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Edner Cherry sees return to contendership beyond Rhodes

Fighters Network

The last time the boxing world saw Edner Cherry in the ring, he was on the wrong side of a disputed decision.

Cherry returns to action tonight, facing Haskell Rhodes at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The 10-round lightweight bout headlines a “Toe to Toe” broadcast that will air on Fox Sports 1, beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Cherry is coming off a 12-round split decision loss to junior lightweight titleholder Jose Pedraza on Oct. 3. Numerous media outlets at ringside felt Cherry did enough to defeat the unbeaten fighter from Puerto Rico.

Tonight, he squares off against Rhodes (23-1-1, 11 knockouts), who most recently lost to Sergey Lipinets on Oct. 30.

Cherry (34-7-2, 19 KOs) is focused on the task at hand against Rhodes.

“Nothing changes for me,” said Cherry, who has fought the likes of Tim Bradley , Stevie Johnston and Paul Malignaggi in a career that stretches back to 2001. “This is a great opportunity for me. I’ve fought on television before. There will be a lot more pressure on Rhodes.”

The loss to Pedraza snapped a streak of 11 fights without a loss (one of those fights was a no-contest against Eric Aiken in 2011) beginning after the Bradley fight, an unsuccessful challenge for the WBC 140-pound title.

Cherry, who is a stablemate of Keith Thurman in Central Florida and is originally from the Bahamas, is confident in his belief that he can return to title contention with a win over Rhodes.

“You have to believe in yourself. When people don’t believe in you, you still have to trust in yourself and stay focused.

“Tonight is an opening for me. I have to get past Rhodes and get that win so I could get back into title contention.”

Opening the broadcast tonight will be a 10-round junior lightweight bout between Omar Douglas (16-0, 11 KOs) and the hard-hitting Alexei Collado (19-1, 17 KOs).

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper,, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing.

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