Dalton Smith expects Sunny Edwards to prove he has moved on from the disappointment of his first defeat when he fights Adrian Curiel on June 29.

The 28-year-old Edwards lost for the first time when in December he was stopped by Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez in what represented a largely one-sided fight, for the IBF and WBO flyweight titles.

Edwards and Rodriguez were previously recognised as the world’s finest at 112lbs, but Rodriguez has since agreed to move to super flyweight to challenge the WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada on the same night that Edwards returns against Curiel, 25 and of Mexico, and he can therefore re-establish himself as his division’s number one.

Smith’s trainer and father Grant continues to train Edwards, who was recently seen in the corner of his brother Charlie during Charlie’s victory in April over Georges Ory, and therefore has regularly seen him at their Sheffield-based gym. 

Sunny Edwards’ self-belief has long unquestionably represented one of his greatest strengths, potentially making the nature of his defeat by Rodriguez particularly significant, but asked if he had seen any changes in his stablemate since then, Dalton Smith responded: “Not one little bit. He believes in himself, and so he should. He’s a competitive fighter. That’s what happens at the top level, when you’re boxing against, pound for pound, the best fighters. 

“I believe Sunny will be back up there – he’s still one of the best in the world. It’s all about proving that to the people now.

“Even though he let his body rest he was still in the gym. We didn’t have to miss him too much. He was straight back in, and he’s in Tenerife at the minute with my dad, finishing off his camp. His spirits are high and he’s ready to get back in there.

“[While resting he was] annoying us all. Sunny being Sunny. He’s always there, good support, and he’s part of the family; part of the gym. I’m just excited to see him back.”

Curiel lost the IBF light-flyweight title to Sivenathi Nontshinga in February, having previously stopped the same opponent, and Smith said ahead of the fight at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona: “I’m expecting a big performance from Sunny. He’s been looking on fire in the gym, and he don’t shy away from nothing. 

“He’s straight back in there with a hard fight – back in Arizona again on ‘Bam’s’ undercard. I’m looking forward to it. It’s nice to see my stablemate get right up there with the top, and I’m expecting a big performance from Sunny. 

“A big performance next, in Arizona, and he’ll push on for another world title.”