BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Sunny Edwards will challenge for the vacant British super-flyweight title on December 21 – with English champion Marcel Braithwaite standing in his way.
The 23-year-old from Croydon has won the WBO European, WBO International and IBF International titles at super-fly.
Edwards also collected the IBF International and WBO Intercontinental at flyweight in compiling a perfect 13-0 record.
Braithwaite, 25, won his English belt by beating Craig Derbyshire for the second time in October and holds a record of 9-1.
Edwards said: “I couldn’t be more happy. I had sort of given up on the prospect of fighting for the British title any time soon, which is why I made the move down to flyweight with a view towards world titles sooner rather than later.
“Then a few months ago Marcel called me out and then won the English title, so it has all worked out that I finish the year with a British title shot. I have really been in the number one position for the last year at least.
“I wanted a fun fight. There is a bit of needle there and I am going to show complete levels. There will be very few people backing against me for this one but, at the same time, he is lively, he wants to have a go and this is his chance at the big time.
“He is going from boxing on small-hall shows on small YouTube channels to boxing on BT Sport and he has got me to thank for that.
“He got offered the fight in June for July, I think it was. They turned it down and then a couple of weeks later he puts on Twitter that I am saying nobody will fight me and he will fight me before the end of the year.
“I went ‘fair enough’ and had my fights before he beat Craig Derbyshire – on a split decision – and now what he said is coming to fruition.
“Me and him actually used to be friends and shared rooms together on Team England and would support each other. Then, one day, he unfollowed me on Instagram because apparently I don’t like enough of his pictures.
“He has called me a bitch and I think he just got a bit excited with his little leather belt. On December 21 it will be a reality check for him and I just hope that no ghost injuries come out of nowhere and there is no U-turn.
“Like I said, he has got me to thank for this because the purse he is getting isn’t because he is Marcel Braithwaite, it is because he is fighting Sunny Edwards.
“He is just a bang average fighter who is getting the opportunity just because he is British and nobody else wants it.”
Braithwaite has played down any discord between the pair.
“I’ve just won the English title – it would be some story to beat him,” said the former bantamweight.
“I am fighting against a world-ranked boxer, who has boxed internationally as an amateur and is expected to be the next big thing. It is a massive fight and one people want to see as well.
“A few months ago he claimed nobody would fight him for the British and I said in the most respectful way that I would. With that he just started talking bad about me and I didn’t understand why.
“If he genuinely wanted an opponent and someone said they would fight him, I thought he would be grateful. It wasn’t the case, so that is what it was about.
“I have never actually had a problem with him. I’ve heard what he’s said about Instagram and that is sly because nothing like that bothers me and I wouldn’t be that petty.
“I’ve always wished him well and been quite the fan of him. He is good to watch.
“I am a massive underdog and I’m not expected to win. Imagine if I did win – it would be a golden ticket.
“I want to keep things respectful, but whether he wants to is another thing. I am just looking forward to it, I have got a massive opportunity in front of me and I can only be grateful for it.
“Fighting at the Copper Box live on BT is what dreams are about. It is what you imagine as a kid when you think about being a professional boxer.
“Live on BT alongside big names like Daniel Dubois – it is massive and I am going to enjoy every second of it.”
PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD