Sunny Edwards doesn’t spend a lot of time researching his opponents, but that doesn’t mean he takes them lightly.
Edwards has his first defense of the IBF flyweight belt – which he won from Moruti Mthalane in April – when he faces Jayson Mama in Dubai on Saturday. The Filipino is unbeaten in 16 fights, equal to Edwards, but better known as a heavyweight. Edwards, however, he said most of what he needed to know about Mama would be learned in the ring.
“My scouting mission will be the first three rounds,” Edwards said. “I don’t like spending too much time researching videos of them versus other people, because they’ve never been in the ring with someone like me before.
“Maybe I can make this easy, maybe he’ll pull something out of me. If you go in and think you are above someone’s level, you are often proven that you are not.
“He has heavy arms, he likes to swing his legs and he just doesn’t seem to care what comes back, sometimes. He’s not like I hint, he brings war and heat.
“I have a lot more of my bowstring than I have shown so far. If you can give yourself the biggest chance of winning because every trade they have only one puncher’s chance, that’s what I would do..
“If there comes a point where I’m behind and have to make something happen, I’ve got it in me.”
Edwards, 25, had to face Mama at the Bronze Box in London in September, only because Edwards’ ankle injury forced him to postpone the game.
Moving the fight to Dubai, where it will headline Probellum’s first show, is how Edwards got his start back before Christmas.
“They struggled with dates,” Edwards said. “I was told about the dates in February and March, but Frank Warren and Probellum came together and figured something out.
“I have been training all year. I entered the new year knowing that I had a world championship title. And within five days, I was back in the gym. I thought ‘if my imperative is called, I must be ready’.
“I ran hundreds of laps, ran hundreds of miles. At the last minute, it called and I accommodated. I was making bags on an office chair and instead of running, I was cycling.
“I don’t want to train all year to have a battle.”
It also means that Edwards, an exercise rat, will be able to take Christmas off, which is something he promised himself he always will.
“I always say I’m going to fight any time, any time, except the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day because it’s my favorite week of the year,” Edwards said. “Because my birthday is January 1. Give me eight weeks and I’m ready to go.
“If I don’t fight for two to three weeks, I don’t really feel alive. It was the only thing that made the hairs on the back of one’s neck stand on end, that chess match. That’s all I’ve been doing since I was 9 years old.
“It’s ingrained in my DNA, I don’t know what I would do without it.”
Edwards made good on his previous promise when he beat Mthalane to claim the title, but he won’t deliver on it.
“All the supportive comments are great, but as someone told me very early in my career, you create hype, you don’t believe it,” he said.
“But it’s all just exaggeration. For everyone who says it’s an advanced class, someone says it’s only against an old man. ”
Edwards only flew to Dubai on Monday, cheered on his close friend Lyndon Arthur in his loss to Lyndon Arthur last Saturday, but he doesn’t expect to be bothered by jetlag.
“I’m expecting a good fight this time,” he said. “But it’s not like the last time when I faced someone with all their male strength and experience. He’s a little younger than me and greener than me.
“I have some old men who are tricking me.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was a Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 – covering the four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights around the globe. He has written about boxing for numerous publications worldwide since the 1980s.
https://www.boxingscene.com/sunny-edwards-pumped-jayson-mama-im-expecting-good-hard-fight–162672 Sunny Edwards pumped for Jayson Mama: I’m expecting a good uphill battle