Conwell Motivated To End Year Strong, Expects Tough Fight With Ashkeyev –

Posted: December 19, 2020 at 10:56 am

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When 2016 United States Olympian and current unbeaten pro Charles Conwell signed up for this whole boxing thing, he probably never expected that he would one day be fighting in a parking lot.

No, not at all, laughed Conwell, who will be doing just that in Hollywood tonight when he faces fellow unbeaten Madiyar Ashkeyev in the latest installment of Ring City USA. I watched the fights in November, and it was awkward to me because it was in the parking lot.

What Conwell is really concerned about is that the December temps might hit the same lows hes been experiencing in his native Ohio. Well, it is 59 at the moment in Hollywood, which is better than 29 in Toledo, but perhaps its better to change the subject, especially since I was hoping Conwell had some story of a parking lot fight elsewhere.

That's a different type of fight, he laughs.

The 23-year-old Conwell is as comfortable as hes ever been around the media this year, perhaps a testament to being in the spotlight pretty consistently since he turned pro after the Olympics in 2017. Back then, lets just say Conwell wasnt exactly Bernard Hopkins in interviews. But he has settled in, is showing off his sense of humor, and when you add in the fighting style that has led him to a perfect 13-0 (10 KOs) record, hes got star potential at 154 pounds. Just dont tell him that 2021 is his year.

They said that last year, he chuckles. They said 2020 was the year. I'm tired of people saying every year is the year and I'm tired of putting a day on it. I'm just gonna let everything play out. I know a lot of stuff happened (in 2020), but every time somebody says something's gonna happen, they're kinda jinxing it.

I do remind Conwell that the COVID-19 pandemic kind of put an asterisk on everybodys year, and he agrees, but he still got in a decent 2020 campaign after a 2019 that ended on a down note after the death of Patrick Day after their October bout.

At the beginning of 2020, it was a little rocky, Conwell said. Then it started picking up - I got to fight in October and now I'm fighting in December, so it's been starting to pick up for me. I think if it weren't for the pandemic, I probably would have had four or five fights this year, depending on cuts or injuries. So it was a rocky start, but it's gonna be a good ending.

Add in a February stoppage of Ramses Agaton, and Conwell could be 3-0 for the year by the end of Thursday night. And if he does reach that mark, it will be a big deal because Kazakhstans Ashkeyev is expected to be the Olympians toughest test to date. Then again, fans expected 12-0 Wendy Toussaint to be that test in October. Conwell knocked him out in the ninth round.

I think they just said that because of the person's record, he said. I don't think that was the toughest fight for me in my career so far. He was a good opponent, and he came out and fought, but at the end I got the job done and got the KO.

So what was the toughest fight so far?

The Pat Day fight was pretty tough and the fight before the Pat Day fight with (Courtney) Pennington. He was crafty. That was my first 10 rounder, so that was tough.

Will Ashkeyev be a similarly tough puzzle to figure out?

I think he's gonna be pretty tough, said Conwell. I think he's gonna be tougher than Wendy Touissant, but I know for a fact I can beat him. It's how I'm gonna beat him; that's what I'm waiting to see. I don't know if it's gonna be a knockout or if it's gonna be a decision, but I know I'm gonna beat him for sure.

Then Conwell can get on with the business of having that big year everyone keeps predicting for him. But first, its a trip home to Cleveland and the holidays with his six-month-old daughter.

It feels good, he said of fatherhood. It gets kinda sad because you miss a lot of growth, a lot of milestones that the baby's doing, but it's always good to see how far she came when you get to go back home.

Fatherhood is when boys become men, and Conwell wouldnt dispute that his maturity has a lot to do with the bundle of joy that came into his life in June.

To be honest, I really think that might be something to do with it, said Conwell, who admits to having talks with his Soul City Boxing teammates about what the future may hold. And with 2020 U.S. Olympic team member OShae Jones and hot prospects Otha Jones III and Isaiah Steen (who is Conwells brother) on the team, that future is a bright one. But before they get carried away, he stops them.

We always talk about what we're gonna do when we get there, but to be honest, we gotta get there first and we ain't there yet.

Yeah, not too bad for 23.

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December 19th, 2020 at 10:56 am

Posted in Motivation