THERE have been few more emotional scenes in the last year than Charlie Edwards winning a world title. At the O2 on Saturday (December 22) he outpointed strong Nicaraguan Cristopher Rosales. Charlie’s mother has been gravely ill and with tears in his eyes he dedicated the belt to her.
“I’ve dreamed about this from a young age. I give my sport absolutely everything, even through the ups and downs I never stopped believing,” Edwards said. “It really hurt when she [his mother] went through what she went through. I always promised her the belt. Even in the last world title fight [in 2016] and when I got beat in that, that broke me more than anything. But this time I just knew I was coming of age. It was a proud moment.”
Edwards boxed well. “I did feel comfortable in there. I thought he would punch a lot harder,” he said. “I think I gained his respect very quickly early on with a few shots but he was a very, very tough man and I did hit him with some good shots and he just kept coming. The main thing was sticking to the gameplan.
“I thought I was controlling the rounds, although he was coming forward, I think I was making him miss quite wide which made him look out of control and I was popping him with the single shots we had in the gameplan. We didn’t want stand there with ‘you hit me, I hit you’ type of thing because he’s a strong fighter. You seen what he’s done in career.”
“I could feel that I was winning rounds,” he continued. “But he’s a dangerous man and I couldn’t take my eye off the ball for one second.”
A bad cut on his forehead didn’t manage to disrupt Edwards. “I did know what it was like to be cut,” Edwards said. “As soon as the cut went I just zoned in. To be honest it made me concentrate more.
“It might have been a blessing in disguise and made me really focus.”
His trainer Grant Smith was hugely important to the result. “I feel he’s changed me,” he said. “He’s turned me into an absolute different fighter. Most of all I feel loved and when a fighter’s loved and gets cherished it makes the partnership that much better.”