Sunny Edwards believes a successful defense of his IBF flyweight world title on Friday will be the launch pad for setting up some high profile fights against fighters in smaller weight classes.
Edwards talks as fast as he boxing and one of his ideas is for a tournament made up of boxing brothers featuring the likes of him, Naoya Inoue and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and their siblings.
Edwards (18-0, 4 KOs) who takes on Mexican Felix Alvarado (38-2, 33 KOs) at Sheffield Arena in England on Friday, is ready to move up in weight class to fight the big names and suggests it could be done in a unique competition featuring some of the best brothers in the world at flyweight, junior bantamweight, junior bantamweight and featherweight.
Edwards’ older brother Charlie (17-1, 7 KO), 29, made a defense as the 2019 WBC flyweight world champion while Texas brothers “Bam” Rodriguez (17-0, 11 KO) and Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8 KOs) hold the WBC and WBA junior bantamweight titles respectively. Franco has had three fights with Australian Andrew Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs), whose twin Jason (25-2, 19 KOs) lost to world bantamweight champion Inoue two years ago.
WBC-WBA-IBF king Inoue (23-0, 20 KOs), of Japan, is one of the best boxers in the world at any weight, and his younger brother Takumi (16-1, 3 KOs) is also very good ranked at bantamweight and junior featherweight.
Former WBA junior bantamweight champion Kal Yafai (26-1, 15 KO), of England, and younger brothers Gamal (19-2, 11 KO) and Galal (2-0, 2 KO), who won an Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020, is another well-represented family in the lightweight categories.
“We have something right now that may never be reciprocal again, you could put teams of two brothers against each other in a tournament with a one-win system,” said Edwards, 26. years, at ESPN. “Me and Charlie for team one, then team two would be Kal and Galal Yafai, then team three would be Andrew and Jason Moloney, team four would be ‘Bam’ Rodriguez and Joshua Franco, and team five would be the Inoue brothers.
“What a series of brother fights that would be. We’re all in the same weight classes, there’s a storyline, and we could be fighting on the same card. I’ll give Charlie the easier fight if he wants. There’s only one world between us so I should fight the best.”
Edwards used to train with Charlie and wouldn’t rule out fighting him in the future.
“We had some really good fights, they warmed up and if that happened it would be one of our best fights,” Edwards added. “For a long time Charlie agreed that I was the man, but whatever he did, [his] trainer Joe Gallagher made him believe he could still beat me. I thought I lost that trust in him a long time ago, but if Charlie wants the fight, he can come and get it – he might actually accept it this time.”
For now, Edwards is content with the challenge ahead of him in Nicaragua’s 33-year-old Alvarado, who relinquished the IBF junior flyweight title to step up a division.
“I think he’s the most dangerous man in the division besides me,” Edwards said. “He is the only person at my weight who is a real world champion like me. He was IBF [junior] flyweight champion and rose through the ranks without losing his title. He’s a terrific hitter and he’s only lost to world champions and it’s good to face someone who has made it their goal to face me, it’s good to have someone one who is confident to fight me because I haven’t had that yet.”
Edwards, a skilled mover in the ring, is desperate to take on the biggest names after accusing WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez and others of avoiding him.
“None of the other fighters, champions, want to fight me,” Edwards said. “They don’t want to unify the titles, it’s pathetic. Felix is the last name I need to clean up at flyweight before moving up because there aren’t the exciting fights like there are at super flyweight or bantamweight, which I think I can go for.
“I chased Julio Cesar Martinez’s fight for the last 18 months as a champion and before that as well when my brother Charlie was world champion and got beat up by him. I don’t care. never even approached.For six weeks we had been agreeing to the terms, date and place, money, then after he started camp he decided he needed more money.
“Just this year, Martinez fought and then retired, then Ricardo Sandoval decided to fight as well. [WBA champion] Artem Dalakian didn’t want to know. [WBO champion] Junto Nakatani is the only other person I want to fight at flyweight.
“I want to compete with Inoue, Rodriguez, [Roman] González, [Juan Francisco] Estrada and Nakatani. I don’t want easy fights. I’m a nightmare to anyone in my day. I have to face these guys to get the challenge I need.”