NYF Prospect Watch: Charlie Sheehy
We all have our favorite prospects, many like Keyshawn Davis, some like Bruce Carrington, others Jared Anderson, or even Xander Zayas, but don't forget about the ones moving in silence while steadily improving.
One, in particular, is Charlie Sheehy, the fighting pride of Brisbane, California, a lightweight who is doing everything asked of him to this point. Turning pro nearly a year ago in Fresno as the first fight of a Matchroom Boxing card before signing with Top Rank Inc. on January 3rd of 2022, Sheehy has started his pro career 4-0, with 3 KOs, and has already shown to have a fanbase that is willing to travel and see him for his fights.
The hundred-plus amateur fights is a small feat compared to his 2020 Olympic journey in which he was selected to be a part of the USA Boxing Olympic team once Keyshawn Davis was disqualified from the process – yet, to make things confusing. Davis would compete in the 2020 Olympics as the qualifiers couldn't happen, and the qualifications for the Olympics were determined by world rankings, with Keyshawn Davis being a world-ranked fighter.
Early in his career, Sheehy has been around legends. Sheehy has worked with George Kambosos Jr., Amir Imam, and Xander Zayas prior to the Olympic Trials and working at Javiel Centeno's famed Sweatbox Gym in Florida, prior to every professional fight working side-by-side with boxing superstar Xander Zayas. Beyond that, fighters like Chris Algieri, Sergiy Derevyanchenko, and many others have trained besides Sheehy, who is being groomed to be the next great Bay Area fighter.
Once turning pro, Sheehy has split his time between Brisbane, California, and Florida, as his head coach Miguel Rios runs all aspects of his camp. Still, a good part of his camp sees Sheehy going to Florida and training alongside Xander Zayas. It is like college for most of us, but it is also a sacrifice. Nothing about what Sheehy is doing is comfortable. In fact, the last three years have had more discomfort than comfort. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheehy was mostly at Team USA's boxing facility in Colorado Springs, CO, and now rather than being a young adult learning about life in the workforce – Sheehy is grinding in Florida in mostly isolation, training so hard that he is going to bed between 8 or 9 PM every night.
It isn't the wild times most think of when they reflect on their early twenties, but Sheehy is striving for a purpose, a goal. That is to be a world champion, and to do that – battles have to be fought that are invisible, and most come down to what you're willing to do to make the dream possible.
The product of Jimmy Ford's Fire In The Ring Boxing Gym, a gym that never turned away a person who couldn't pay, and offered free boxing lessons to people under the age of 18-years-old, is now the first fighter to come through the program as a child and turn professional. Laron Mitchell, a heavyweight, signed to Thompson Boxing trained at the gym for his whole career, but Mitchell had a life prior to boxing and came into the sport late. Sheehy has been with Miguel Rios from the beginning.
I first met Sheehy ten years ago, maybe longer….when Laron Mitchell told me that when he came to the gym, he wanted to be like Charlie Sheehy and another fighter named Andre. These were the fighters that he looked up to because of their talent. They were middle schoolers, at most a freshman in high school. The humility and honesty in that statement always stood with me because Mitchell said it with such conviction I knew it wasn't fabricated.
As a pro, Sheehy hasn't taken an easy road, stopping Luciano Ramos of Nate Diaz's Stockton fight team in his pro debut in the fourth round, then stopping Johnny Bernal in one round in his Top Rank Inc debut, hitting a viral dance after the win. This was followed by a fourth stoppage of Burnell Jenkins in an off-television swing bout, making Sheehy the rare prospect who keeps his power for all four rounds.
In his last fight against Juan Manuel Castaneda Valle, the second undefeated fighter he has faced thus far, the brilliant matchmaking of Brad Goodman and Bruce Trampler perfectly meshed with Sheehy's as he went four rounds for the first time in his career but showed a lot of skill in the process. The Peter Kahn managed fighter Sheehy is showing a ton of talent, skill, and more so fighting game opponents to earn his respect early on.
A lot of times, people ask me about fighters who are good. I always point them to Sheehy because he doesn't cut corners; he can box like Erislandy Lara but is mean and loves attacking the body. Sheehy has the right people around him; now it just comes down to how life shakes out for him, but I believe in him, and if you like boxing – you should start to follow him if you have nothing better to do.