By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Charles Conwell went 10 rounds for the first time in his career Saturday night to take the next step in his development.
The 21-year-old junior middleweight prospect pressured Courtney Pennington throughout their bout, consistently landed to Pennington’s body and pounded out a unanimous-decision victory at Madison Square Garden. Judges Mark Consentino (97-92), Ken Ezzo (97-92) and Alan Rubinstein (96-93) scored their fight for Cleveland’s Conwell on the Gennadiy Golovkin-Steve Rolls undercard.
Conwell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, improved to 10-0. Brooklyn’s Pennington (12-4-3, 5 KOs) has not lost by knockout since the 32-year-old veteran turned pro in August 2012.
Conwell and Pennington traded right hands with about 1:20 to go in the fight, but both boxers took those shots well. A left hook by Conwell caused Pennington to hold with just about a minute to go in that 10th and final round.
Conwell landed two overhand rights in the final 20 seconds of the ninth round.
Pennington spent much of the seventh and eighth rounds holding the aggressive Conwell. A cut opened around Pennington’s right eye during the eighth round as well.
Conwell got full extension on a right hand that caught Pennington flush 30 seconds into the seventh round.
Pennington tried to fend off Conwell in the fourth and fifth rounds, but Conwell kept hammering him downstairs. Pennington caught Conwell with a right hand as Conwell came forward just before the midway point of the fifth round.
Several seconds later, Mercante deducted a point from Pennington for holding. Conwell clipped Pennington with a left hook to the body and left hook to the head later in the fifth.
Conwell continued going after Pennington’s body in the third round. He also hit Pennington with a left hook up top and overhand right in the final 20 seconds of that round.
The first five-plus minutes of this fight were uneventful. Conwell caught Pennington with a left hook to the body and quickly followed up with a left hook up top in the final 12 seconds of the second round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.