Sunny Edwards hoped to face a fellow titleholder for his next fight.
The alternative isn’t quite so bad—an attractive showdown with a former titlist in a hometown title defense.
BoxingScene.com has learned that a deal was reached for Edwards to next defend his IBF flyweight title against mandatory challenger Felix Alvarado. The bout will take place on November 11 at a yet-to-be determined venue in London, as the two sides have come to terms well within the 30-day deadline from when the matchup was formally ordered earlier this month.
The development confirms a breaking news report from Levi Luna of TN8 TV (Toda Nicaragua) revealing that a deal was reached for what figures to be a classic boxer versus puncher matchup.
Edwards (18-0, 4KOs) will make the third defense of the IBF title he claimed last April 30 at York Hall in Bethnal Green, roughly an hour northeast of his Croydon hometown. Each of his two title defenses have taken place in Dubai, outpointing undefeated mandatory challenger Jayson Mama last December 11 and former title challenger Muhammad Waseem on March 19 in his most recent performance.
For his next adventure, the 26-year-old South Londoner sought a unificati0n bout with reigning WBC titlist Julio Cesar Martinez (18-2, 14KOs; 2NC), and was prepared to travel to Mexico if necessary for the fight. The two sides tentatively agreed to terms back in July, with a targeted fight date of October 22 in play either in Mexico or England. However, Edwards’ side never received a fight contract from Matchroom Boxing, Martinez’s co-promoter. The IBF gave the matter until September 7 before moving forward with its plans to call for a mandatory title defense.
Nicaragua’s Alvarado (38-2, 33KOs) previously held the IBF junior flyweight title for more than three years, dating back to his October 2018 knockout win over Randy Petalcorin on the road in Pasay City, Philippines. His title reign was slowed by the pandemic, injuries and opponent withdrawals, just making two title defenses along with taking a late non-title fight last August 14 in Frisco, Texas, on the same show as twin brother Rene who failed to regain his WBA junior lightweight title in a second straight defeat to Roger Gutierrez.
The twins also shared a card last January 2, with Felix stopping Deejay Kriel in the tenth round of a title defense while Rene lost his belt to Gutierrez in their thrilling twelve-round affair.
Alvarado’s own inability to secure unification bouts led to his vacating the IBF 108-pound title earlier this year. The move was made in exchange for a favorable flyweight ranking as to immediately enter a title fight. One fight has thus far come of his 2022 campaign, a fourth-round knockout of Luis Cerrito Hernandez on May 21 at home in Managua, Nicaragua. He was due to take a stay busy bout earlier this month in Miami but was pulled once the title fight was put into play.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox