Croydon’s Charlie Edwards reveals family heartbreak driving him to win IBF world flyweight belt at O2 Arena

Charlie Edwards is determined to fulfil his mum’s wish on Saturday night by winning her the IBF world flyweight belt.

The 23-year-old Croydon boxer has enjoyed a remarkable rise in the past 20 months and faces Johnriel Casimero at the O2 Arena for the title in only his ninth professional fight.

But throughout his professional career he has been battling personal heartbreak at home, after his mum Terry was diagnosed with cancer.

Complications with her radiotherapy and an undiagnosed cavernoma resulted in three brain surgeries and strokes that left her struggling to talk and move.

She is on the road to recovery now though and, ahead of her birthday next Tuesday, has told Edwards, who has been training in Marbella, he must bring the belt home for her.

“She was in hospital from February last year right the way up to December,” said Edwards.

“It was really hard. I said goodbye to her on a number of occasions because we didn’t think she was going to make it because she couldn’t speak or really move at times.

“But it’s like a miracle. She isn’t ever going be the person she was but she definitely is a fighter and that’s where I must get it from.

“She’s on her rehab now and my sister Nickola cares for her full time. We are so lucky to have her looking after mum.

“I went through a very tough time when this was all happening but before the operation in March, just before my second professional fight, my mum said to me ‘you promise me that you won’t let this affect you and you keep training hard and focus’.

“Luckily I had boxing to get me through this otherwise I could have easily gone off the rails.

“My mum is talking now and before I went back to Marbella to start my training camp she said to me to ‘work hard and bring me that world title belt home’. It’s going to be yours mum.

“I got back on Monday and went straight round to see her and my sister and the first thing she said when I walked through the door was ‘and the new’ (a catchphrase used by Edwards and other boxers).

“I gave her a big kiss and cuddle and told her about how my training went and she said ‘this belt is yours now go and win it and bring it back to me.’

“She drives me and motivates me more than ever.

“This fight is for my mum.”

Edwards’ dad Larry has also been a big inspiration throughout his career, promoting him as an amateur and even building him and his brother Sunny a boxing ring in their back garden in Beddington.

“I owe my dad a lot,” said Edwards.

“He has given me everything and took me to all my training sessions when I was younger.

“I am here because of him.”

That boxing ring has also helped 20-year-old Sunny have a successful amateur career and turn professional this year, with his debut coming later this month in Spain.

“He’s a talented fighter. Were both very competitive but we work together and we push each other,” said Edwards.

“We are family though and will never get on top of each other.”

As for this Saturday’s fight, Edwards is in confident mood 26-year-old Casimero, who won the title in May, will be no match for him.

“I’m going to be a world champion,” he said.

“I’m going to box my heart out and it’s only going to go one way.

“I’m in the best condition and shape I could be and we haven’t cut corners this time. I have broken limits I have never broken before and I can just see myself winning.

“Gym, eat, sleep that’s all I do.

“I love a clean and healthy lifestyle and it is so much easier training in Marbella with healthy food places all around you.

“I know my capabilities and I have been all around the world. People don’t give me and my engine enough credit.

“As soon as I enter the ring I will step it up a gear and prove them wrong. I know and am confident in all the work I have put in.”

Feature image courtesy of BoxHard Podcast, via Youtube, with thanks

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