BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Sunny ‘Showtime’ Edwards has vowed to reign at world title level after outboxing Moruti Mthalane to win the IBF flyweight title.
The 25-year-old Croydon fighter moved to 16-0 with a unanimous verdict over Mthalane, who had been ranked the number one in the weight class, at Bethnal Green’s York Hall last Friday.
And Edwards wants to keep taking tough assignments after inflicting a first defeat on the South African since 2008.
“I’m not a fighter who gets this [IBF world title], wants a few more big-money fights and dip out,” he said. “I want to still be here in 15 years, fighting at the highest level.
“I want to keep fighting at that level – win, lose or draw. I don’t care about records. I’ve shown I can win at world level. I know how good I am – how difficult and awkward I can be. I’ll probably be at my best at 30 or 33. I’ve still got a boy’s body, I’m maturing. I’m 25, I’ve won a world title and barely lost a round as a pro.”
Edwards won gold and silver at the English National Championships before turning professional in 2016.
“I’ve always been told that the next level is where I’m going to be found out,” he said. “When I was in the amateurs I was never sent to the European or World [Championships] because ‘you won’t be able to do your style there’. When I was on GB they weren’t sending me because ‘you can do it in the ABAs, but you can’t do it at international level’.
“When I turned pro it was ‘oh, you can’t do it at British level’. Then at British level it was ‘you can’t do it at world level’. I’ve proved people wrong my whole career.”
Edwards did not agree with one judge who gave him every round. The other two scored it 118-111 and 115-113. He said: “I’ve constantly said that the way I box, the style I box, it makes fights very, very similar. They have a pattern.
“I’m absolutely over the moon. He is a very good champion and he made me pull something out of myself. The eighth and ninth rounds were coming on and I was asking Grant [Smith, trainer] how many rounds are left? It was definitely getting hard in there.
“I was getting caught more than I ever have done before but I was landing well and timing well against someone who is so physically strong. It was probably my most entertaining fight. I couldn’t meet fire with fire. I had to be smart.
“His corner scored it to me seven-five or eight-four [in rounds won]. My trainer scored it eight-four, and he is a very harsh critic.”
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