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Sunny Edwards Proves Too Slick for Felix Alvarado in Sheffield

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  • Sunny Edwards Proves Too Slick for Felix Alvarado in Sheffield

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    By Arne K. Lang

    Probellum, the firm founded by former Golden Boy Promotions COO Richard Schaefer, was in Sheffield, England, tonight with a card headlined by an IBF world flyweight title fight between Sunny Edwards and Felix Alvarado. Edwards, the younger brother of former WBC 112-pound belt-holder Charlie Edwards, was making the fourth defense of the title he won with an 11th round stoppage of long-reigning title-holder Moruti Mthalane at London’s York Hall, ending Mthalane’s 16-fight winning streak.

    The rap on Sunny Edwards is that his punches couldn’t crack an egg and, at some point, this will undoubtedly catch up with him. But one would be hard-pressed to find a slicker exponent of the manly art. He is a modern British version of Willie Pep, as he demonstrated again today against a formidable opponent in Nicaragua’s Alvarado, a former 108-pound world title-holder who came in riding a 20-fight winning streak.

    Alvarado was the aggressor, as expected. Edwards, a counter-puncher, is comfortable fighting with his back against the ropes. His punches were cleaner and crisper than Alvarado’s who did his best work in rounds 7-10, working the body effectively as Edwards’ workrate slowed down. But like a great jockey, Edwards has a keen understanding of pace and was conserving his energy for the stretch run.

    When the smoke cleared, the judges had it 116-112 and 115-113 twice for Edwards who remained unbeaten (19-0, 4 KOs). Alvarado, who had knocked out 33 of his previous 40 opponents, declined to 38-3.

    After the fight, Edwards called out Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez who recently took the unusual step of abandoning his super flyweight title to compete in the next division down and is currently ranked #1 by the WBO at flyweight.

    Other Bouts of Note

    In the co-feature, super bantamweight Shabaz Masoud advanced to 11-0 (4) with a 12th-round stoppage of game but out-gunned Jack Bateson (17-1). The match was framed as an eliminator for the British 122-pound title currently held by Liam Davies.

    This was a competitive fight early on, but Masoud gradually assumed control. He knocked Bateson down with a short right hook in the final stanza and finished him off shortly thereafter, strafing him against the ropes which triggered an intervention by the ref as Bateson was sagging to the floor. The official time was 2:00. Masoud, who is trained by Ben Davison, was a 4/1 favorite.

    Also, middleweight Herbert Conceicao, a gold medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics, improved to 3-0 (1) with a 6-round decision over Gideon Onyenani (4-2). Conceicao won every round on the card of referee Howard Foster, the sole arbiter.

    Conceicao, 24, was making his UK debut. His first two pro fights were in Uzbekistan and in his native Brazil. He is not related to super featherweight Robson Conceicao who won a gold medal for Brazil at the 2016 Games.
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