Sunny Edwards, the younger brother of former WBC flyweight titleholder Charlie Edwards, has already won the British title at junior bantamweight and doesn’t see any serious challenges on the horizon domestically.
But he does want to win the coveted Lonsdale belt outright, which requires three title bout wins, and one of them must be against a BBBofC mandatory challenger. Edwards won the vacant title in December, and was actually the first fighter to win the title since his brother Charlie won it in 2017. Given the thin ranks of UK fighters at 115 pounds, there have been only seven champions since 2007, and only one of them (Lee Haskins) ever actually defended the title. Haskins defended it twice in 2009 after winning it in 2008, and then the title was vacant until 2012.
At this moment, BoxRec only lists 14 total junior bantamweights in the United Kingdom, and one of them (Kal Yafai) is not only beyond the domestic scene, but planning to move up in weight. Of the top domestic contenders, there’s not much, and he’s already beaten Ryan Farraga back in 2018, and quite handily at that.
With that in mind, it could be hard for Edwards to actually find opponents to get the championship outright, and there is already talk of him possibly moving on to bigger things, including potential world title fights. The 24-year-old is a terrific young boxer and an emerging presence in a very talented weight class, which includes titleholders Juan Francisco Estrada, Roman Gonzalez, Kazuto Ioka, and Jerwin Ancajas, plus a field of strong contenders including Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
“Chuck me to the sharks and I’ll come out swimming,” Edwards said in an interview for Queensberry Promotions. “It’s as simple as that. There’s not a single body in this world I think I’d be outmatched against. I’m not saying I’d beat everyone. But I don’t think there’s a single person I can’t mix it with on this planet at my weight. I’ve been in with a lot of them across the globe and I’ve yet to come up feeling like I’m out of my depth.”
That said, Edwards does see the value in continuing on his current path and not rushing himself into bigger fights.
“I’m young, I don’t need to force the risk straight up to world level when I can just take the stepping stones and take everything that comes with it,” he said. “Every time you fight, you’re building a bigger name. Everything you perform good, your stock goes up. Picking up more titles, more experience. There’s every benefit of taking it step-by-step as long as you’re taking the right steps, and I feel like I have been.
“At the same time, I’ve let Frank Warren, MTK, and my trainer know, as soon as I’m given the green light by them, I’m ready to go. I believe you make the good foundations of a career by cleaning up the British scene.”
There may be a real method to this. Edwards mentioned his age, and the top names in the division are mostly getting up there for fighters in the lower weights — Estrada is 30, Gonzalez is 32, Srisaket is 33, Ioka is 31. Ancajas is the youngest of the top five guys at 28. Edwards could bide his time a bit longer and take a crack at becoming a big part of the next wave for the division. The skill appears to be there, but that will certainly be tested once he gets out of the very small pond that is British boxing at this weight.