Last October, Cleveland boxer and 2016 Olympic team member Charles Conwell experienced the most emotionally unbearable anguish a fighter in the ring can experience. Opponent Patrick Day lost to him by knockout in the 10th round and 4 days later died suddenly due to incompatible brain injuries.
Caldwell, 22, took on Day when his goal was to become world champion as his Olympic teammate Shakur Stevenson. He knew Day shared a similar goal with him.
After what happened, Conwell had two options: to indulge in heartbreak or to be inspired by the original hopes along with Patrick’s dream, which was not destined to come true. He chose the latter path and with a victory in the ring in February (Last Thursday, Charles defeated Wendy Toussaint. – Approx. Transl.).
“Charles is a very well-mannered and thoughtful guy with a bright head,” says Lou DiBella. – For many reasons, for the last year he had nothing left to do, except to look at life in a philosophical way, and, Thank God, his structure of mind and intellect allow him to do this. It was very surprising and pleasant for me to see how he copes with all the changes that have befallen him over the past year.
He never stops fighting for his dream and is now even more inspired by the understanding – of course, this is a huge tragedy – that this is what Patrick wanted to achieve. They shared one dream and common goals, so at the moment he is as single-minded as never before. He’s a great guy, he has incredible talent. I know how good he really is and the best time to demonstrate his skills. “
Journalist TheAthletic interviewed Caldwell last week to find out how Charles is now.
I remember that literally the next day after the fight with Day, you returned to the gym, continued to keep your body in good shape with the help of jogging. Such an aspiration, as many survivors of a similar misfortune in the ring say, is unique. Many people you know say that this approach reflects your serious attitude. What made you come back and continue training?
Caldwell: “Boxing is like therapy for me. This is the place where I feel comfortable being, and this is what I do best. And when in my life something does not go according to plan, and I need to drop something like an anchor, or relieve tension, then I can always turn to boxing, because then it becomes 100 times easier for me. When I found out how really good I was – I was 15 then – then I started falling in love with boxing.
The family did everything to keep me focused on my studies and boxing. If everything went well for me in these directions, then I did not have to worry about other things – they fed, clothed, and had a roof over my head. That was all I needed to be successful, and I really appreciated it. “
As you advance in your career, people will always mention Patrick Day. What emotions does this evoke in you?
Caldwell: “To be honest, I really don’t like to touch on this topic. But I will talk about it for his sake, only I will try not to go too deep, because this is a very difficult emotionally moment for me, and I understand how it makes me feel. “