BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlie Edwards has been warned by Julio Cesar Martinez that he is on a knockout mission when the pair collide at Greenwich’s 02 Arena at the end of this month.
Croydon’s Edwards is set to make the second defence of his WBC world flyweight title.
He outpointed Cristofer Rosales in December 2018 to win the belt with a unanimous points decision – then went the distance again in gaining a wide verdict over Angel Moreno in March.
Martinez is a mandatory defence and underlined his threat by halting Andrew Selby in five rounds on home turf in March – serving as a final eliminator for a crack at the South London man’s belt.
Edwards’ promoter Eddie Hearn won the purse bid for the contest and the challenger, 24, has been forced to travel. The bout is chief support to unified lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko’s defence against Luke Campbell.
Martinez, nicknamed El Rey, lost his debut in October 2015 but has won 14 on the bounce since – 11 of those by knockout.
In inflicting a first career loss on Selby, it means no opponent has gone more than six rounds with him since June 2017. Martinez expects stylist Edwards (15-1) to try and use his movement and skills.
“He will use his legs a lot -hit and box,” said the Mexico City-born fighter. “The strategy is defined and I am now ready.
“We have seen that he does not have a lot of power in his punch. He is tall, he is eight or 10 centimetres taller than me, but that doesn`t matter. During my career as an amateur and a professional I have faced much taller opponents and I have won. It’s not a tall order for me.
“He is a strong and hungry boxer – that’s why he is a champion. It will be a tough fight but we feel totally capable of winning and even getting a knockout.”
Croydon’s Joshua Buatsi defends his WBA international light-heavyweight title against Canadian Ryan Ford on the same 02 show.
Buatsi has streaked to 11-0 with nine early nights. Ford, who formerly competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) has never been stopped in 20 bouts. He won the WBC international silver belt last time out.
“He’s got some good experience against some top names,” said Buatsi. “He’s an ex-MMA fighter, so he’ll know how to handle himself.
“If I can become the first fighter to stop him then I’ll be very happy. As always, it’s about getting the win at all costs. I’m there to get the job done and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”