Flyweight Charlie Edwards dominated Angel Moreno to retain the World Boxing Council title at the Copper Box in east London on Saturday night, dedicating his first world title defence to his mother Terry, who has had cancer and a brain disease in the last four years.
If the victory to claim the belt on Dec 22 last year was an emotional night on an amazing journey for mother and son, this triumph on Saturday night was one of jubilation. Against Cristofer Rosales to claim the belt, Edwards was spiteful and clinical last year.
In this performance, against Moreno, out came the artist, the dancer, the consummate boxer in Edwards, whose dominance over the Spaniard was so complete that he was a landslide winner by 120-107 on the cards of all three ringside judges. All three gave the Briton every round.
Edwards outfought and outthought his foe, used the full ring to move intelligently on the outside, smart footwork allied with jabs and combinations against the game Moreno. Try as he might to walk Edwards down, Moreno was hit before the Briton ghosted away. Moreno took a standing count in the eighth round, and remonstrated with Victor Loughlin, the referee, but the visiting fighter did touch down.
Edwards can grow into maturity in this division. Too sharp, too smart, too focused to ever allow the control of the dance to fall into the hands of the Spaniard, who, in fairness never gave up, even standing toe to toe with the Briton in the final minute.
But this accomplished display from Edwards has propelled the 26-year-old to major nights, one of which could be an all-British match-up with Kal Yafai, the world super-flyweight champion, with both prize-fighters promoted by Eddie Hearn.
Earlier, Joshua Buatsi won the vacant British light-heavyweight title, the Rio Olympics bronze medal winner taking out Liam Conroy in the third round with a right hand, immediately revealing his intention of wanting to fight on the undercard of the heavyweight championship defence of Anthony Joshua against Jarrell Miller on June 1 at Madison Square Garden.
Hearn agreed it was time, after 10 fights unbeaten, to showcase Buatsi’s skills in front of an Stateside audience.
Conroy had stopped five opponents in a row coming into this fight, and was on a nine-fight winning streak, but Buatsi showed his class.
In a bout for the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles, Lawrence Okolie, another 2016 Olympian, stopped veteran Wadi Camacho inside four rounds.
Okolie, who had weighed 300lb in 2012 and was working at a fast-food restaurant, found himself inspired by the success of Joshua at the London 2012 Olympics and, now a lean 6ft 5in tall and 200lb, demonstrated he has been adding inside fighting to his heavy hands, bullying Camacho after being critiqued in two of his last four fights for hitting and holding. There is still a way to go, yet Okolie has time.
Both men connected with hard shots early in the third round, with Okolie aggressively pushing forward and landing heavy punches, while Camacho retreated further into a defensive mode. Come the fourth round, Okolie surged forward, landing several hard shots that forced Camacho to his knees against the ropes. He barely beat the count but when Camacho had regathered himself, the fighter known as “The Sauce” pounced to rock his foe once with a hard right as the referee waved off the battle.
In Leicester, heavyweight Nathan Gorman moved his record to 16 fights unbeaten with a one-sided 10-round decision over veteran Kevin Johnson. Gorman easily outworked the 39-year-old to win by a score of 100-90.
As reported in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, Tyson Fury’s debut on ESPN in America was officially confirmed on Saturday night to be against Tom Schwarz, the unbeaten German, in Las Vegas on June 15. The deal is reportedly worth £80 million for five fights.
It was also conformed that Josh Warrington will make the second defence of his IBF featherweight title against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad, who is unbeaten, at the Leeds Arena on the same night Fury fights in Nevada.
It will be a hometown return for Warrington in the all-Yorkshire grudge match against a former amateur rival. Warrington, 28, outpointed then champion Lee Selby with a thrilling performance in front of 25,000 fans at Elland Road, home of Leeds United Football Club, last May on a memorable night.
Then, in December, Warrington underlined his standing as one of boxing’s stars of 2018 with a brilliant points win against two-weight champion Carl Frampton at the Manchester Arena.
Warrington, unbeaten in 28 contests, had being planning a unification clash with Oscar Valdez, the WBO champion, but the IBF sanctioning body had ordered that he fight Galahad. The all-Yorkshire clash is likely to produce another thriller.