By Jake Donovan
Julio Cesar Martinez has parlayed the best win of his career into his biggest fight to date.
The flyweight contender from Mexico will travel to jolly old England for his first career title fight, as he faces reigning titlist Charlie Edwards on August 31 at O2 Arena in London.
Once formally announced, the bout will serve in supporting capacity to the three-belt lightweight title unification clash between 2012 Olympic Gold medalists Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell.
The two sides reached an agreement in late June, avoiding a purse bid hearing. Martinez is the mandatory challenger to Edward’s World Boxing Council (WBC) flyweight title.
England’s Edwards (15-1, 6KOs) will attempt the second defense of the flyweight crown he claimed in a minor upset 12-round win over then division-best Cristofer Rosales last December, also at the O2 Arena.
More shocking than the win itself was the manner in which Edwards dominated the fight, which was his second attempt at a major belt. His first crack resulted in his lone loss, a 10th round stoppage of John Riel Casimero in Sept. 2016, just eight fights into his pro career.
Seven straight wins have followed, including a 12-round shutout of Spain’s Angel Moreno this past March at Copper Box Arena in Hackney Wick, England. The bout took place just hours before Edwards would learn of his next official challenger.
The night ended with a massive upset, as previously unbeaten Welsh contender Andrew Selby suffered a shocking 5th round knockout at the hands of Martinez (14-1, 11KOs).
Even with the fight taking place in his native Mexico, few expected Martinez to turn the trick in what was a huge leap in competition level. The 24-year old knockout artist came up aces, extending his win streak to 14 straight after losing his pro debut nearly four years ago.
With the title opportunity comes his first trip abroad, as the Mexico City native has fought exclusively in Mexico.
Confirmation of Edwards-Martinez follows news from earlier Wednesday of another major fight added to the bill, a heavyweight clash between former title challengers Hughie Fury and Alexander Povetkin.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox