Sunny Edwards shook his head throughout speeches on the ultimate press convention earlier than his fourth IBF flyweight title defence on Saturday night time in opposition to Andres Campos. The unbeaten 27-year-old sat bemused in his chair as his promoter, Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, appeared to start one thing akin to a roast of the 160cm fighter.
It may not have been a tactic that Hearn, celebrating his forty fourth birthday, would have chosen if he hadn’t towered a foot over the 19-0 flyweight, however with the intention to unravel the knots of their earlier relationship collectively, a “playing cards on the desk” strategy prevailed.
“I didn’t notably used to love him,” Hearn opened with on the press convention in London. “I used to look at him on social media and assume, ‘I’m unsure about this child,’ and needed to pull him up a number of occasions on issues he stated.
“However I assumed, in case you can’t beat them, signal them. I didn’t need him to win the battle in opposition to Moruti Mthalane, however I watched that battle and he was unbelievable — didn’t lose a second of any spherical. And I consider that he’s a really particular fighter. A fighter that might go on to develop into undisputed within the flyweight division.”
Edwards took the back-handed compliments nicely. He has all the time come throughout — on-line and within the flesh — as a really clever fighter, and one which understands the entire bundle of the game nicely.
Restricted alternatives in large fights, in line with Edwards, noticed him soar ship from Queensberry Promotions to Matchroom, and unification fights with the likes of Artem Dalakian, Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez, and Julio Cesar Martinez are all that consumes his ideas.
From the surface it appears like he’s underestimating his Chilean challenger this weekend, Andres Campos (15-0, 4 KO), and, in settlement with the betting markets, he can most likely afford to as a result of means he controls fights and the challenger’s lack of energy.
Edwards’ brash angle and unwillingness to toe the road will go well with a relationship with Hearn. Their mixed present of the gab will allow Edwards to edge nearer to changing into a widely known fighter in the UK; breaking into that family title territory nonetheless feels a means off.
And an understanding that it’s strictly enterprise will imply Edwards received’t get wrapped up and blinkered by his new place in Hearn’s steady. He’ll odor the bullshit from a mile off and his energetic presence on social media will permit him to name it out as quickly as the primary scent hits.
This weekend’s contest with Campos is, regrettably, nothing greater than a Matchroom unveiling for Edwards, however the future might develop into obvious as quickly as subsequent week. Bam Rodriguez received’t be in attendance contained in the Wembley Enviornment, but when he was, then an orchestrated head-to-head following the occasion would have been odds on. Hearn has said this week that talks are ongoing for this flyweight unification battle.
And what of massive brother Charlie? Hearn will probably be licking his lips on the prospect of a brother vs brother battle between the Edwards’ down the road. The pair has traded phrases on Twitter with the narrative needing no extra work than a real (?) household feud.
“He’s arguably Britain’s greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the intervening time,” Hearn said confidently of his new cost within the run as much as this weekend’s world title triple-header.
He is likely to be. He may not be. However in Hearn, Edwards has discovered a house the place he could be himself. And importantly, the place folks will hear — as a heel, as a babyface or someplace in between.
Lewis Watson is a sports activities author from London, UK, and a member of the BWAA. Observe or contact him on Twitter @lewiswatson_8