Charlie Edwards believes the experience of his world-title-fight loss to John Riel Casimero has steeled him for future success as he targets a shot at English rival Kal Yafai’s WBA belt.
MTK Global-backed Edwards (11-1, 4KOs) lost out to Filipino two-weight world champion Casimero in just his ninth professional bout just under a year-and-a-half ago.
Having since rebounded to claim the British super-flyweight title, the Surrey native is targeting his fourth victory on the bounce when he meets Ricky Little on the undercard of Matchroom’s ‘British Beef’ cruiserweight clash between MTK Global’s Isaac Chamberlain and Lawrence Okolie on Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena.
And the 24-year-old believes the experience gained his sole defeat has him well primed to mount another world-title challenge as he eyes a future fight against Birmingham’s WBA world champion Yafai.
“That fight made me a different fighter,” said Edwards. “It changed me as a person and it made me re-evaluate things and made me see what I needed to be like.
“I can only take that as a positive because it’s given me the confidence in the ring that I need to get in with anyone.
“I’ve mixed it with a two-weight, legit world champion and it’s done me the world of good. I’ve come on in leaps and bounds since then and I can’t wait to step up to that level again.
“I want the Kal Yafai fight and I’m going to be gunning for it more and more because it’s a fight that Adam [Booth, trainer] and everyone at MTK believe I can win.
“I know I can beat him on my day so I just need to get that opportunity,” added the British champion, who will take on Southampton’s Little – a late replacement opponent – in the English capital this weekend.
“It’s a late replacement for the opponent, but I’m ready to perform and I’m in great shape so I just can’t wait to get in there and fight now,” said Edwards. “This is a World Cup final for this guy [Little] and he’s going to come and try to cause an upset.
“That will play right into my hands and I know what to expect here. I’m just looking for a clean, clinical performance and I’ll move on. I’ll go in there and work on things and enjoy myself,” continued the Surrey native, who is training alongside a number of talented fighters at Adam Booth’s gym including former world amateur champion and MTK Global stablemate Michael Conlan in addition to world bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett.
“The gym is buzzing at the minute,” said Edwards. “Michael Conlan has just come in and we’re all learning off each other.
“I’m like a sponge, I like to soak in all the experience and keep learning day by day. I’ve mixed with Ryan Burnett a lot in the gym over the past year or so and I think that will show in my performance on Saturday.
“The gym is booming with talent and we’re all on the same level. Champions make champions and to be in that gym and learn even when you’re just watching the others is great, the gym is buzzing.”
BENSALEM, PA—John Joe Nevin, who won a silver medal for Ireland in the 2012 Olympics, returns to Philadelphia for the second time when he boxes four- time Canadian national amateur champion Alex Torres Rynn in the scheduled eight-round lightweight semifinal on Friday, March 9, as part of Xcite Fight Night at Parx Casino.
The seven-bout card is headlined by junior lightweights Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, and Jesus Serrano, of Nogales, Mexico, also scheduled for right rounds.
Nevin, 28, of Mullingar, Ireland, has compiled his record (9-0, 4 K0s) in eight different cities: Boston, MA; Winston-Salem, NC; Dublin, Ireland; Brooklyn, NY (twice); Springfield, VA; Hammond, IN; London, England, and Philadelphia.
Rynn, 31, a Mexican native residing in Calgary, Canada, is 6-0, 4 K0s, and will be fighting for the first time in the United States. He has boxed four times in Canada, twice in Mexico.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to fight at Parx Casino,” Nevin said. “Philly has been my second home where and we always get a great Irish following. We expect a great atmosphere and a great fight. This guy is talking trash already. We have two unbeaten fighters but I intend to ruin his record. This will be a great show to kick off St. Patrick’s season. I appreciate Joe Hand Promotions giving us the opportunity to bring out the Irish and fight on the fight Parx show.”
When Nevin fought in Philadelphia in August, 2016, he was well-received by the crowd. With Bensalem just a short distance away from where he stays, another great turnout is expected from the Irishman’s fan base the week before St. Patrick’s Day.
As for Rynn, he is not worried about fighting Nevin on the road.
“I’m excited to fight in the historic fighting city of Philadelphia,” Rynn said. “Don’t be surprised if my fight with John Joe is the Fight of the Night. And don’t be surprised if he tastes the canvas.”
The undercard is packed with local talent: Lightweight Jerome Conquest; junior middleweight Isaiah Wise; welterweight Marcel Rivers; junior welterweight Nahir Albright; lightweight Gerardo Martinez.
Manchester middleweight Ben Sheedy has signed a management deal with MTK Global ahead of an anticipated return to the ring in March.
The popular Sale native has penned terms with MTK as he looks to build towards title contention later this year.
Training under Ensley Bingham at Champs Camp Gym, Sheedy has built an undefeated 8-0-1 (4KOs) record, drawing his most recent outing against South African Barend van Rooyen last November.
And the 28-year-old is likely to have his first bout as an MTK fighter next month.
“I’m thrilled to be joining MTK and to be part of a stable with such quality boxers,” said Sheedy. “I believe MTK are the right people to have in my corner and guide me in my career.
“I’m reassured to know that I’m in such experienced and specialist hands with former Irish and British champion Matthew Macklin as the founder and I feel privileged to be signing with them.
“I just can’t wait to get back in the ring now and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting a fight sorted for late March.”
A bricklayer by trade, Sheedy is confident that his link-up with MTK will eventually allow him to concentrate full-time on boxing and the Sale fighter hopes his new deal will set him on a path to follow in the footsteps of some of Manchester’s biggest names.
“My ambition is to climb the British rankings the traditional way and become British champion before hopefully going on to world level,” said Sheedy.
“Ricky Hatton and Anthony Crolla are two of my boxing idols and I want to try to replicate what they achieved in terms of winning over the people of Manchester.
“They both influenced my style in certain ways, but I also love how popular they are with all of the people. I’ve already got a good local support, but both Hatton and Crolla had a huge following, filling the Manchester Arena and it’s my dream to do that too.”
MTK Global Director of International Operations Paul Gibson is delighted to have recruited a promising fighter with a strong local fan base.
“Ben’s an exciting fighter with huge support in and around Manchester. We’re delighted to welcome him to the MTK Global team and we should see him back in the ring towards the end of next month," said Gibson.
“He’s hoping to kick on towards title shots soon, so we’ll be looking to push him towards area and national titles in the coming months.”
GH3 Promotions is pleased to announce the signing of 19-year-old lightweight prospect Joel Flores.
Flores, of Passaic, New Jersey, is set to make his pro debut this Friday night when he takes on Charles Johnson (0-0-1) in a four-round bout on the non-television portion of ShoBox: The New Generation at the Winnavegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa.
Flores, who has two older cousins who were boxers, became interested in the sport after seeing "Rocky" when he was 6 years old.
Flores went 45-6 as an amateur and won the New Jersey Diamond Gloves.
"It feels surreal to be turning professional," said Flores. "I have been dreaming about this, and this is finally happening."
Flores has patterned his style after Miguel Cotto. His favorite weapon is a body shot.
Flores sees each fight as a step closer to providing a better his life for not only him, but also his mother.
"I live with my mother in the projects of Passaic. It's not a good neighborhood, and my goal is to get her out of there and buy her a house."
Flores is trained by James Mouzone and former middleweight contender Ossie Duran. He is managed by Pete Festa.
Said GH3 Promotions Vito Mielnicki, "Joel is a very good prospect with an exciting style. I have known about him for a while being that he is from North Jersey. I look forward to his pro debut on Friday night, and I have high hopes for him in the future."