Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez-Sunny Edwards Fight Week Diary: Day One

Kostya Tszyu may once have beaten Sharmba Mitchell in Glendale, Arizona, but there is little question that, by the standards of boxing in 2023, it represents, to use a cliche, a “boxing backwater”.

It may transform by the weekend, when the IBF and WBO flyweight title fight between Sunny Edwards and Jesse Rodriguez is near, but midweek it is sufficiently soulless that the shopping outlet that exists so close to the Desert Diamond Arena, where Rodriguez-Edwards will unfold, seems to capture one of the least evocative locations ProBox TV has ever had the misfortune of covering a fight.

The hotel most of those involved in the promotion are staying at is being refurbished, meaning that some of the facilities are closed and that there is the near-permanent noise of the use of drills. It’s little wonder the two main-event fighters refused to speak to anyone other than broadcasters DAZN – who they were obliged to speak to – and that Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, so recently seen at the Golden Boy Promotions offices in Los Angeles, didn’t yet appear to be in town.

His former fighter Charlie Edwards – Sunny’s older brother – regardless already was. He also told ProBox TV about how he and his brother had repaired their once-fractured relationship, about the “depression” he had had to overcome, and about his plans to “relaunch” his career in 2024 under his new trainer Stephen Smith. The younger and more celebrated of the Edwards brothers is widely, and in many respects rightly, recognised as a great talker, but it’s easy to forget that the elder of the two is capable of being equally open and honest, and again spoke like a fighter who following a testing period had truly rediscovered his drive.