White hot ex amateur standout Sunny Edwards insists he’s ready to scorch his way through Britain’s talent-stacked flyweight class.
Though he presently reigns on the WBO European throne up at 115lbs, the 5ft 3in Croydon cavalier, now undefeated in seven, is ready to wreak havoc in British boxing’s lightest division.
‘I’m definitely only a flyweight, a little fat boy. I won the ABAs down at light-fly, remember. Provided the opponent and purse is fair, I’ll fight any British flyweight. I honestly think I’m better than all of them,’ states 22 year old ‘Showtime’.
‘I’m in this game to have hard fights, showcase my skills. If that’s enough to win me major titles, great. If not, I’ll live with it. I just want to know.
Welsh wizards Andrew Selby and Jay Harris presently have custody of the British and Commonwealth titles which feature heavily on Sunny’s radar.
‘I doubt we’ll see Selby fight again at domestic level. He’s someone I rate very highly and respect far too much to go ‘calling out’. I always looked up to him when he was on GB with my brother Charlie,’ says the sharpshooting south Londoner who won six national amateur titles.
‘I shared a room with Jayfor three weeks over in the Ukraine when we sparred (unbeaten WBA flyweight champion) Artem Dalakian recently but we didn’t spar each other. He’s a lovely kid, with a lovely and there’d be no bad blood but it’s a business. If we fight, one wins and moves on, the other comes again.
‘It’s a reasonably easy one to make as we’re with the same promotional team and we’ve both got titles. I think we both know it’s destined to happen. Jay’s a tough, fit kid with good ring presence. But I’ve been doing this since I was nine years old and there’s no backing down against anybody. I think I’m the best flyweight in the world and I’m sure Jay thinks the same. If you’re not of that mindset, you’re in the wrong game.’
Decidedly less cordial is his relationship with former European Under 22 amateur champion Harvey Horn. The unbeaten Londoners have latterly been engaged in a spicy feud over social media outlets.
Sunny explains: ‘I’ve known Harvey since we were 14 year old spar mates at the Repton gym. He did well to win the ABAs (2014)but I was too young to enter that year. The year I won the (ABA) Seniors he CHOSE not to enter.
‘I was then moved up to Podium (funding)after just three months, something it took him a year to achieve. Yet he says I was jealous from having to play ‘second string’ to him?! Really?! My win over the Kazakh Birzhan Zhakypov (a former world amateur champion and triple Olympian) eclipses any amateur win Harvey had.
‘He got benched for the Olympic qualifiers by someone I beat in the ABA semis (Galal Yafai). Suddenly, he stopped sparring me because he’d come without his gum shield or protector belt. His lack of mental strength is seriously gonna hold him back. He crumbles.
‘He’s so shallow, so brittle, he sees sports psychologists. He’ll never get in a ring with me, trust me. He’s just trying to build his profile by using my name.’
Perhaps more plausible punch-ups at this juncture of Edwards’ development would be salivating shootouts with Thornaby’s 5-0 Joe Maphosa or controversial 15-0 Acton keyboard warrior Prince Patel.
‘That Joe Maphosa who I beat up in the ABA final turned me down for a spar recently, a spar that’d be beneficial to us both. Like there’s that many quality flyweights in Britain that you can go around being ‘picky’?!
‘Then you’ve got that lost little bloke Prince Patel, my old mate! We agreed terms to box in London then he asked for more than double the money and the promoters just laughed at him. He’s got this sponsor which allows him to pad his record against debutants and ‘no win’ boys in Hungary. He’s beyond embarrassing.’
This weekend, ‘Showtime’ Sunny can expect a tasty reception when he showcases his skill set in a six rounder in the bearpit of Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, home city of soon to be WBC title challenger and verbal sparmate Paddy Barnes.
‘There’s no nastiness between me and Paddy,’ insists Edwards.
‘It’s just that, after a recent win, the commentators asked who I’d like next and, as Paddy had the (WBO) Inter-Continental belt. I mentioned his name. We’ve had a similar number of fights, we’re with the same management team and same promoter so it’s another easy match to make.
‘Paddy was obviously a top-grade amateur but he’s not looked too great in the pros and I’d be 100% confident. I just think he’s way past it.
‘It’s never personal. It’s a sport. Paddy’s a nice bloke, very funny. But we’re fighters who want to make money. That’s what it’s all about.’
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