World title glory made in Sheffield for Edwards

Sheffield is once again home to a world champion after Charlie Edwards claimed the WBC flyweight title with a stunning performance against Cristofer Rosales.

Saturday, 22nd December 2018, 10:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th January 2019, 3:55 pm
Charlie Edwards celebrates with team after winning the WBC flyweight title

Beighton-based Edwards comfortably out-pointed champion Rosales at London's O2 Arena to claim a world title at his second attempt.

The 25-year-old arrived in Sheffield a year ago to join younger brother Sunny at Grant Smith's Steel City gym.

It is a move he has credited with putting him on the path to the WBC title, refining his skills with close attention from Smith in the Darnall gym.

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And he put that into practice on Saturday night with a classy performance to take verdicts of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 on the three scorecards.

Such scoring was reflective of a strong display in which he demonstrated great skill, moving in and out, throwing combinations and countering superbly, while standing up to vicious body shots from the Nicaraguan opponent.

A bad cut to Edwards' head in the seventh gave Rosales fresh impetus and the two men exchanged until the end of what was a pulsating contest.

Edwards was emotional in the aftermath of his victory, dedicating his title to his mum who has been suffering from illness.

He said: "That's for you Mum, when she was ill she told me never to give up on my dream. I never stopped believing. I want to unify the division next, I'm ready for anyone and everyone."

Meanwhile in Manchester, Doncaster's Jason Cunningham put up a game effort in defeat to former world amateur champion Michael Conlan.

Two judges scored the contest 97-92 and one the other awarded a 98-92 margin with Belfast fighter Conlan always on top.

But that scoring did not take away from a battling performance from two-weight Commonwealth champion Cunningham, who never looked like having his night ended early by an opponent tipped for big things.

Conlan had a point deducted for repeated low blows and was put through a far from comfortable night by Cunningham, who moved up to featherweight for the contest but is set to campaign back at super bantamweight in the future.