Who is Britain's flyweight world champion Sunny Edwards?

Sunny Edwards has billed himself as 'the best flyweight in the world', but who is he?

He may even be the most talented, pound-for-pound boxer in Britain, but after retaining his IBF world title for the second time over the weekend, why is he virtually an unknown in the sport?

A skilled technician and world champion, not many people outside of Croydon have heard of Edwards, despite having an older brother, Charlie, who was himself a former WBC flyweight world champion.

Edwards has even been likened to the brilliant Prince Naseem Hamed due to his fast footwork and ability to make opponents punch fresh air. But his name is not yet out there.

Britain cannot call on too many world champions, despite a current crop of exciting fighters throughout the weight categories.

But Edwards is undoubtedly the least known. The likes of Tyson Fury, Josh Taylor, Lawrence Okolie and Leigh Wood are all household names.

Wood's titanic battle with Michael Conlan earlier this month pushed the Nottingham fighter up a level - a level that Edwards is still looking to attain.

Wood produced a brilliant comeback to retain his WBA featherweight crown with a last-round stoppage which sent Belfast's Conlan crashing through the ropes.

It was a fight that was shown live on Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn's DAZN network.

But while the moderate profile of Wood was lifted by his heroics on DAZN, Edwards' last fight was shown in the UK by Eurosport.

Second title defence

That was a unanimous points win over Pakistan's Muhammad Waseem in Dubai last weekend.

Edwards produced a skill level way above his opponent, who had lost only once previously.

He was also cheered on at Dubai's Duty Free Tennis Stadium by some high-profile figures - namely Manchester United star Marcus Rashford.

Wassem is highly regarded in Asia, with Edwards confirming his opponent was ranked first in the WBA, third in the IBF and fifth with the WBC.

The London fighter took the verdict on the cards - 115-111, 116-110, 115-111 - to retain the title he won in April 2021 in a shock win over Moruti Mthalane.

It was Mthalane's first defeat in 13 years, but Edwards was good value for the unanimous points win over the hard-hitting South African.

Edwards' latest victory over Waseem took his record to 18-0. And the fact he has gone the distance in every fight is why Edwards' believes he is the best in the business.

"I'm actually the best flyweight in the world arguably the universe it's crazy," he tweeted this week.

What Edwards lacks in notoriety, he makes up for in confidence. And the 5ft 3in fighter, who made his professional debut in 2016, is very active on social media.

Referring to himself as a 'Twitter Terrorist' Edwards knows he has to raise his profile. And the MTK-Global man has not ruled out a future unification fight deal with Hearn.

Edwards, Hearn relationship

The Edwards' and Hearn do not see eye to eye. Although Edwards says he will now play "nice" in a bid to get a title clash with Julio Cesar Martinez.

Martinez, the current WBC champion, fought Sunny's brother Charlie in 2019. But the bout was ruled a no contest due to Martinez landing blows when Edwards was already down on the canvas.

"The personal story and back history which happened with my brother," Edwards told The Mirror.

"No contest and Eddie Hearn walked to the ring with my brother and then even though he didn't lose, pretty much walked out of the ring with Martinez as he had signed him.

"So there is a lot that goes into it, but as I said previously, play nice and I will get the fight. So here is me being nice, Eddie Hearn is the best promoter in the world.

"Anywhere in the world I would take any fight. Wherever you think the fight makes the most sense and makes the most money. Of course there could be a bigger profile but a boxing ring is a boxing ring. You tell me where you want me to go and off we go."

Edwards has got his sights firmly on a scrap with Martinez (18-2, 14 KOs).

"Muhammad is a world class operator and he and his team came with a good game plan," said Edwards after the win over Waseem.

"There was a lot on the line tonight but I didn't want to just run, run, run, I wanted to mix it up and I felt I won comfortably in the end.

"I now want the Ring Magazine belt and the WBC title and I know Martinez wants the fight so let's make it happen, it will be huge."

Flyweight division not a deep one

There is not too much left for Edwards in the 112lbs division, which is not the deepest.

Martinez, who stepped up in weight only to be beaten by Roman Gonzalez earlier this month will return to flyweight.

"He looked too small, he looked too inexperienced," promoter Hearn said. "He'll go back to flyweight."

Martinez is due to make a mandatory defence on the Canelo vs Bivol undercard in May, against McWilliams Arroyo.

Martinez and Arroyo played out a three round no-contest in November 2021 after a headbutt.

Both Martinez and Arroyo were on the canvas in round one. Arroyo was cut over the right eye and dropped again in round two after an accidental headbutt and the fight was stopped.

Edwards will be praying for a Martinez win to set up a big unification fight. It will be the biggest of his career to date and will hopefully put the Brit on the boxing fight map.

A map he would already be heavily pinned on, if he fought at a more fashionable weight.

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