Sunny Edwards gets his London homecoming in his title clash against Andres Campos
Fleet-footed Sunny Edwards will put his IBF flyweight title on the line for the fourth time when he faces Andres Campos on Saturday at Wembley Arena, London.
Edwards, The Ring’s No. 1 rated flyweight, is happy to be making his Matchroom debut having signed with the powerhouse promoter in April.
“It’s a voluntary defense, he was the best available, unbeaten fighter,” Edwards (19-0, 4 knockouts) told The Ring. “We had seven weeks; I didn’t have a lot of notice on this one. I was halfway on holiday to Portugal but I’ve never turned down fights and I don’t plan to make a habit on it now. My promoter, Eddie Hearn, offered me June 10 and like I’ve done the rest of my career, I gladly accepted.
“I think a few fighters were asked in preparation to try to make a quick fight and I think he was the first and only fighter that came back. They needed to be in the top 15 of the IBF rankings.”
The 27-year-old London-born fighter feels this is the perfect fight to showcase his skills in.
“My hometown homecoming. I had one in my adopted hometown of Sheffield and now my London homecoming,” he said. “Defending my world title there for the first time. I’m really looking forward to it, it’s a great opportunity on a great platform.
“I expect Campos to bring a threat, a challenge, he’s unbeaten ambitious young fighter and it’s my job to make sure he doesn’t.”
Although the Chilean challenger is largely an unknown commodity, Edwards hasn’t spent too much time trying to find out about his opponent. He prefers to leave that to them.
“I never really study my opponents too much, I let them baffle themselves trying to study me,” he admitted. “I focus on what I do and being reactive. I think I’m one of the best fighters in the world right now. I think I can adjust and adapt to any situation that’s in front of me. I watched a little bit, just to see how he moves.
“He’s been goading me out for a few years now, so now he’s got his wish.”
Edwards had hoped his first fight under the Matchroom banner would have been against one of the bigger names in the division such as promotional stablemates, WBC kingpin Julio Cesar Martinez or Jesse Rodriguez, who claimed the vacant WBO title in April.
However, past disappointments have stopped him looking too far ahead.
“It’s not worked out that way,” he said. “Until the first bell goes and I’m in the ring with one of these guys I want to fight, I’m not going to get my hopes up just yet. I might have a couple more fights if they don’t want to fight. So far getting willing opposition to jump in the ring has been the problem. It’s not changed. I’ve not had a formidable dance partner, yeah, there’s been some tough fighters. Moruti [Mthalane] and [Felix] Alvarado were probably very underappreciated for their actual body of work in the ring.
“There are the fighters out there that have their own reputations that they’re own marketability that they’re balancing a world title. Those fighters have always been very hard to get in the ring. Until a Bam Rodriguez or Martinez or any of the other fighters at the next weight or coming through the weights. I’m just waiting. My intentions have always been clear. I’m ready whenever.”
However, the talkative Brit, who also does commentary on DAZN shows, knows victory over Campos could and should lead to a unification next.
“That would be the best-case scenario for me. I want the biggest fights, I want the biggest threats and right now I would say Rodriguez is perceived as that, Martinez maybe secondly so at the weight,” he said pulling no-punches. “Again, it’s easy to call a man’s name in the ring when [Rodriguez] just broken your jaw, which you know will put you out for a while. They came down in weight and fought someone who has never been a world champion, wasn’t recognized as a name in the division for a vacant title when he could have come straight into the fight with me at the weight, he said he wanted to prove he was best. He’s already taken one step, who knows after the surgery/ recovery, I’m not sure that he’s had to go through, if he’s not going to want another fight or change weight again.”
Edwards has made three defenses in an 11-month period, besting Jayson Mama (UD 12), Muhammad Waseem (UD 12) and Felix Alvarado (UD 12). After a busy period, he wanted some down time, which coincided with former promoter Probellum going out of business.
“I had the New Year and Christmas off with my family and kids and straight back to work,” he said. “The transition was seamless, now I’m on the platform and position to really make noise about making these fights. I’ve won my fights convincingly. Everyone has known at the final bell, every time who’s won the fight.
“Campos is the next challenge and really the next fight should be unlocked, if not people are going to run out of excuses without looking really silly and an avoided fighter is an appreciated fighter.”
Campos (15-0, 4 KOs) endured a difficult start to life before finding boxing. The 26-year-old Chilean won five national titles and South American champion as an amateur. He has worked his way through the ranks claiming WBA and WBO regional titles notably besting former world title challengers Jesus Silvestre (UD 10) and Gilberto Pedroza (UD 10).
Both men enter this contest unbeaten. However, Edwards has operated at a significantly higher level and will be the heavy favorite, backed by home support. It’s difficult to see what Campos will be able to do to Edwards since he isn’t known as a big puncher.
Edwards-Campos will be broadcast on DAZN beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT. and in the U.K. at 7 p.m. GMT
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Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected].