Edwards Defends IBF Title Against Waseem in Dubai

IBF Flyweight champion Sunny Edwards will once again be the feature attraction in Dubai, this time on March 19th when he defends his world title against Muhammad Waseem at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Arena on the latest offering from new promotional outfit Probellum.

Edwards, now 17-0, with 4KO’s, claimed the title in excellent fashion last April, as he outpointed long standing champion Moruti Mthalane in London, before going on to defend his belt against mandatory challenger Jayson Mama in Dubai, again by unanimous decision.

26-year-old “Showtime” has impressed with his performances inside the ring and in Waseem, he will face a man who he is all too familiar with, as the pair have shared verbal barbs on social media. Now the pair will get the chance to mix it up in person in March.

Edwards told Boxing Social: “This is the third time I’ve accepted the fight but the other two times he has said no but now he wants it as there is a world title on the line. I actually accepted a fight with him, before I accepted the fight with Moruti, then a week later it was off and I was in with Moruti. 

“He has said a few things online and a few things privately but never in person though, as he is always very respectful in person, which I will reciprocate as I’m someone who will match the others person’s energy. I get what he has been trying to do, as he’s trying to eat, take what I’ve got and earn his opportunity and bait it out of me. 

“He probably realised what level of fighter I am and where I was going to be heading, so maybe after a bit of a back-and-forth it will be easier for me. It’s a fight a lot of people will have me as the favourite and it’s one I’m looking forward too, as there has been a bit of needle and his coach also once trained me for about three and a half weeks.”

Waseem, 12-1, with 8KO’s, will be getting his second tilt at a world belt, following a loss to Mthalane in 2018. Since that defeat, he has fought primarily in Dubai and is riding a four-fight winning streak, which saw him claim the WBC’s silver strap back in November.

For Edwards, the added element of a meeting with Liverpool trainer, Danny Vaughan, who is Waseem’s trainer is one that intrigues him. Edwards revealed he was briefly trained by Vaughan and is surprised that the fight is actually taking place following his time at Vaughan’s gym.

Edwards added: “I like Danny Vaughan, his coach, but I’m surprised he has let one of his fighters fight me. We’ve seen it previously that he wouldn’t. At one point, I won’t mention names but people can track back if they want, but he had a super-flyweight coming up to world title level and I hadn’t made my debut yet but he wouldn’t let me spar him because he said he had bad confidence.

“From then, he wouldn’t let me fight Paddy Barnes or Ryan Farrag. Farrag left him and I was his next fight after that and he has turned me down twice for Waseem. Danny knows and he has seen what he I have done before. Hopefully there is a proper build up, with a press conference and workouts so I can get into Danny’s head a little bit more and making his face go bright red. I’m genuinely surprised Danny has taken this but then again there’s a world title on the line so that’s probably why.”

The card will be promoted by Probellum, who are the latest promotional outfit to be making strides in the boxing stratosphere. Edwards, was with Frank Warren, however he now looks to be signing on the dotted line with the Richard Schaefer led company.

Edwards explained: “One of the conditions of me signing for this fight is that I sign with Probellum. I’m getting paid very well. It’s the right move for me. I want to be the biggest flyweight to come out of this country. I want the biggest purses, to be in the biggest fights, have the biggest legacy and the biggest haul of belts.

“I want to cement myself over the next year, pick up a couple more world titles and the ring magazine belt which are all realistic goals, then I can sit at a level as the best flyweight, super-flyweight and be in all those fights. All the fighters coming through can bring their hype and then test themselves against me. There are loads of big fights all over the world and even in this country in the future.”