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Boxing: Edwards hopes for title defence as he targets unification

09 December 2021 08:55:23 EST
Sunny Edwards takes on Jayson Mama

Sunny Edwards makes the first defence of his IBF flyweight belt on Saturday at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai.

Showtime is a 1.33 shot to hold on to his world title against mandatory challenger Jayson Mama, while the Filipino fighter is a 3.25 shot and the draw is 17.00.

Edwards edging his way to further glory

Edwards is unbeaten in his 16 professional fights and he won the IBF world title when beating long-reigning champ Moruti Mthalane in April. Of course, there are bigger tests in the flyweight division and those could await Showtime.

Junto Nakatani is the WBO champ, Artem Dalakian is the WBA belt holder, while McWilliams Arroyo has the WBC interim title. Edwards will be targeting a unification fight next year, but before that he must get past the mandatory challenger to his IBF belt.

What can we expect from Mama?

Mama is unbeaten in a 16-fight professional career and that has elevated him to number one spot in the IBF rankings. However, this represents a major step-up in class for the Filipino and Mama also has to show he can deal with the occasion.

Smasher has mainly been involved in low-key fights on home turf and he is now under the bright lights in Dubai. Mama has impressed against limited opposition and he does look as though he carries a bit of power.

The 24-year-old has stopped nine of his 16 opponents, a decent record in this division, but that has to be taken cautiously given the standard of opposition.

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Showtime delivers

Edwards is a talented performer and he boxed extremely well when beating Mthalane earlier this year and Showtime had been tipped for glory for some time and he certainly delivered against the South African.

Babyface was pushing 40 years of age when he took on Edwards, but Mthalane had held the IBF belt since 2009 and he has plenty of big names on his card. The Londoner picked his punches brilliantly against the South African and his accurate hitting won the day.

Power cut

Of course, flyweight is not a big-hitting division, but only four of Showtime’s four wins have come via stoppage. All of those knockout wins came against limited opposition, early in Edwards’ career and it’s clear that the Londoner doesn’t boast stunning power.

Showtime is 10.00 to win via stoppage and that tells you that it’s expected that Mama will take him the full 12 rounds.

Big-fight predictions

Mama is the younger fighter and he is certainly open to plenty of improvement, but this is his first test at anything like world level and he has to prove he can mix it on the big stage.

From what we know there are just too many question marks to want to back Smasher at 3.25.

The Filipino is stepping up in class, he has to handle the occasion and deal with an opponent that will be throwing accurate shots in his direction.

We know that Edwards is a good operator and we know he can deliver on the big stage, after he won the IBF title against Mthalane, but Showtime doesn't boast a great deal of power and like most flyweight bouts this looks likely to go the distance.

It's only 1.50 but it really is difficult to see anything other than Edwards winning by decision. The good news for punters is that this fight is due to start at 7pm and it's not a late night world title fight.

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