Charles Conwell returns to the ring with the Haney-Garcia undercard after a 16-month layoff

by Joseph Santoliquito |

It’s been a while, 16 months to be exact, since U.S. Olympian Charles Conwell last fought in 2016. A lot has changed in his life and his boxing life over that time. More importantly, Conwell, The Ring’s No. 9 junior middleweight, is with a new promoter, Golden Boy, who he signed with in February, and another is that his long sabbatical will end this Saturday on the Devin Haney-Ryan Garcia undercard from Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, on DAZN Pay-Per-View (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. for $69.99).

Conwell (18-0, 13 KO) will face veteran Nathaniel Gallimore (22-7-1, 17 KO) in a 10-round fight to open the PPV portion of the show.

The last time Conwell, 26, was in the ring, he won a 10-round majority decision over Juan Carlos Abreu on November 26, 2022, in Carson, California. The 16-month layoff is the longest break in his seven-year fighting career.

“Conwell has it all: power, in-ring presence and an Olympic pedigree that prepares him for any type of pressure he will face in the ring,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya, in Conwell’s signature press. release. “Now we’re going to bring him back to the ‘Golden Boy’ style, having him fight often and providing tough competition to make sure he’s ready to go for gold at the world championships.”

Mark Habibi, who manages Conwell, agrees.

“I’m so excited that Charles is represented by Golden Boy,” said Habibi, who manages fighters under his Wise Owl Boxing banner. “Charles is at the point in his career where he is on the cusp of a world title opportunity and we are thrilled to have Golden Boy on board to help us achieve the shot that Charles has dreamed of since he was a child .”

Waiting for the fights was frustrating, Conwell admits.

Management problems stunted its growth. Now, Conwell says, he feels primed and ready to move forward in what was leading to a promising career before the layoff.

“I’m glad it all happened the way it did,” said Conwell, a father of two daughters. “The first part of my career, it was like any career, when you grow, you learn new things, you learn the ins and outs, and that’s what I was doing, learning the ins and outs of boxing. I needed to understand the business and how it worked. I’m better.”

It’s been five years since Patrick Day’s tragic death after being stopped in the 10th round by Conwell in October 2019. Conwell says time and age have been the best healers in dealing with the remorse of what happened . He says he keeps it in the back of his mind and controls the depression and frustration much better than before. He also stressed that he will continue to honor Day by wearing his initials “PD” on his trunks, as he plans to do when he faces Gallimore on Saturday night.

“The firing was definitely frustrating, seeing all these fighters that I’ve created over my career moving forward, and I was sitting here stuck,” said Conwell, who is managed by Mark Habibi of Wise Owl Boxing, based in California. “When you’re stagnant, there’s always frustration, but I’ve grown as a person. I understand myself better. I understand boxing better. I learned from going through so much through this experience.

“I’m just glad I didn’t get lost during this whole time and ruin my career doing stupid things. I was lucky to have my team around to motivate me and keep me boxing. I was still training and I would hear that the fights were happening, then I would hear that they were over. Finally I went to Golden Boy, I’m with a new manager and I want to show everyone that I haven’t missed anything.

A resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Conwell has stayed active by working at Soul City Boxing Gym in Toledo, Ohio, training and working with children and spending quality time with his own children.

Gallimore, who is 2-6 in his last eight fights and 1-4 in his last five, was stopped late in the sixth round in his fight 13 months ago against Serhii Bohachuk, the The Ring’s number 4 junior middleweight who continued to dominate the rugged Brian Mendoza on the Sebastian Fundora-Tim Tszyu undercard on March 30.

“Gallimore has fought everyone and I think it’s a great fight for me,” Conwell said. “I told Golden Boy I wanted to have as many fights as possible this year. I would love to have a title shot by the end of the year. I would like to have a chance against Fundora, or Errol Spence Jr., or Bohachuk. I feel really good at the moment.

“I kept my mind busy by staying active. I have real estate investments, my girlfriend is a registered nurse and she has been the champion of the house, which makes my life much easier. I’m coming to New York with just me and the coaches. I collaborated with Mark and Wise Owl Boxing. I want everyone to know that “Bad News” is back in boxing.

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sports writer who has worked for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.
Follow @JSantoliquito

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