Sunny Edwards meets unbeaten Chilean Andres Campos on June 10 as he tries to maintain a holding pattern ahead of a possible future showdown with Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez.
Both IBF flyweight champion Edwards and WBO champion Rodriguez have said they would like to fight one another, but Rodriguez is recovering after sustaining a broken jaw against Christian Hernandez last month.
Edwards and Rodriguez Eyeing Flyweight Clash in the Future
“I’ll be real, I don’t make it my business to reach out personally or privately,” Edwards said, of speculation that they might collide down the line. “I do respect Bam, as a fighter and the reason why I want to fight him so much is I understand the credit he’s got and the ratings he’s got and also I rate him as a fighter. I like challenges. I like actually going up against the best. I like proving myself, because when I do come through that test, it means a whole lot more than getting in the ring with someone I know I should be beating and everyone knows I should be beating. So I do rate Bam, and what he brings to the division. I just do think I’m generally better than him.”
Rodriguez had to battle through much of his last fight with the damaged jaw, and that is something Edwards gives him plenty of credit for. Some critics were lukewarm on ‘Bam’s’ performance, harsh given the circumstances, but that is boxing. Sometimes anything less than sensational is simply second rate.
“Boxing isn’t just black and white,” Edwards continued. “It’s not a video game where you press a button and see what happens. It’s real life. People having to go through things. You might have bust a hand, jaw injury, the fighter’s a little bit better than expected, the fighter’s coming to change his life, so he’s really driving on the edge of coercion like a Formula 1 driver hitting every single corner where you’re not in there with the biggest threat you’ve ever been with, so you’re adrenaline has just dipped that little per cent, and I do believe that can cause very good fighters like Bam Rodriguez to have those performances, so I wouldn’t look at that – or even the Israel Gonzalez performance – and write him off as a fighter and be like, ‘I’ll beat him because of this.’ Because I know, when he gets in the ring with me, he rates me as a fighter so I’ll probably bring the best out of him. I’ll probably bring out a level of concentration and willingness not to make mistakes and trying to be perfect more than if he’d been in the ring with these other people.”
Timing is Key for Edwards vs. Rodriguez Flyweight Showdown
And timing is of the essence. While Edwards, 27 and 19-0 with four stoppages, might be at a pinnacle, he feels 23-year-old southpaw Rodriguez, 18-0 (11), is improving and Sunny wants the fight sooner rather than later.
“With Bam, it’s evident that when he’s got someone strong and powerful trying to walk him down, he’s very adept at dealing with that, he’s very good at adjusting, throwing first and throwing last and also throwing powerful shots that hurt,” Edwards continued. “I think where you start seeing things fall apart, though, is when someone sits off him a bit more and he’s got to use the time in the fight to make the input himself. I think when he does that he’s a bit clumsy with it. I think he’s trying to do two-three things at once. I think he has a bit of an identity crisis when he’s coming forwards sometimes, whether it’s a big bullying fighter or a slick fighter who adjusts his feet… So I think there’s a lot I can work with and I think there’s a lot he’s going to develop and learn over time. I think right now, getting a 23-year-old Bam, would be perfect business for me, where I do believe a 27 or 30-year-old Bam will be a whole different animal to deal with. I do believe that. I think he will keep on improving regardless of if he fights me and whatever happens in that fight. I do believe he’s one for the future who will exist at quite a few different weights and a few different storylines, so I would like to get him now, and maybe get him again in the future. Who knows where the storylines link up? But I do believe wholeheartedly that if we fight next, this year in the next 12-18 months there is zero per cent chance I’m losing that fight.”
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