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Charlie Edwards: Julio Cesar Martinez’s style ‘plays into my hands’

The WBC flyweight titleholder defends on Saturday.

Charlie Edwards Media Workout Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Charlie Edwards is set to make the second defense of his WBC flyweight title this Saturday in London, facing Julio Cesar Martinez in a fight on the Lomachenko-Campbell (ESPN+) card from O2 Arena.

Edwards (15-1, 6 KO) surprised many when he beat Cristofer Rosales on Dec. 22 to win the belt, and shut out Angelo Moreno in his first defense on March 23. The 26-year-old fighter has emerged as one of the top 112-pound fighters in the world just about three years following his lone loss, when he challenged John Riel Casimero for the IBF title in Sept. 2016.

Edwards has also gained the confidence of a top-tier fighter, and he feels that Martinez — who is coming off of an upset win over Andrew Selby in Mexico — is a perfect matchup for him.

“His style works perfectly for me, it plays into my hands,” said Edwards. “He’s already told me that he’s going to knock me out. But when he doesn’t, things are going to get very tough for him and if he’s coming in with that mentality it shows he’s underrating me already and that’s not a good place to be.”

As confident as he is, Edwards is not ignoring the threat of Martinez (14-1, 11 KO), and he knows as well as anyone that upsets happen in boxing, and no fight can be taken lightly.

“He can bang, there’s no doubt about it. You can see it just by looking at his record. We saw in his last fight against Andrew Selby that he’s powerful and can be awkward, he can rough you up, but that’s good as he’s going to bring out the best in me. I’m a lot stronger and a lot tougher now.”

Edwards believes he’ll be the better-conditioned man, and he is looking to take Martinez deep into the fight and blow him up.

“Fitness has never been an issue for me but in his fight against Selby you could tell that he was blowing a little bit and that’s maybe because he puts everything into every shot. It’s about nullifying his ability to punch hard and dragging him into the deep trenches.

“Fitness and rounds are my strongest attributes and I’m ready and looking forward to dragging him deep and for the roles switching, I will bully the bully. I am the WBC world champion and nobody is beating me. On Saturday I am going to retain my world title with a punch-perfect performance.”