Edwards sees fear in Rodriguez's eyes

Sunny Edwards is convinced that Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez is intimidated by him.

On Saturday at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona, the IBF and WBO champions finally fight to determine the finest flyweight in the world.

Edwards spent almost the entirety of Thursday’s press conference attempting to get under his 23-year-old opponent’s skin, and to that end Rodriguez, the WBO champion, said very little in response.

After a press tour on which they were civil to the point of playing table tennis with each other, Edwards said that he had been provoked by what he perceived to be negative comments made by Rodriguez about him since then.

They faced off at the conclusion of that press conference and again at Friday’s weigh-in, and pointing to his neck, the 27-year-old Edwards told ProBox TV: “You could see the tremble. When we looked into each other’s eyes, he’s going left, right, left right, left, right, because he can’t keep his mind still. I’ll look through one eye and be cold, because there’s no emotion in me. 

“He don’t want be there; he’s uncomfortable so he’s got to keep something moving. He thinks I can’t see his eye moving, snatching from eye to eye to eye to eye. He’s nervous around me; they’re uncomfortable around me. [Rodriguez’s trainer] Robert Garcia has never been more missing from a fight, ever. That’s what happens when people are scared of what you have to say and what you can say.

“He’s a scared-of-his-own-shadow-type kid, and that’s the opposite of me.

“You’re in a room where I’m in and you gotta go and sit in the corner with security stood next to ya. Who the fuck do you think you are? All it shows is that he’s nervous.”

Robert Garcia, Rodriguez’s respected trainer, and Rodriguez had previously told ProBox TV that they expected Edwards, the IBF champion, to stay off the ropes in an attempt to resist Rodriguez’s pressure.

“I’ll go wherever I want,” Edwards said. “Trust me, me with my back on the ropes, I’m more of a dangerous threat and I’m more just sapping and sapping your energy. Yeah, sometimes it looks like something’s going on, and sometimes the judges think [that], but in reality you’re blocking and riding. 

“I can stand in front of someone for 12 rounds, but the reason why you don’t is because of ‘aggression’. You haven’t done nothing, but to the eye he’s ‘aggressive’. I grew up on point scoring. If I’m hitting 15, 20, 25, 30 times and they’re hitting me three or four clean shots, I should be pissing that round. 

“I box in a way where, ‘I can’t put 10-9 Bam, because he didn’t even land a shot’, and that’s how I win the fight. Maybe he’s right. But I don’t think he understands what he’s getting in the ring with. 

“They genuinely think I’m this weak and feeble, fragile boxer, when the truth couldn’t be further than that.”