Sunny Edwards: I have the intention to hurt Muhammad Waseem – bust him up
Fleet-footed slickster Sunny Edwards will put his IBF flyweight title on the line for the second time when he faces Muhammad Waseem at the Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai on Saturday.
Edwards, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at 112 pounds, has his habitual air of confidence heading into this fight.
“I sparred Waseem eight rounds,” Edwards (17-0, 4 knockouts) told The Ring. “I wasn’t taking boxing too seriously at that point. When I sparred him, I wasn’t 70-percent of what I am now. I’ve developed and matured. My confidence, my approach, the [seriousness with which] I take fights, how I diet, everything is different.”
Edwards drove the four hours from his Sheffield base to Glasgow for the session.
“I jumped straight into a boxing ring and handed him his arse,” he said, pulling no punches. “All the onlookers including his coach, Danny Vaughan, pulled me aside a few days later and said I gave them goose bumps with what I can do in a boxing ring.
“I’ve walked into conversations other fighters have had with my brother, saying they’ve seen Waseem do hundreds of rounds and not once have they seen anyone batter him like I battered him. In a 14-foot ring, with a metal bar in front of his face, I punched his head all over the place. I’ve got a lot of confidence from that. I pieced him up.”
The 26-year-old had hoped to face WBC counterpart Julio Cesar Martinez, but that was put on ice when the Mexican stepped up to junior bantamweight for an unsuccessful challenge against the legendary “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.
Edwards’ team moved quickly and secured a fight with Waseem, and previous discord between the two has given him an extra edge.
“I envision stopping this kid, I believe I can, and have the intention to hurt him – bust him up,” said Edwards ominously. “He said he’d beat me and my brother on the same night.
“All this being said, he turned the fight down twice. I’m glad, because a week before I accepted the [IBF flyweight title fight against] Moruti [Mthalane], I accepted the Waseem fight. I’m getting over five times the amount for what I would have boxed him for then.”
All going well, Edwards reaffirmed that his intentions to push ahead with a unification fight against Martinez.
“I don’t think there’s another lucrative fight like me for Martinez as a flyweight,” he said. “The buildup, with him beating three or four British fighters, a lot of people know him on these shores, history with my brother.
“They don’t want the fight. One thing Eddie [Hearn] can’t stomach is me going over there, robbing the bank with the belts, and smiling my little goofy teeth all the way back to the hole I came from.”
Waseem turned professional in 2015. The Pakistani-born fighter moved quickly and turned back the challenge of the-then unbeaten Giemel Magramo (UD 12).
In just his eighth outing, he narrowly lost to Mthalane (UD 12) for the vacant IBF 112-pound title. Since then, the 34-year-old has won four fights to take his record to 12-1 (8 KOs).
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