CLEVELAND — Nothing has come easy for Cleveland native, Charles “Bad News” Conwell. Conwell, 18-0 with 13 knockouts, has found it difficult to breakthrough in the sport of boxing. Lack of TV time and exposure is why Conwell deems himself, “Boxing’s Best Kept Secret.” However, Conwell has set his sights on former WBO champion, Brian Castano, who is fresh off of back-to-back fights with former unified champion Jermell Charlo to elevate his status within the division and the sport. In hopes to garner some mainstream fanfare, Conwell feels like a dominant win over a fighter like Castano could open up eyes and opportunities. Currently ranked #1 by the WBC, Conwell is potentially one phone call away from the opportunity that he has been waiting for. Taking the tough road is nothing new for “Bad News” who continues to use the lack of opportunities as fuel while improving his skillset in the gym.
Conwell shares his thoughts on Canelo-Charlo, his future plans, and much more with Zenger News.
Zenger: What were your takeaways from Canelo-Charlo?
Conwell: To be honest, I feel like it was practice for Canelo. It was a sparring match. I feel like he just beat him, but he didn’t really want to hurt him. I saw a few times where he could’ve really turnt up, but Charlo was tough, he took some really big shots. He really is tough, but they make weight classes for a reason. I think he just jumped up too many.
Zenger: Did the fight go as you expected, or did you expect a more competitive fight?
Conwell: I thought Canelo would win a unanimous decision, or late stoppage. I personally thought it was a shutout.
Zenger: Do you think it’s realistic for him to come back to the division you compete in, 154-pounds, or do you feel at best, he’s a 160 pounder now?
Conwell: It’s hard to say because he said it’s real easy for him to make 154. I feel like when he was at 168, he looked kind of fat to me. He didn’t look like he usually does. He looked a little too big, but I understand why he put on the weight. Canelo is a strong dude, so he wanted to have some force behind him. I just think he jumped up too many weight classes. Maybe 160 will be perfect for him.
Zenger: You are approaching a year long layoff. I’m sure that wasn’t the plan. What have you been doing with your down time?
Conwell: I have been staying consistent and staying in the gym in case that one big call comes. I’m #1 in the WBC right now, so anything can happen at anytime for me. I’m just staying ready. Waiting for the right opportunity. I know a title shot or title eliminator is coming for me real soon.
Zenger: You suffered a cut in the 1st round of your last fight and fought for another 9 rounds with the cut to win a majority decision over Juan Carlos Abreu. How do you feel about your last performance?
Conwell: The cut felt like something was in my eye the entire fight. I didn’t feel like it was as big of a deal as some was making it out to be. I feel like my performance should’ve been better to be honest. I feel like I could have stopped that guy. At times I hurt him, and I didn’t jump on him and stay consistent with my pressure throughout the fight. I think that was a C+ performance. Adversity… I’m built for that type of stuff, so the cut didn’t bother me.
Zenger: Do you feel like we still haven’t seen the best version of Charles “Bad News” Conwell?
Conwell: For sure. Ya’ll definitely haven’t seen the best version I can put forward. As the opponents get better, I will get better, and it will bring the best out of me. The bigger the fight, the bigger the name, the better Charles Conwell will be. I’m always in the gym trying to get better every day. Whether it’s going back to the basics, or learning veteran type moves, I’m always learning and improving and getting better.
Zenger: The junior middleweight division doesn’t lack talent or star power. Any name in particular you would like to test yourself against?
Conwell: I would like to fight an ex-world champion to solidify myself in the division. That’s what I would love, so that I can prove to everybody that I’m really one of them guys. I go out there and wash one of those ex-world champions, and then of course, I want those world titles. Jermell Charlo and now Tim Tszyu who has a belt, or if Brian Mendoza pulls off the upset, I want those titles. It’s all a matter of getting in the ring with them. If I can’t get a world champion, I want an ex-world champion.
Zenger: Since you put it out there, I gotta ask you for a name.
Conwell: Brian Castano. I think he would be a good name on my resume. He gave Charlo some good fights, he was a world champion, and I feel like a fight like that would definitely solidify me in the division; especially if I go out there and stop him. That would be a war for sure. He brings it and I bring it, so that would be a really good fight for the fans.
Zenger: You call yourself “Boxing’s Best Kept Secret.” Why do you feel that way?
Conwell: Because I feel like I’m not mainstream yet. I don’t have the eye of the people. Everybody who is really into boxing knows who I am, and they know how good I am, but I’m waiting on the opportunity to go out there and display a great fight in front of the mainstream fans can see me. I’m just waiting for the right opportunity and TV time.
Zenger: Has it been frustrating to train so hard and not have that opportunity present itself through your first 18 fights?
Conwell: It is frustrating. I’m not gonna lie. You see the people you came up with and they are world champions, fighting for titles, in contention for titles, and making great money on main event cards. It’s like, dang, when is my opportunity gonna come. I use it as fuel. I use that as that chip on my shoulder. They’re trying to downplay my talent and they’re not trying to give me an opportunity. So, I do use it as a chip on my shoulder. I train my butt off, so when it’s my turn, I will go out there and display what I need to display, and I will do it in great fashion.
Zenger: What do you feel will be the thing or talent that separates you from the rest of the division?
Conwell: I feel like my skills, how well I can adjust, and the way I break guys down. I will show how technical I can be, while making these guys look easy.
Zenger: Tell us a little bit about Wise Owl Boxing.
Conwell: Wise Owl Boxing is my new management team. My manager, Mark Habibi is new in the game. We have a lot to prove. He has a great fighter in myself, and he just signed Brandon Adams, so he has two great fighters, so we’re just waiting on the opportunity to prove ourselves as a management team and as fighters.
Zenger: Realistically, how soon could we see you in the ring again?
Conwell: I’m ready at any time. I’m just waiting on a call. Maybe we reach out to the WBC and see what’s going on with that. We may have to get something mandated or fight someone to get that mandatory title shot real soon. Stay in tune with me and follow me on all social media platforms @charlesconwell to stay informed. I appreciate you, big dawg.
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