Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez-Sunny Edwards fight week diary: Day Two

Tediously often fighters are guilty of confronting each other for the benefit of the cameras, ultimately to generate interest in their fight. 

It’s another symptom of boxing’s short-term culture – that that demands that those involved make the most of the present, regardless of the potential damage that may later have to be undone.

On Thursday in Glendale, Arizona, Eddie Hearn was again guilty of perpetuating that culture when a week after describing Regis Prograis-Devin Haney as “the fight of the year” – Prograis-Haney was another Matchroom promotion broadcast by DAZN – he gave the same description to Jesse Rodriguez-Sunny Edwards (apparently endlessly bullshitting actually works).

On a promotion on which there are numerous fights between English and American fighters, the clash of cultures between the relevant opponents can rarely have felt more pronounced. The straight-talking Peter McGrail, of Liverpool, eventually felt moved to tell the loud Ja’Rico O’Quinn, his Detroit-based opponent, to “shut the fuck up”, and was later told “Man, shut your dick-sucking ass up”. 

Junaid Bostan, of Rotherham, and Gordie Russ II – also from Detroit – then, and away from the cameras, started to fight and had to be broken up. Russ II aggressively invaded Bostan’s personal space, and Boston responded by taking him to the ground and them having to be broken up. There was nothing staged about it – everything was entirely instinctive, including Russ II aiming a punch at Grant Smith when he was among those attempting to break them up. Also in Glendale with Edwards, Bostan and Smith is Smith’s talented son Dalton, who was equally ready to fight to protect his family and friends. Until then Edwards had been laughing and cutting the most relaxed of figures. He was also similarly relaxed as soon as Russ II was led away. 

Asked if there was a risk of the incident putting the fight in jeopardy, Hearn told ProBox TV: “I don’t know if anyone was injured – I don’t believe so. They wouldn’t be stopping the fight. I saw enough of it to say it was lively, but without anything major. It was definitely lively. Junaid was like jumping back in. I was like, ‘Can you walk away now?’”

“He got in my face and then threatened me,” Bostan explained, also to ProBox TV. “I don’t take that lightly, and then he tried going for me, I dragged him to the floor, and it was a bit of a scuffle – people tried to separate us. He feinted like he was going to do something – I just put him on the floor. I didn’t punch him – I ain’t getting paid yet. It’s not like I’m not used to confrontation – I’m looking forward to Saturday night. I’m actually glad that happened – it’s good for the American audience to see who I am.

“I think he wants a way out, if I’m being very honest with you. His flight was yesterday – he missed it. He only just got a flight here today. His hand is forced in taking this fight. I think he’s looking for a way out, which is an explanation as to why he did what he did.”