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Charlie Edwards: ‘Cheaters never prosper’

Charlie Edwards clings on to WBC flyweight title after bout with Julio Martinez is ruled a no contest. John Dennen reports from the O2
Charlie Edwards
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Greenwich • August 31

IT’S rare for a fight to break the hearts of both boxers. Charlie Edwards thought his world championship reign was over, only for an extraordinary intervention from WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to restore their belt to him.

Edwards began brightly, when he took on Mexico’s strong Julio Cesar Martinez on the undercard of Vasyl Lomachenko vs Luke Campbell at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday (August 31).  The Croydon man, in his second defence of the WBC flyweight world title, won the opening two rounds. He worked his jab from the outside, piercing Martinez’s guard with his lead. Edwards, at first, fielded Martinez’s attacks and clipped him with crisp counters. He fired in a straight cross, moving deftly on the balls of his feet.

But Martinez badly hurt him in the third round. His attack burst through Charlie’s defences. The Mexican saw his success and maintained a relentless salvo of punches. Edwards held his feet, pressed his gloves to head to cover up. But he was in trouble. Martinez hit the body with hooks, his left hacked apart Edwards’ guard, crunching through into his head. A left hook to the body dropped the Briton to his knee, only for Martinez to wait a beat before helping himself to another shot. Edwards rolled away from the body blow, as referee Mark Lyson counted him out.