When Charlie Edwards heard those words “And the new WBC Flyweight Champion of the World” it was a childhood dream fulfilled. 27 months earlier at the O2 Arena, Edwards had attempted to take the IBF version of this title away from John Riel Casimero of The Philippines, only to be worn down and stopped in 10 rounds. It was Edwards’s 9th professional outing.
Some boxers are never quite the same after such a hard lesson, others, like Charlie Edwards learn from it and become better fighters.
On Saturday 23rd March at The Copperbox Arena, London, Edwards will make the 1st defence of the title against Spain’s Angel Moreno, a man he knows only too well. The pair sparred together when Edwards was preparing for his 1st world title challenge against Casimero in 2016.
Moreno’s record is made up of 19 wins, 2 losses and 2 draws. The 2 draws were in the first 4 contests of his career. His first loss was in 2015 to Ukraine’s Artem Dalakian on points over 12 rounds in Kiev. Dalakian currently holds the WBA flyweight title. The 2nd loss was to France’s Thomas Masson in Arras, France for the European title in 2016, again on points. There were far easier defences that promoters Matchroom Boxing could have found for Charlie’s maiden title defence, but Edwards seems full of self-belief since winning the title and wants to be in quality fights against the best available Flyweights.
How far do you have to look to find the best Flyweight? South Africa’s IBF Champion Moruti Mthalane (37,2,0) may well be the world’s current best. WBO Champ Kosei Tanaka (13-0-0) has never boxed outside his home country, Japan so is an unknown quantity, and WBA Holder Dalakian (18-0-0) has done all that has been asked of him thus far.
WBC No1 contender at Flyweight is Wales’s Andrew Selby (11-0-0). Selby has had some well publicised personal issues, but travels to Mexico to take on Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar in a final eliminator for Edwards’s title on March 23rd, the same day as the Edwards vs Moreno bout in London.
If successful against Aguilar, Selby would likely start as the favourite against Edwards when the two contest the title. Of course, by that stage, Edwards will be the more experienced man in terms of world title fights, but Selby turned professional as one of Great Britain’s most decorated amateur boxers and turned in great performances against far more seasoned operators as soon as he fought for pay.
Angel Moreno might give Charlie Edwards a few scares along the way. Moreno is 35 years old which some experts think is well past it for boxing’s little men. He is unbeaten in 9 outings since his loss to Thomas Masson, but a close inspection of those 9 fights show that the opposition was poor and all 9 fights took place in Spain.
Charlie should win a wide points decision or stop the Spaniard sometime after the 8th round.