Exciting 154-pound prospects Charles Conwell and Wendy Toussaint both made weight a day before their main event showdown set for Wednesday, October 7, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/PT) from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in the first ShoBox: The New Generation telecast since March.
A decorated amateur and U.S. representative at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, the 22-year-old Conwell (12-0, 9 KOs) hails from Cleveland, Ohio, and will make his second ShoBox appearance when he takes on up-and-coming Toussaint (12-0, 5 KOs) in a 10-round super welterweight contest.
The ShoBox event will open with two eight-round welterweight showdowns as Detroit’s Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (15-0, 10 KOs) takes on fellow Puerto Rico native Nicklaus Flaz (9-1, 7 KOs) and hard-hitting Brandun Lee (19-0, 17 KOs) returns to ShoBox in the telecast opener against Jimmy Williams (16-3-2, 5 KOs).
Barry Tompkins will call the action from ringside with boxing historian Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Richard Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
The event is promoted by Tony Holden Productions.
Super Welterweight 10-Round Bout
Charles Conwell – 154 lbs.
Wendy Toussaint – 153 lbs.
Referee: Johnny Callas (West Hartford, Conn.); Judges: Glenn Feldman (Avon, Conn.), Frank Lombardi (Brookfield, Conn.), Don Trella (Noank, Conn.)
Welterweight 8-Round Bout
Janelson Figueroa Bocachica – 146½ lbs.
Nicklaus Flaz – 146½ lbs.
Referee: Johnny Callas (West Hartford, Conn.); Judges: Ken Ezzo (Wilton, Conn.), Don Trella (Noank, Conn.), Steve Weisfeld (River Vale, N.J.)
Welterweight 8-Round Bout
Brandun Lee – 144 lbs.
Jimmy Williams – 143¾ lbs.
Referee: Danny Schiavone (Wethersfield, Conn.); Judges: Ken Ezzo (Wilton, Conn.), Glenn Feldman (Avon, Conn.), Frank Lombardi (Brookfield, Conn.)
“Since my last ShoBox appearance three years ago, I’ve matured a lot as a fighter. I’m more comfortable inside the ring and going longer rounds. I’ve developed as an all-around fighter. A lot of challenges have been thrown my way but it’s nothing that I can’t overcome. I’ve been able to adjust, get over it and keep moving up.
“I think I need a couple more fights, a couple more good wins under my belt against some formidable opponents, and looking good doing it, and I’ll be considered a top-10 type of contender. I think I need two more fights.
“I had a fight scheduled in April right before the shutdown, which got cancelled. So, it’s just been constant training for me. Not necessarily going hard in the gym, but just staying active in the gym and staying in shape so when the call comes, you’re prepared for it whenever they give you a date.
“I know that I’m facing an undefeated, 12-0 fighter. He fought in the bubble, I know that. He’s a slim, tall type of guy who has length, and he’s athletic. I’ve just seen one of his fights. He has a little awkwardness and he throws some loopy shots that I need to be aware of.
“With the Patrick Day fight, I’ve just learned to live with it and try to stay positive. Keep positive people and positive energy around me. That’s all I can ever do, stay looking forward and try not to dwell on the past. It’s a very difficult thing for me but you can’t think about it in this sport. You have to continue to be aggressive. My first fight after that tragedy, once somebody punches you in the face it’s not too hard to punch them back – it’s natural. In training, I was a little timid at first but once somebody is in there trying to punch you in the face, it’s easy to be aggressive.
“I’ve always been an aggressive fighter. Being a shorter guy, you fight taller guys and you always have to be more aggressive. As I get in there and work with my coaches, I’ve developed different skills – different punches, different defensive moves, different angles, different tricks on the inside – so I’ve always been aggressive and willing to fight on the inside.”
“My conditioning is great right now. I’m always in shape and I’m very strong right now. I’m ready because this is a great opportunity for me. It’s difficult to get a fight right now with the Coronavirus so when this fight came, I took it immediately. I fought once in the bubble in Las Vegas already and I think that’s a little bit of an advantage for me. I think I already got one fight with no fans and I’m used to it – so maybe that’s a small advantage and the fact that I’ve been active is good as well.
“I sparred with [Sergiy] Derevyanchenko in camp and that was a great experience. He throws a lot of punches and sparring with him was different than anything I’ve experienced. It was very difficult, but I gave him a lot of work, a lot of pressure, and I think it will really help me a lot in this fight and going forward in my career.
“Conwell is a great fighter but I’m a very strong fighter as well, so I’m not going to be frustrated by anything he does. I’m going to stay relaxed, box and let everything come together because like I said, this is not my first time getting in the ring. Boxing is about staying relaxed no matter what your opponent brings. You have to be ready for anything. Conwell is a great fighter, all respect to him, but I’m coming to fight.
“Every time I have a fight, I don’t watch my opponent a whole lot but I do watch them a little bit. He’s a very strong fighter but every fight is different, you can be in top shape for one fight and be a different fighter in your next one. He’s a strong fighter, he likes to attack the body, but I don’t think I’ll have a big problem on my hands.
“Boxing is all mental. Sometimes, when you look at things on paper they are different than when you actually get in the ring and start fighting. I know that Conwell is going to be a strong fighter but is he stronger than the guys I’ve faced in sparring? I don’t know. I have to wait to get in the ring and see what he brings. You never know. But I’m very confident in myself and I’m not intimidated at all.”
Janelson Figueroa Bocachica
“I got a good six weeks of training in for this fight. I’ve been in camp with Charles Conwell this entire time. I’ve been going to Ohio and he’s come over to Detroit. I’ve also been in Tony Harrison’s camp for the past two weeks. I’ve gotten amazing work from both of those guys.
“I’m definitely a big puncher but you’ve got to know how to set it up. You can’t rush it, just trust that the knockout is going to come. I get knockouts with punches that I wasn’t even expecting to knock people out but then they don’t get back up. Boxing is about timing, it’s art. It’s not about brute strength. I’ve knocked people out with a jab, but my right hand seems to put everybody out. The better my opponents are, the better I am. As good as he looks, I know I’m going to be even better.
“When I went pro, I knew that I hurt people in the amateurs with big gloves and headgear, so imagine what I could do with the little ones? But I had to learn how to set my opponents up and pick my shots and get an opening. I couldn’t just go straight forward. Sometimes you have to let them come to you. It’s all about ring control.
“It won’t be a problem fighting without a crowd. I’ll still have my fans watching on TV and my coach, which is my dad, will still be there in my corner. I’m comfortable with the situation.
“I beat Brandun Lee in the amateurs but I don’t have any relationship with him today. I don’t really see much of what he’s doing, with him being out in California. I know he’s on this card so when I see him at the fight, I want to let him know that I want to fight him after this. I wish him well against his opponent but I know I’m going to do my thing and take care of my business. I upset him in the amateurs, and I hope I can see him in the pros too. If he wants to do it, we can do it. I’m ready for big names. I’m ready for Virgil Ortiz. I’m ready for Keith Thurman. Everybody around me knows that I’m so ready for bigger fights and bigger opponents.
“All I know is that Nicklaus Flaz better be ready because I had a super hard training camp and we’ve been working hard. I want to put on a great show for something that I’ve been training so hard for. I know Puerto Rico is going to be watching this one, and I know all of his fans are going to be mine after this fight.”
“I was in the same camp as Jeison Rosario and I sparred with him a couple of times. I’ve been in touch with him since the Charlo fight and he’s doing better now. He’s eager to get back to work but they told him to get some rest. Sparring with Rosario, a world champion, was a great experience. It was really tough but I did my best to manage.
“I’m an aggressive fighter. I like to fight on the inside, come straight forward and do damage. I’m a better fighter than since I was in the World Series of Boxing. My defense and my ring IQ are way better. I used to just go in blindly looking to land punches, now I go in more conscious and with better defense. My punches are much more accurate now.
“I don’t know much about Bocachica. I let my trainer figure him out but what I know is that he’s a really tough fighter, undefeated, and he can punch. I’ve never been down before so I can definitely take a punch.
“This is Puerto Rico vs. Puerto Rico. That’s a great motivation for me. I got to take him out. He says he’s going to knock me out, so I want to see how he plans to do that. We can brawl if he wants. I want to see him try to knock me out. It’s going to be fireworks.
