Moments ago in Dubai, IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards put on a superb, at times beautiful display of boxing to retain his title for the first time. Facing his mandatory challenger, the unbeaten Jason Mama of The Philippines, Edwards won a wide 12-round unanimous decision, via commanding scores of 118-109, 118-109, and 117-110. Edwards of London is now 17-0(4). Mama drops to 16-1(9).
Aside from some rough stuff early on, when the fight looked for a spell as though it might get out of control, with the two men slinging rabbit punches at each other, Edwards completely dominated the action.
And Edwards made it look easy. Mama tried his best but he could not get anything going. A clash of heads in round-two saw the defending champ pick up a cut high on his forehead, yet the wound never bothered him. Instead, Edwards, who switch-hit but mostly fought as a southpaw, put on a show.
It was The Sweet Science and Edwards made a good fighter look very ordinary. To his credit, Mama didn’t get so frustrated he did something crazy, but the challenger was often guilty of hitting on the break. Edwards’ footwork was mesmerizing, especially for Mama. Fans who love seeing an action-packed battle will not have been too impressed with tonight’s fight, yet lovers of the Sweet Science will have been mightily impressed. Is Edwards the best flyweight in the world today? Maybe he is.
Edwards, who could easily have been awarded all 12 rounds tonight, wants to prove he is the best in the world, and post-fight he called out Julio Cesar Martinez, the current WBC flyweight boss. That unification fight would be something to see.
For now, Edwards, at his peak (we think) at age 25, has to be given his props on a very impressive year. Edwards fought just twice this year, but the 24 rounds of boxing brilliance he gave us deserve much respect. Is Edwards the best pure boxer from the UK right now? Very possibly.
Edwards was something special today.