Unbeaten IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards (19-0, 4 KOs) had a tougher time than expected in defeating the hard-hitting former IBF 112-lb champ Felix Alvarado (38-3, 33 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on Friday night at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England.
Edwards spent much time on the ropes in the second half, trying to cover up and getting hit hard to the body by the Nicaraguan. to his credit, Edwards did a good job of avoiding Alvarado’s headshots but not when he was working downstairs.
The judge’s scores:
The 26-year-old Edwards built up a big lead in the first six rounds of the contest but then was worn down from the pressure & fierce body punching from Alvarado and was forced to run & constantly hold to win a narrow decision.
It was fortunate for Edwards that the fight took place in the UK because you can argue that if the contest were held in the U.S, he would have lost because it looked like he was just stalling out the clock the last six rounds and not showing much initiative to speak of.
Alvarado seemed to gas in the 11th, allowing Edwards to get back into the fight with light, shoe-shine punches. The 33-year-old Alvarado was still landing the much harder shots in the final two rounds, but the fluttery punches that Edwards was connecting with likely pleased the judges enough to give it to him.
“If I can sit there and mix it with him, I showed that I could ride shots, take shots and throw my own shots back,” said Edwards after the fight. I could do it against anyone. He was a very hard puncher, but I would not be denied. I want the big fights. [Julio Cesar] Martinez, he’s running scared. [Jesse] Bam Rodriguez, you promised me the fight next. Come and get it!”
Those would be tough fights for Edwards, and I’m not sure that he could beat either one of those guys.
Of course, if Edwards is on his bike the entire night, tying them up when they get near enough to punch, he could beat them, particularly if he’s fighting at home in the UK. Bam is on another level, though, and he’d be pure trouble for Edwards.
We already saw what Martinez did to Edwards’ brother, Charlie, making easy work of him in three rounds. Martinez might be too powerful for Sunny.