EDNER CHERRY has revealed he is glad to have dropped a unanimous decision to Timothy Bradley seven years ago as he prepares to challenge Jose Pedraza for his IBF world super-featherweight title on Saturday [October 3].
The 33-year-old failed in his attempt at Bradley’s WBC super-lightweight strap in what was one of Cherry’s few forays into that weight division.
The Florida-based Bahamian feels staying at 140lbs would have been dangerous for him and insists he is now at the perfect weight.
“Ever since my title loss to Timothy Bradley in 2008, I’ve pushed myself to get back into this position and to give myself the opportunity for a title shot at the right weight class. I’m finally in the right weight class for me,” he said.
“Bradley was the much bigger fighter when we fought [in 2008]. That was a mistake on our end. He just was the bigger guy, but I was in the ring with one of the best fighters in the world and I really learned from that fight.
“I tell people that I am so glad that I didn’t win that title against Bradley because, in my mind, I would’ve been fighting at 140, but that wasn’t my weight class. I would’ve been risking my life fighting at 140. I glad I didn’t win it, but I’m also glad I hung in there and got myself back into a big fight.”
Cherry will face Pedraza on the Adrien Broner-Khabib Allakhverdiev undercard and claims he is more than ready to finally become a world champion.
“This will be a very tough fight. We’ve been training hard and had a great camp,” he noted.
“I’m not taking anything away from him [Pedraza], he’s a tough fighter. He’s a champion for a reason. But on Saturday night I’m coming for that title, that’s my job.
“We trained for 12 hard rounds, but if the knockout comes, then I will be very excited. All I’m looking for is a very hard 12-round fight.”
Puerto Rico’s Pedraza, who won the vacant title in his last outing – a unanimous decision win over Andrey Klimov in June – holds a similar sentiment.
“We train hard all the time, we are in great shape and we prepare for every fight like the opponent is the champion,” he claimed.
“Edner Cherry is a very experienced fighter. He is a strong guy and good puncher.
“I am in great shape and I’m ready to fight 12 rounds.
“This could very well be the toughest fight of my career. He hasn’t lost in seven years. But we are very prepared, studied the fight well and are ready to go come Saturday.
“My youth will play a huge part in this fight. I’m much younger than him and, without a doubt, I will win this fight.”