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USA boxing Olympic results: Charles Conwell drops debut, marks 1st defeat for Team USA

Credit: USA Boxing

Charles Conwell (Cleveland, Ohio), the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Boxing Team, fell in his Olympic debut on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro. Conwell faced off with returning Olympian Krishan Vikas of India in middleweight preliminary competition tonight in Riocentro Pavilion 6.

The two boxers opened the match slowly as they each looked to find openings and pick their shots over the first three minutes. The pair started mixing it up more in the final 60 seconds of the round and Conwell landed a strong combination in the final 30 seconds of the bout. Conwell came out quicker in the second round of action, landing strong straight shots and connecting with an eye catching combination midway through the round. He entered the third round down two rounds of two of the judges’ scorecards and came out firing away as the final stanza opened. Vikas moved early and often in the last round and despite Conwell’s aggression in the third, the Indian boxer took a 3-0 decision in the bout. The loss is the first for the U.S. squad and eliminates Conwell from the 2016 Olympic Games.

“I thought I pulled out the victory. He’s a good competitor, a good tough guy but I thought I did enough to pull it out. I can always do better. I’m a fighter so I’m used to going out there and trying to get the feel and go off the momentum of the fight,” Conwell said. “I wish nothing but the best to my opponent and I hope he keeps pulling out victories.”

Conwell graduated from Cleveland Heights High School just two months ago and spent much of his senior year away from home for competitions and training camps. Although his Olympic run ended sooner than he hoped, Conwell looks forward to returning home to Cleveland and awaiting what’s next. “I’m going to go back and enjoy time with family and friends. I’ve been gone for so long so I want to back and enjoy time with them,” he said. “Whatever happens, happens. I’m still going to be training and still working hard, grinding to come back and come harder.”

Conwell earned his berth on the U.S. Olympic Team with gold medals at the U.S. Olympic Trials in December and Americas Qualifier in March. Despite his intense travel and training schedule, Conwell managed to graduate on time in June.

Conwell is the second American boxer Vikas has faced in the last two Olympic Games. Vikas initially won his bout over 2012 Olympian and current professional contender Errol Spence Jr. before the bout was overturned in London and Spence was reinstated.

Wednesday’s competition will feature two American boxers as light flyweight Nico Hernandez (Wichita, Kansas) competes for a spot on the medal stand against Ecuador’s Carlos Eduardo Quipo Palaxti at 5:15 p.m. Brazil time (4:15 p.m.). The quarterfinal match will be Hernandez’s third bout of the tournament. Later in the evening session, light welterweight Gary Antuanne Russell (Capitol Heights, Md.) will make his Olympic debut against Haiti’s Richardson Hitchins at 6:45 p.m. Brazil time (5:45 p.m. ET)

U.S. Result
165 lbs/75 kg: Krishan Vikas, IND, dec. Charles Conwell, Cleveland Heights, Ohio/USA, 3-0