Sheffield, UK – October 5: Frank Smith and Sunny Edwards during a Matchroom Boxing Community Gym Visit to Firth Park Boxing Academy 5 October 2023 Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing
IBF Flyweight World Champion fights WBO king Jesse Rodriguez on December 16 in Arizona
Superstar guest Sunny Edwards brought smiles to the faces of the kids at Sheffield’s Firth Park Boxing Academy last night as the IBF World Flyweight Champion vowed to return to his adopted home city of Sheffield with the WBO championship in tow following his December showdown in the desert with Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez.

Edwards will travel to the US at the end of the year for the eagerly anticipated unification bout with his American rival on December 16 at the Desert Diamond Arena in Arizona – live worldwide on DAZN.

And the 27-year-old Brit – who is widely considered as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the country – is in a buoyant mood.

Speaking at Thursday’s special Matchroom in the Community event, Edwards said: “The best night of my career to date was when I beat Moruti Mthalane and I was perceived to be the underdog. I showed then that I don’t care to be seen that way. I think it’s the same going in against Bam and I’m fine with that because believe me, my friends are going to have a tidy Christmas.

“I’m extremely confident in any ring I get in. I know the position I am in and what I am operating in right now. Even before my recent 10-day media tour, I was on a two-week training camp in Tenerife, sparring every other day for 12 or 14 rounds, so I’m absolutely flying. As soon as I was back in the gym in Sheffield this week, I was back to 10-rounds. My weight is perfect, my camp is going great, and I can’t see my opponent even being ready. I’ll be there and I’ll be 100%.”

Speaking about Matchroom’s latest grassroots venture, Edwards added: “I love coming to these events and giving back to the community. Last week I helped re-open the Lynn AC in London and this week I’m up here in Sheffield. There are places like this all over the world. The more space they have, the more kids they’d get in here and off the streets. We all start our journey at gyms like this. Obviously, I remember for myself at their age when I was starting out in London. So, it’s great to give back and see the next generation coming through.”

Matchroom Boxing CEO Frank Smith was in attendance where he challenged the kids at the Firth Park Boxing Academy to a press up contest, in which the last three participants were handed VIP tickets to Saturday’s all-British WBA World Featherweight Title showdown between Leigh Wood and Josh Warrington at Shefield’s Utilita Arena.

He said: “It’s fantastic to visit gyms like this across the country and see all the good things they are doing for local communities. You can see what it means to the youngsters whenever we turn up and we’re proud to be able to support clubs like we do. Last week, we reopened Britain’s oldest amateur boxing club and we have many more exciting plans in the pipeline to offer our help to gyms up and down the country.”
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