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Moruti Mthalane vs Sunny Edwards, Michael Conlan vs Ionut Baluta set for April 30th

Mthalane holds the IBF flyweight title and hasn’t lost in more than 12 years

How’s some Friday world title action sound?

IBF flyweight champ Moruti Mthalane is officially set to defend his title against Sunny Edwards on April 30th, headlining a London card on BT Sport and ESPN+. Mike Coppinger broke the news last week, though the bout was planned for May 1st at the time.

Mthalane (39-2, 26 KO) is in the midst of a >12-year unbeaten streak dating back to a 2008 loss to Nonito Donaire. He’s enjoyed two reigns as IBF flyweight champ in that span; the first saw him knock out the likes of Zolani Tete and John Riel Casimero before he vacated rather than fight mandatory challenger Amnat Ruenroeng for about $4,000. The second began in 2018 with a decision over Muhammad Waseem and includes three consecutive defenses against Japanese challengers, two of them in hostile territory.

Edwards (15-0, 4 KO), a longtime super flyweight, tested the 112-pound waters in 2019 with a win over Rosendo Hugo Guarneros. He went on to win the British super flyweight title and is coming off a solid victory over Thomas Essomba.

“Moruti is the most criminally underrated fighter, having not lost in 13 years, and he is a proper, proper threat,” [Edwards] pointed out. “This is no gimme or easy world title for Sunny – it is very, very far from that.

“I asked for this fight and, if you look back at press conferences or interviews, you can see that I have wanted it for some time. In my head, this is what was coming to me, and it is finally here, and I have got what I wanted.

“Now it is my chance to prove myself, and this will be the best benchmark I could have. I have beaten Olympians and people who have mixed at European and world level, but this is real genuine world level. This is my introduction as I have not been there before.

“He is as legit as they come—a big puncher, with 41 fights, 39 wins, and 26 knockouts. If I go and do this, capture the world title in my 16th fight, nobody can really argue. This will qualify everything I have been saying – if I do it. Moruti is no pushover by any stretch of the imagination; he is a very, very, very good fighter.”

In the co-feature, Rio veteran Michael Conlan (14-0, 8 KO) makes his super bantamweight debut against Romanian spoiler Ionut Baluta (14-2, 3 KO). “Il Capo” enjoyed a breakout 2020 with an out-of-nowhere upset of TJ Doheny and subsequent mauling of David Oliver Joyce; Conlan, who withdrew from a clash with Isaac Dogboe last year due to an ankle injury, will try to avoid being his third consecutive Irish victim.

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