SUNNY EDWARDS remains intent on securing a fight against Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez knowing what a win would do for himself and his legacy in the sport.
The 27-year-old is one of British boxing’s mavericks and is rightly in the debate for being the best fighter in the UK and the best flyweight in the world.
On June 10 Edwards fought for the 20th time in his professional career which started in Spain against Sergey Tasimov seven years ago. The latest triumph came against Chilean Andres Campos. Another 12 rounds ticked off for Edwards and the fourth defence of his IBF belt as well. It was also the first fight for Edwards under Matchroom Boxing having signed with them at the end of March. Promoter Eddie Hearn also works with Rodriguez and has been vocal about turning four belt holders into one for the 112lbs division.
Prior to the Campos fight Edwards described his opponent as a “beaten man” at the final pre-fight press conference. The Brit was referring to their fiery face-off the day before when Edwards decided to get up close and push the buttons of Campos. On fight night at Wembley Arena it was a case of job done and on to the next.
“I think it kinda went as I thought it would,” Edwards said when speaking to Boxing News on Tuesday.
“I knew he was a dangerous and ambitious young fighter, but I did genuinely believe I always had too much for him. I feel like I put myself in situations and positions more out of sport and practicing rather than every part of me wanting to win. I felt like that was already sort of guaranteed. So, I got in there to work on and learn a few bits.”
Rodriguez is unquestionably the fight he wants next and over a week ago it was reported that Eddie Hearn was confident that the unification could be signed off in the next two weeks.
“Really aggressively trying to make one of the big-name fights,” Edwards said regarding what’s next.
“Probably the most realistic is Bam Rodriguez. We are in talks but so far some of the demands their team is making is ridiculous. I’m already willing to go to anywhere they want me to. They’re being difficult over little girly things but hopefully that gets rectified. I’m ready for the fight. I don’t need every little bit advantage. They’re looking for ways out of the fight, for angles out of the fight. Stop trying to get a little one per cent, two per cent advantage. It’s pathetic.”
Edwards v Rodriguez will likely take place in America, a country which has always been a constant ambition for British fighters to fight in. Years and years of lows have been met with the occasional high for the men and women from Blighty. Edwards would likely shake a few trees during his time there and his confidence and personality may even evoke memories of Prince Naseem Hamed who fought there between 1997 and 2001.
Rodriguez is seen by many as a pound-for-pound talent, maybe even a generational one. A fractured jaw didn’t stop the Texan-born southpaw from out-pointing Cristian Gonzalez Hernandez last time out. That win gave him the WBO’s flyweight belt after an outstanding breakout year in 2022 at super-flyweight.
Fighting in America excites Edwards. His character is one that would thrive on such a big stage and make the most out of being the English villain who wants to make and example out of Rodriguez.
“There’s still ways to go before the fight is made but I’ve been willing to travel, I’ve always been willing to travel,” he said.
“I’m world champion. I want to travel the world defending and fighting the best in the world.
“Obviously conquering America and having that chapter of my career is obviously something on every British boxing bucket list. The size of the event, the platform, the profile, what the win would do for me and my legacy, my family name it’s 100 per cent the fight that I want.
“If I’m honest I feel that I’ve faced multiple fighters that are more scarier than a Bam Rodriguez. I genuinely believe that. I feel like a lot of people that have really watched boxing attentively as I have over the last decade or so would probably agree with that as well.”