“I’ve worked a lot on my conditioning and pacing myself since my lone defeat. I’m a lot smarter than I was then. Not every fighter is going to be knocked out, so I worked on that and I fixed it. I’m in much better shape and I’m ready to fight 12 rounds if I have to, even though the fight is only scheduled for eight. I know I’ll be throwing a lot of punches until the end. My punch output will be high as always.”
“I was on the last fight on ShoBox in March, and we didn’t have a crowd at that one either. In a way, I feel like I’ve already been there, done that. I know what to expect without a crowd. Nothing has changed as far as my training. It’s been a little tough to find sparring but other than that, boxing-wise, the pandemic hasn’t affected me much.
“This will be the biggest guy I’ve ever fought. He’s a natural 147 and 154-pounder, so he is a much bigger fighter. I’m a 140-pounder. I think he’ll be the best fighter I’ve faced too. I feel that way because once upon a time he was a top-15 prospect in the rankings and he’s a much bigger, much longer guy than anybody I’ve faced.
“Hopefully this fight gives me more rounds than I’ve been able to get in the past. He’s only been knocked out once and he’s gone 10 rounds before. Hopefully we can get the rounds in because I need it. The only positive that comes from facing guys that you knock out in the first round is building up that confidence. But I feel like I’ve already built up my confidence so it’s time to start bringing in some real fighters and making some noise.
“I learned something from my last fight. Before the fight, I said I have to pick my shots more and be more calm, but in that case, I could have just gone in there and blown the guy away in the first round. I learned that you have to be able to make a quick choice on whether you want to take the guy out later or take him out now. I took him out later because I wanted to go more rounds. I expected the fight to go longer than what it did. We wanted the later rounds and the longer minutes but that was a mistake. If I hurt Jimmy Williams in the first round, I’m definitely going to get him out of there.
“I remember my fight against Bocachica in the amateurs was a hell of a fight. We had the entire arena watching us. It was a close fight. It could have gone either way. We were 15 at the time. I don’t really look at it like I need to avenge that loss in the pros. I’m looking at what’s ahead of me, not behind me. That was the amateurs but if he steps up to the plate, I’ll step up to the plate as well.
“My last fight against Camilo Prieto was a step-up and now Jimmy Williams is an even bigger step-up. After this fight, we need another step-up. Each fight, we need to slowly progress into the top ten. At the end of the day, I’m just a fighter. I will listen to my team and my promoter and whoever they pick for me to fight, I’m definitely going to step up to the plate and do what I do best.”
“I’m a local guy and I’ve fought many times at Mohegan Sun, so it will be weird not having support in the arena but I know they will all be tuning in on SHOWTIME. It is what it is. I’m excited with fans or without fans, it doesn’t make a difference.
“I watched a little bit of tape on my opponent. I know he’s a young prospect, he had a great amateur career. But this is the pro game. I know he hasn’t been tested yet, he’s sparred with some of the greatest fighters in the world but he will get tested on Wednesday night. We’re going to see what Brandun Lee is made of.
“If you go and watch Brandun’s fights, the guys he faced didn’t come to fight. They came to lay down, they weren’t punching back and Brandun had enough time to set up his punches and he was able to do what he wanted to in the ring. I don’t discredit the guys he fought, he’s still got talent, but I’ve been tested. I’ve been hit hard. I’ve been in the ring with some great fighters already. This fight will definitely go past the first round. He better be prepared to put the rounds in with me.
“In 2008, my mom was murdered and it changed my whole life. I opted to leave school that year and enter the NFL draft. A lot of people thought I was crazy because I still had a year of eligibility, but I was projected to get drafted in the fifth to seventh round. It didn’t work out my way but I still got some calls and tried out for a few teams in camp. But my mom’s spirit brought me back to the ring. I had a lot of frustration and anger because it is an unsolved case, and boxing was my bread and butter from the beginning so getting back in the ring was the natural thing to do.
“My mother’s death motivated me to stay on the right path. My father passed away from cancer, and my parents both raised me to be somebody great in life. Her death motivated me. Her death never sat right with me. She didn’t die from a natural cause, somebody strangled her and put her there. That made me go hard in life. I woke up and told myself I would be somebody. I had to make her proud and I’m making her proud now. That anger fuels me in the ring because I feel like I bring her back to life. I know she went out fighting and every time I get in the ring, I fight for her.”