Croydon boxer Charlie Edwards returns to the ring confident world title defeat can only benefit career
Charlie Edwards makes his return to the ring tonight keen to move on from the heartbreak of his world title loss.
Edwards took on two weight world champion John Riel Casimero for the IBF flyweight title in what was only his 10th fight in September, but was stopped in the 10th round.
Now the 23-year-old prospect from Croydon is back in action against Georgi Georgiev at Wembley Arena, and insists he has no regrets about taking the title fight.
“It was a bit heart breaking in hindsight, but now I’ve got a new fight to focus on I know that fight is going to do me the world of good,” he said.
“I introduced myself to world boxing, I put in a great fight and some of those rounds were nip and tuck.
“I showed I’ve got chin and I’ve got heart and I kept pushing and pushing.
FIT TO RETURN: Charlie Edwards is getting back in the ring tonight
“A lot of people were giving me a lot of praise after the fight even though I was down in the dumps. I didn’t want to go out of the house, but that’s fighter mentality – I just want to win everything.
“I was fully confident going in there, and really thought at times I was frustrating him and making it awkward for him.
“But he’s 27 , a two-weight world champion with 26 or 27 fights, and his experience really did show in the ring.
“The first few rounds I couldn’t believe what I felt in his hands, he could punch a different type of power to what I’ve ever felt before.
“I’m only going to get better. I’m only 23, I’m only a baby and I’m going to grow and grow, and when I do get put in those sticky situations, it may be a step up for a European title and I’ll be thinking to myself ‘you’re nothing compared to what I’ve been in with’.
“I’ll know I’ve been in with the best of the best and that’s going to give me a lot of confidence further down the line.”
Many thought Edwards was taking a gamble facing such a tough fight so early in his career, but Edwards put in a good performance and surprised a lot of people with his resilience to Casimero’s punch power.
He added: “I started winning the rounds and in the 10th I got a bit overconfident, I knew I was behind on the scorecards so I let my hands go a little bit without feeling weary, I launched in with a big left hook and he caught me flush on the chin, and that was it.
“There was no indication from the team that I was behind, they were trying to be confident, but I knew I was losing most rounds and knew I was missing him a lot.
“The rounds were close I just knew I was missing with a lot more than he was.
“He was throwing a lot less but connecting more and they were powerful shots, I was feeling them in there.
“I got overcomplacent. I was trying too hard and I lunged in with a big left hook, when I watch it back I think ‘why did I do that?’ but it’s one of those things.”
SMILING ASSASSINS: Charlie Edwards and Georgi Georgiev at the weigh-in
Edwards clearly wanted to waste no time in continuing his career, taking this fight just over two months since his world title challenge at the O2.
“It’s been a quick turnaround, it’s been only two months since I fought for the world title and since then I’ve had about three weeks where I didn’t do a thing, switched off completely from it, which I needed.
“Then after that I got back in the gym, got back out running and thought I would just take some time out of boxing over Christmas.
“Then I thought, no I don’t want to leave the bad in my head and spend Christmas overthinking things having that downer, I wanted to get back to winning ways and then look forward to 2017 to push on.”
Edwards also had some choice words for featherweight rival Andrew Selby, who holds the British title.
“Andrew Selby needs me, so he can keep chasing me. I’m one step ahead, so he has to keep chasing me,” he said.
“I’m fully confident I’ll beat him down the line, but it has to be when the money is right, at the moment Andrew Selby has nothing to offer me.
“We will fight and I’m looking forward to that fight.
“It’s good because in the flyweight division you don’t get a lot of big rivalries so we’re going to be building that rivalry over the next few years just like Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton.
“I’m not saying it’ll be as big as theirs because they’re heavier, but it can build to that.”
Edwards didn’t seem phased by the opportunity to fight for a world title again in the near future, with the WBC Flyweight belt currently vacant.
“I’ve got the WBC international silver title so who knows?” he added.
“We get this fight out of the way, we get into the WBC top 15 and Eddie could pull his strings and get me a fight for the vacant belt.
“I’d probably rather jump straight back into a world title fight than fight Selby.
“It’s a bigger opportunity, I could win that fight then move onto bigger fights and bigger paydays.”
And Edwards’ promoter Eddie Hearn has a similar outlook on his career prospects.
“He’s got to keep going amd keep learning,” he said.
“I’d like to see him box night, have two more fights, and then challenge for a world title again.
“Even though he lost for a world title his career is still in a much better position now than it was before he had that fight.
“We took the risk probably four or five fights sooner than expected, but we took the risk.
“It was a home show where we thought he could win, so we took the gamble, it didn’t pay off but next time we’ll be more prepared and more ready to win a world title.”