In conversation with Boxing Social, promoter Frank Warren has hailed his latest world champion Sunny Edwards for his “textbook” performance in dethroning IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane last week at York Hall.
Edwards (now 16-0, with 4 KOs) produced a near-perfect performance against South Africa’s Mthalane (now 39-3, 26 KOs), who had not lost a fight since 2008 and was regarded by most as the top 112lb-er in the world.
After 12 rounds of dazzling boxing skill, the 25-year-old from Croydon, south London was unanimously awarded the decision on the scorecards – with scores of 120-108 and 118-111 from Bob Williams and Steve Gray respectively, arguably a more realistic appraisal of proceedings than the 115-113 card handed in by Ian John Lewis.
“I’ve got to be honest, I scored it a shut-out,” Warren told Boxing Social, as he reflected on the 339th world title fight of his long and distinguished promoting career. “For me scoring a round is about who’s landing the most proper punches and that’s what Sunny was doing.
“I thought it would be a much more difficult fight than it was. But Sunny made it easy. He set the tempo and from then on he dictated the fight. He was frustrating the life out of Mthalane. It was a case of what you can’t see, you can’t hit and that’s what he was doing to Mthalane all night.
“It was a textbook boxing performance in the art of hitting and not getting hit. It was a brilliant performance against the number one rated flyweight in the world.
“Sunny did an absolute job on him, it was a schooling. When you look at the experience that Mthalane had and the people he’d been in with and beaten, it was a magnificent performance.”
Edwards’ performance was so accomplished that it reminded this writer of one of the great ‘pure boxing’ performances by a Warren fighter of days gone by – namely Naseem Hamed against Vincenzo Belcastro for the European bantamweight title in 1994.
“Yes, Hamed boxed beautifully that night,” Warren reflected. “Sunny was fighting for a world title, of course, and that night Hamed was fighting for the European, although Belcastro did go on to fight for a world title afterwards [losing by split decision to Harold Grey for the IBF super-fly title just seven months after Hamed humbled him].”
Like Hamed, who reigned as a world champion for nearly six years, Warren believes that Edwards has the talent to stay at the top for an extended period.
“I think he’s going to reign for quite a while. The flyweight division is a very good and lively division but after that performance I think he could fight anyone and I think he’s got the beating of all of them, [Julio Cesar] Martinez [who fought a no contest with Sunny’s brother Charlie for the WBC title in 2019], whoever.
“He’s beaten the best already and the experience of that fight will bring him on a bundle, too. Remember he’s still a young man. The maturity he showed was incredible, and let’s not forget he went in as a big underdog.
“I like dealing with Sunny. He’s humble but he’s also very confident at the same time and has a lot of self-belief. He’s really good to work with. Something I like about him is that he’s a real student of boxing, he really loves the sport and knows boxing.”
Photo: Queensberry Promotions.