stay in shape and what are some new things you started doing?
CW: I was doing a lot of running to stay in shape. I was going back and forth to training camp. I would go to camp for two weeks and then go home for a week in an effort to stay loose and active. One thing I started to really do was play the game a lot more, so I got into Fortnite and NBA2K to pass the time.
AG: Recently, you had something special happen in your life. Can you tell the readers what that was?
CW: I just had a daughter a few weeks ago on June 3rd. She is my first child and the whole experience was stressful when you’re going through it with your girlfriend or wife. They go through a lot of emotions and all you can do is try to be there as much as you can. Since we were in quarantine, we spent a lot of time together so every little thing she did got on each other’s nerves, so I just tried to be patient and help my girlfriend out as much as possible in order to make the pregnancy comfortable for her. I really learned that you have to be patient with people that are pregnant. Also, I couldn’t go to any of the doctor appointments with her, so everything was through FaceTime. For the actual delivery, I was there but for everything else, it was through the phone. I didn’t get it when people would tell me about getting no sleep but now, I know!
AG: Prior to the Pandemic hitting, you were scheduled to fight Madiyar Ashkeyev (14-0), what is the latest with that fight? Is it a fight that will be rescheduled for a date coming up or are you and your team looking at a different opponent?
CW: It’s still the same opponent and same everything, it’s just that they pushed the date back. I’m going to go through the same preparation while tweaking the game plan a little bit. Right now, we are waiting for an exact date but they gave us an approximate one so I’m just staying in shape and going over my game plan.
AG: Once you do schedule your next fight, what do you think the rest of the year will look like for you in regards to your fight schedule?
CW: Personally, if I come out of this next one unscathed with no cuts or bruises, I would like to get in there at least twice before the end of the year so that I can get back on track.
AG: You’re currently ranked #11 with the IBF and hold the USBA Junior Middleweight Title (IBF secondary title), so which current champion do you feel that you match up best against and which champion do you think you can realistically face given the politics in boxing?
CW: The champions I think I match up best against is Jeison Rosario and Patrick Teixeira. Both Rosario and Teixeira beat guys from different levels so I think Teixeira would be the guy out of both of them. Being that I’m ranked with the IBF, the more realistic fight would be the one with Rosario.
AG: Looking at the top ten list for the IBF, there are names like Tim Tszyu and Jarrett Hurd. Are those the type of names we will see you face next year in an effort to catapult yourself to a mandatory position for a title?
CW: Honestly, I want to fight those type of guys that are former world champions or have championship rounds. Those are the type of fights I want next year so that I can gain that experience and when I fight for a world title, I can win it and keep it as long as I can.
AG: What is something about you that most people don’t know?
CW: I don’t think a lot of people know that I was a 2016 Olympian outside of the die-hard boxing fans. The casual boxing fan probably don’t know that I was an Olympian.
AG: For those that haven’t seen you fight, what can fans expect when they see you in the ring and what do you intend on bringing to the Junior Middleweight division?
CW: I bring a lot but mostly the fact that I am a boxer/puncher. I like to press the action and get people excited that are watching but also stay defensive so that I can have a long career. Just know you are going to see an action-packed fight and I am there to really fight and have a dominant performance. I’m not a guy that wants to box around all night as I will try to get my opponent out of there quickly because you don’t get paid for overtime. (See below, Conwell in his last outing. He stopped Ramses Agaton on February 8, 2020.)
AG: Anything you want to get out there for the readers…and what are your social media accounts?
CW: Stay tuned as I have a fight coming up real soon. I want to give a shout out to Lukie, Soul City Boxing Gym, Otha and Roshawn Jones and everyone that supports me along with those that just want to see me do good. Keep supporting me as the best is yet to come!
ENDNOTES: Charles Conwell is the type of fighter that has all of the tools necessary to become a champion in the future. With Conwell being managed by Split T and promoted by Dibella Entertainment, the opportunity he is searching for will be there for him in the future but for now, he has to remain focused on picking up wins and climbing the IBF rankings.
A quiet storm is brewing by the name of Charles Conwell so be on the lookout as he will certainly make noise for the rest of this year and going into 2021.