Charlie Edwards says a domestic blockbuster with British rival Kal Yafai is “on the radar”, but he must first have to overcome former sparring partner Angel Moreno when he defends his WBC Flyweight World title for the first time at the Copper Box Arena this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The 25-year-old stepped down a division to claim the WBC crown with a classy points win over Cristofer Rosales at The O2 in December and has already expressed his desire to become an “all-time British great” by winning World titles in multiple weight divisions.
Edwards remains willing to settle his long-standing feud with 25-0 Yafai, who holds the WBA Super-Flyweight World title, although he has questioned whether the Birmingham man is willing to accept the fight.
“He’s on the radar, 100 per cent,” said Edwards. “It could be next, because I would have it next, but I know he won’t, so it probably won’t be next. I don’t think he wants to entertain me at all. He made that pretty clear during the year when I was trying to call for the fight.
“I’m focusing on my own path. These big fights will come now I have a World title and when they do I’ll be ready. I’m ready now to fight anyone and everyone. I’m ready to build a legacy, and have proper fights. To become a British great I’ll have to win World titles at multiple weights, and that’s exactly what I’ll do.
“When I moved down to Flyweight, I stated to Eddie, I’m ready for anyone and everyone, and that’s why he gave me the No 1 Flyweight in the division, and I went and did the performance that I did, and now I’m the No 1. I know I possess the self-belief and skill to become a World Champion in the Super-Flyweight division.”
Angel Moreno has vowed to follow in the footsteps of his compatriots Kiko Martinez and Gabriel Campillo by becoming Spain’s next World Champion when he clashes with Charlie Edwards for the WBC Flyweight crown at London’s Copper Box Arena on March 23, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Spanish fighters have enjoyed recent success against Brits, with Bilbao’s Kerman Lejarraga blitzing Bradley Skeete in two rounds to claim the European Welterweight title before stopping Frankie Gavin in four rounds, and Torrelavega’s European Super-Welterweight champ Sergio Garcia outclassing Ted Cheeseman at The O2 last month.
Moreno, promoted by former Middleweight king Sergio Martinez, has only lost twice in a 23-fight career and has never been stopped. Hailing from Madrid, ‘Golden Boy’ has fought the majority of his career on home soil but insists he will not be intimidated by his former sparring partner’s home crowd.
“I am not going to London for a holiday,” said Moreno. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me. We know each other very well having sparred on two occasions in the past. We’ve shared many rounds together and I think he knows that I will be too strong for him on the night. If his team thinks that this fight will be an easy defence for Charlie, they are very wrong.
“I will follow the way of Sergio Garcia and Kerman Lejarraga. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from my stablemate’s victory at The O2 last month and I’ll make Spain proud again when I lift the green belt above my head. Spanish boxing is in a very healthy position at the moment and it will be an honour to become my country’s next World Champion.
“I am not scared about the hostile atmosphere that will greet me in London. I have fought away from home in Ukraine and France, and I am a 36 years old man. I believe that my experience will show in the ring. I had plenty of notice for this fight and I’ve enjoyed the best and most productive training camp of my career. Do not be surprised when I beat Charlie.”
The heavy-handed Liam Conroy is heading for Saturday’s dream British light-heavyweight title clash with Olympian Josh Buatsi full of confidence and ambition.
Barrow-in-Furness’ Conroy (16-3-1-KO8) has blasted aside his last five opponents and although heading for the Copper Box an underdog, insists silencing doubters is an objective he’s a proven track record of meeting.
Conroy said: “I’m feeling brilliant. I’m living the dream to be boxing for a British title. I’m so inspired and I think you’ll see an extra level to my boxing this weekend as a result of that.
“The bookies have him a clear favourite. I was insulted at first but then I look back on times I’ve done this before – I’ve had brilliant wins being the underdog.
“With it being on such a big scale and on such a big platform, it’s going to be even sweeter when I do it.
“Having so many people from Barrow there will give me a massive push. I’ve sold loads of tickets even though it’s nowhere near London. I think they’re as excited as I am!
“I’m the first Barrovian to box for the British title and I’ll be the first one to win one as well. Everyone is absolutely buzzing so it’ll be a brilliant atmosphere in there and I’ll feed off it on the night.”
Lawrence Okolie believes that a KO win against Wadi Camacho is a ‘formality’ when the fierce London Cruiserweight rivals clash at the Copper Box Arena this Saturday with the British and Commonwealth titles on the line, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
‘The Sauce’ returned to his destructive form with a third-round stoppage win over Tamas Lodi last time out at The O2 and the Hackney man, who took criticism from some for messy performances against Isaac Chamberlain and Matty Askin last year, is promising another big KO win to reclaim his Commonwealth crown in East London.
“I think stopping Wadi is a formality for me,” said Okolie. “He’s got the sort of style that will leave him open to me knocking him out. When it comes down to his skill against my skill, Wadi isn’t on my level, or on the level of the people that I’ve already beaten in the amateurs or the pros. I’m taller than him and I hit harder than him. If you break Wadi down as a fighter, I can see many different ways in which I beat him. This fight will definitely end in a knockout.
“He’s a southpaw but he’s also aggressive. An aggressive southpaw in against someone that is taller than them won’t end well. If he goes on the backfoot, he’s not as athletic as me with his footwork, so I’ll be able to get in and out of range a lot quicker than him. He likes to throw a lot of punches which gives opportunities for counterpunching. If I hit him with a shot that he doesn’t see coming, that’ll be a big problem for him.
“With Wadi being a southpaw, it’s very good practice for stepping up to the Lebedevs and other World level guys. I’m not overlooking Wadi, I’ve trained extremely hard for him and I’ll deal with him accordingly. On Saturday I’ll show him and all of the other Cruiserweights in Britain what I’m about. I want to finish Wadi in a more systematic way – maybe go in southpaw and practice different pattern movements. I want to go in there and show him that he’s a practice fight for me as opposed to a 50-50 fight.”
Okolie vs. Camacho is a part of a huge night of action at the Copper Box Arena.
Main even sees Croydon’s WBC Flyweight World Champion Charlie Edwards make the first defence of his crown against Spain’s Angel Moreno.
Rising Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi takes on former English Champion Liam Conroy for the vacant British title in his tenth fight.
Geordie ace Lewis Ritson makes his debut at 140lbs as he takes on Argentina’s German Argentino Benitez for the WBA Inter-Continental title.
Undefeated Irish Middleweight talent Jason Quigley fights for the first time as a pro in the UK, Watford Bantamweight talent Shannon Courtenay makes her highly-anticipated professional debut and Newport Bantamweight talent Sean McGoldrick fights for the first time under new trainer Jamie Moore.