“There’s something beautiful and brutal about training to just have a physical one on one fight with someone and being declared the winner. I think it’s sick.”

IBF flyweight ruler Sunny ‘Showtime’ Edwards is set to take Dubai by storm as he faces his mandatory challenger Jayson Mama in what will be the first show for promotional newcomers Probellum this weekend.

“This is a serious fight,” the 25-year-old stated. “I’m working on a game-plan, getting myself in the best shape, best condition, best mental state, which I’m always in. I’m very confident, but making sure I’m all good to go.

“Control the controllables, and leave the rest to the universe, and what will be, will be. But I’m very confident. I love fighting. 

“He’s [Mama] done his hard work to get the mandatory position. He looks strong, he looks powerful, he looks quite explosive. He looks quite composed as well. He’s a dangerous fighter.”

The undefeated Filipino was set to face Edwards in September which got put on hold after the champion suffered an ankle injury.

Backing down from a challenge for Edwards is not an option as he joked, “I just don’t like pulling out. Probably why I’ve got two kids.”

The show must go on, now in the Coca-Cola Arena, where Sunny shares the card with his brother Charlie’s former foe and conqueror John Riel Casimero.

Edwards won his IBF flyweight title with an impressive showing against Mthalane.
Image: Queensberry Promotions.

Rewind to April 2021, Sunny captured the gold against Moruti Mthalane. The South African was just the latest in a long line of victims for the Brit. Edwards speaks of his resume with great pride. 

“I’ve got that confidence when I step into the ring that I’m here for good reason, because every time, I’ve passed gut checks I didn’t need to. 

“I never needed to fight Thomas Essomba when I fought him. What did I need to fight him for? Good fighter just come off the back of two good wins. What did I need to fight him for? Ryan Farrag, what did I need to fight him for at that time? I was getting on my little momentum and if that went wrong, that could have been curtains. 

“There’s a lot of times I didn’t need to fight people.”

Tough times make tough people. Edwards has gone through tough times over the duration of his professional career outside of the ropes as much, if not more, than inside them.

Sunny’s mother has battled cancer and suffered a bleed on the brain which led Sunny and his family to say goodbye to her on numerous occasions. However, like her two sons, she is a champion fighter.

“The hardest part is, really, is just the times when something reminds you, or you see something else from someone else’s, and you’re not quite as lucky as them in your current situation. But all I do to bring myself back out of that is remind myself of other people’s situations that I know very well that aren’t as lucky as mine. 

“So yeah, okay, my mum is the way she is, but then she’s been there seven years, since I was 18. But for 18 years, I had a woman that loved, doted, done everything for me. 

“So I can complain all I want, but there’s a lot, lot worse out there. There’s people I know that don’t know their mum, people that lost their mum young, through whatever. Seen people’s mum leave them and never care about them again. So I never had any of that. I never had that trauma.”

Edwards could feel resentment for his experiences but instead he looks at it as the circle of life. 

“If everything goes to plan, we lose them before they lose us. And if everything goes to plan, my sons will lose me before I lose them. Do you know what I mean? And that’s how I hope it goes, every single time. That’s the circle of life. We don’t want us to lose the loved ones below us, because that’s when real heartbreak happens.”

Edwards may only be 25 but he has a mature head on his shoulders way beyond his years. The IBF flyweight champion is already pondering his future beyond fighting.

“After boxing, I want to take all my knowledge, my experience into the coaching and managing side of things, punditry, commentating, whatever I can do, because I don’t want to do anything else but boxing. 

“I don’t want to be famous, I don’t want to walk through a shopping centre and have loads of people stop me. I don’t like being centre of attention. I just want to be known for boxing, in the boxing worlds, in boxing circles, do you know what I mean?

“I’m doing the thing I feel like I’m made to do, and long may it continue for a long time. I want to be a pro still here knocking about, and giving the young up and comers some hard rounds when I’m 38, 40. Do you know what I mean?”

First, the mandated Filipino stands in his way, hungry to snatch away the gold from around Sunny’s waist. 

“I’ll find out when I get in the ring [if he poses any threats I’ve not faced before]. He might have some cosmic timing that I’ve never seen before, and I can’t keep him off of me. Or he might have the best footwork, but it just didn’t look that good, and all of a sudden his rhythms catch… I just don’t know until I get in there. 

“I don’t watch all too much of the opponent. I watch about a minute of him. I put up any of their fight, usually one of the recent ones, the better win, the best win, knockout or something. Don’t even watch to the knockouts most of the time. I’ll just watch first round, or maybe just skip three rounds in. Let’s have a little watch of their body language, their rhythm when they’re letting their shots off, and then that’s it, that’s me done. I’ll find out what I need to know about him in the first half of the fight. 

“Usually, because they’re trying to work me out, they’re not even doing what they need to do, they’re not doing their style, because they’re still busy trying to work me out. And in the second half of the fight, their style comes into it. And then I’m already up. So I don’t know, we’ll see. We’ll see.”