Monday, September 25, 2023  |



Charles Conwell makes his case to face Brian Mendoza while Jermell Charlo is recovering

Fighters Network

Charles Conwell is not about waiting around for undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo.

The unbeaten Conwell is hoping to seize the opportunity the same way Brian Mendoza did.

Conwell hopes to face Mendoza later this year. Mendoza holds an interim world title belt that he won when he defeated Sebastian Fundora by knockout on April 8.

The 25-year-old (18-0, 13 knockouts), who resides in Cleveland, Ohio, has built an unbeaten record and believes he is amongst the best fighters at 154 pounds. In his last bout on November 26, Conwell defeated Juan Carlos Abreu by majority decision.

Conwell is ranked No. 2 by the WBC. While Charlo recovers from a hand injury and Tim Tszyu has a fight lined up with Carlos Ocampo on June 18, Conwell believes the only logical fight to make is one against Mendoza.

“It’s really up to the WBC,” Conwell told The Ring in a recent interview. “The No. 1 fighter (Tim Tszyu) is busy with a fight right now. I’m the next contender in line. So why not make it (a fight against Mendoza). I feel like there’s a lot of fights not happening because Jermell Charlo is holding up the division. Why not get me in the mix?”

Promoter Lou DiBella agrees.

“Liam Smith is the mandatory challenger to the WBC title,” said DiBella. “He had a rematch lined up with Chris Eubank, Jr. We have asked the WBC for Mendoza to defend his WBC interim title against Charles. With everyone tied up with their fights, it makes sense for Charles to face Brian Mendoza.”

Conwell has defeated three unbeaten fighters and fought a handful of times on the popular ShoBox series. He believes he is worthy of an opportunity to face the top fighters.

“I’m definitely, for sure a top-5 contender,” said Conwell, who is now managed by Mark Habibi.

“For me, it’s a matter of time for me to prove myself. Getting those right fights, those big-name fights. I think that is what’s going to propel me to the next level to get me that recognition that I deserve. I’m going to keep hunting these guys down and doing what I’m doing until that time comes. (I am) just waiting.”

If a fight against Mendoza cannot be made, Conwell is open to facing anyone at 154 pounds, regardless of them being an unbeaten fighter, a top contender or former world titleholders.

“To be honest, I’m just looking at fighting (world) title eliminators, interim titles and world title shots,” said Conwell. “Whatever type of fights those are is what I most want to fight. I prefer to fight ex-world champions to build my name and build my resume up.”

Conwell will keep tabs on the upcoming Tim Tszyu-Carlos Ocampo fight. The clash was in jeopardy of not taking place after Tszyu suffered a dog bite over the weekend. The wound required stitches, but the medical staff gave a thumbs up for the fight to move forward.

Conwell predicts Tszyu will come out victorious. He also believes facing Tszyu or any other junior middleweight would make for good fights.

“I feel like in the Tszyu-Ocampo fight, Tszyu is going to win a unanimous decision. Ocampo can take a punch, but you never know in boxing. I would love to fight all of those guys. I would love to get in the ring with everyone. I feel like the 154-pound division is where everyone mixes it up. I’m trying to get in that mix so I can get to mix it up with those guys.”


Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]