Boxer Charlie Edwards believes his return to Croydon and new partnership with trainer Adam Booth will result in the British title coming back to south London this weekend.
Edwards travels to Glasgow on Saturday to fight Iain Butcher for the vacant British Super-Flyweight belt, his first outing since moving up from flyweight.
And it is the move back to south London – from his previous training base in Marbella – and to Booth’s gym that signalled the change in weight.
“People didn’t really see behind the scenes how hard and how strict I had to be on the weight and to be fair it was a bit unhealthy, what I was doing, just to get to that eight stone limit,” said the 24-year-old, who signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas Boxing last week.
“I was looking at pictures recently and I look ripped and in good shape but I’m skin and bone, and it just wasn’t good.
“I’m a professional athlete, I give it my everything. It just means now I’m able to eat more of the right foods, and bigger portions which is giving me more energy in the gym.
“That helps me repair and recover better, so I can put maximum effort into my training which I’ve really noticed the difference from.”
This will be the first time Edwards has fought since teaming up with Booth and he feels he has already matured as a fighter.
“It’s been great, Adam has taught me a hell of a lot that I didn’t know,” he added.
“Being a pro he’s been there and done it for years and years, with top, top fighters and his accolades speak for themselves.
“I’ve always done things for myself, but now I can really listen and take in what he says.
“I’ve got belief in him and everything he’s telling me is gospel, with that belief and what he’s telling me I believe it’ll help me and benefit me so much more and I’m looking forward to doing it in this fight.
“Also training next to fighters like Billy Joe Saunders and Andy Lee, all the boys in the gym we’re all pushing each other, and it’s a great atmosphere to be in, it’s absolutely buzzing.
“There’s world champions there and they give us their advice when we talk to them, and there are lots of us hungry fighters pushing them as well, so it works both ways.”
Among those training alongside Edwards are Ryan Burnett, who is expected to line up a world bantamweight title challenge in the not too distant future, super bantamweight fighter Lucien Reid and super lightweight Mitchell Smith.
“Sparring has been great, Ryan is a top quality operator, he’s knocking on the doors of world titles anytime soon,” added Edwards.
“He’s a weight above me and he’s a very strong bantamweight, so it’s the perfect match.
“With Ryan, Lucien and Mitchell there we are very fortunate to get that kind of sparring in our gym.
“We are lucky enough that we’re working off each other, pushing each other day in day out, and it’s doing us all the world of good.”