Croydon world champion Charlie Edwards: I still want Kal Yafai scrap

BY RICHARD CAWLEY
richard@slpmedia.co.uk

Charlie Edwards says a domestic blockbuster with British rival Kal Yafai is “on the radar” but first he must overcome former sparring partner Angel Moreno tomorrow night.

The Croydon fighter makes the first defence of his WBC flyweight world title at the Copper Box Arena.

The 25-year-old stepped down a division to claim the famous green belt with a classy points win over Cristofer Rosales at Greenwich’s O2 Arena in December.

Edwards has already expressed his desire to become an “all-time British great” by winning world titles in multiple weight divisions.

Edwards is willing to settle his long-standing feud with 25-0 Yafai, who holds the WBA super-flyweight world title, although he has questioned whether the Birmingham man is willing to accept the fight.

“He’s on the radar, 100 per cent,” said Edwards. “It could be next, because I would have it next, but I know he won’t, so it probably won’t be next.

“I don’t think he wants to entertain me at all. He made that pretty clear during the year when I was trying to call for the fight.

“I’m focusing on my own path. These big fights will come now I have a world title and when they do I’ll be ready. I’m ready now to fight anyone and everyone. I’m ready to build a legacy, and have proper fights. To become a British great I’ll have to win world titles at multiple weights, and that’s exactly what I’ll do.

“When I moved down to flyweight, I stated to Eddie [Hearn, promoter], I’m ready for anyone and everyone, and that’s why he gave me the number one flyweight in the division, and I went and did the performance that I did, and now I’m the number one.

“I know I possess the self-belief and skill to become a world champion in the super-flyweight division.”

Edwards’ mum Terry has battled cancer and brain disease in the last four years.

He had made a promise to her that he would win a world title – but his first attempt saw him stopped by John Riel Casimiro for the IBF flyweight title in 2016.

And Edwards, who made it second time lucky with a comprehensive points victory over Rosales, says that Terry’s struggles have helped motivate him.

“This is my destiny,” said Edwards. “Maybe this had to happen to get me to push, to dedicate my life – if anything, to escape reality.

“When I’m in the gym and boxing I escape whatever is outside and what my mum is going through – all the pain and the pain it has caused the family.

“I had to put my energy somewhere. I could’ve fallen off or been in a very dark and bad place – turned to the wrong things. But I drove all that energy, albeit negative energy, I chose to drive it into my career.

“It is still so sad. But if it wasn’t for her, I know I wouldn’t be so driven. She’s a real fighter – my job is easy. She has fought through three major head operations and she’s still going. That proves that anything is possible in this world – it’s all to do with your mindset.

“I made a promise to my mum before the Casimiro fight that I would bring a world title back to her.

When it didn’t happen I didn’t know how long my mum would actually have left at that time. I don’t know how long she is going to be here now.

“So to be able to win it was a dream come true. It was priceless.”

The show is being screened live on Sky Sports.

PICTURES/COPYRIGHT: MARK ROBINSON PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

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