By Shaun Brown

THE career of Charlie Edwards is now in his own hands having parted ways with former trainer and manager Joe Gallagher.

Edwards joined Gallagher’s gym in September 2021 and beat both Jacob Barreto and Darwing Martinez with Gallagher by his side. However, the 30-year-old has has still fought only three times since defending his WBC flyweight strap against Julio Cesar Martinez in August 2019.

Edwards was in Sheffield this week at the Steel City Gym, where he once trained under Grant Smith, to help younger brother Sunny with some sparring ahead of his fight against Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez on December 16 in Glendale, Arizona.

Speaking to Boxing News, Charlie says he plans to assemble a new band of troops to help his career and turn his home in Portugal into a training base. It will, he says, be called “Eagles Nest”.

“It’s got a Big Bear feel to it,” he explained. “My idea is to build my own team and own camp. I’m fed up being amongst a gym full of people and getting no time. So, I know the next stage of my career I have to build my own squad.”

Now a free agent Edwards, 18-1 (7), is looking to rebuild relationships with those he has worked with in the past, including promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren. With the Edwards brothers back on good terms, the bantamweight contender is in a positive place and insists he won’t be rushed into appointing his next cornerman after the split from Gallagher.

Edwards says there were some names in the frame, and one would have been needed if a fight with rival Kal Yafai had come to fruition.

“I got offered to fight Kal Yafai on six and a half weeks’ notice,” he said. “I went straight back and said, ‘Yeah.’ I didn’t even ask for the money. I’m not going to price myself out of anything. I know this is my golden ticket. I know what I’ll do to Kal and I’m fully confident. At six and a half weeks out I accepted the fight, trainer-less. I know if something were to come up, I’m only going to get offered that sort of time because I’m a threat. I’m high risk, low reward right now.

“It was the right opportunity to take Kal and I fully believe I will knock him out and end his career. I believe that is why he ain’t taking the fight.”

Recently it was announced Yafai, 27-1 (15), would feature on a November 18 Matchroom USA card in Inglewood, California against Jonathan Rodriguez, 16-1-1 (6). The former WBA super-flyweight belt holder has only ever lost to the great Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and, like Edwards, is looking to establish himself at bantamweight and win another world belt.

Edwards is keen to get his hands on Yafai after a long-running rivalry that now sees both men in the latter stages of their careers.

“After this fight there’s no way he can go anywhere else. I’m the only fight.”