Charlie Edwards believes the experience of his world-title-fight loss to John Riel Casimero has steeled him for future success as he targets a shot at English rival Kal Yafai’s WBA belt.
MTK Global-backed Edwards (11-1, 4KOs) lost out to Filipino two-weight world champion Casimero in just his ninth professional bout just under a year-and-a-half ago.
Having since rebounded to claim the British super-flyweight title, the Surrey native is targeting his fourth victory on the bounce when he meets Ricky Little on the undercard of Matchroom’s ‘British Beef’ cruiserweight clash between MTK Global’s Isaac Chamberlain and Lawrence Okolie on Saturday night at London’s O2 Arena.
And the 24-year-old believes the experience gained his sole defeat has him well primed to mount another world-title challenge as he eyes a future fight against Birmingham’s WBA world champion Yafai.
“That fight made me a different fighter,” said Edwards. “It changed me as a person and it made me re-evaluate things and made me see what I needed to be like.
“I can only take that as a positive because it’s given me the confidence in the ring that I need to get in with anyone.
“I’ve mixed it with a two-weight, legit world champion and it’s done me the world of good. I’ve come on in leaps and bounds since then and I can’t wait to step up to that level again.
“I want the Kal Yafai fight and I’m going to be gunning for it more and more because it’s a fight that Adam [Booth, trainer] and everyone at MTK believe I can win.
“I know I can beat him on my day so I just need to get that opportunity,” added the British champion, who will take on Southampton’s Little – a late replacement opponent – in the English capital this weekend.
“It’s a late replacement for the opponent, but I’m ready to perform and I’m in great shape so I just can’t wait to get in there and fight now,” said Edwards. “This is a World Cup final for this guy [Little] and he’s going to come and try to cause an upset.
“That will play right into my hands and I know what to expect here. I’m just looking for a clean, clinical performance and I’ll move on. I’ll go in there and work on things and enjoy myself,” continued the Surrey native, who is training alongside a number of talented fighters at Adam Booth’s gym including former world amateur champion and MTK Global stablemate Michael Conlan in addition to world bantamweight champion Ryan Burnett.
“The gym is buzzing at the minute,” said Edwards. “Michael Conlan has just come in and we’re all learning off each other.
“I’m like a sponge, I like to soak in all the experience and keep learning day by day. I’ve mixed with Ryan Burnett a lot in the gym over the past year or so and I think that will show in my performance on Saturday.
“The gym is booming with talent and we’re all on the same level. Champions make champions and to be in that gym and learn even when you’re just watching the others is great, the gym is buzzing.”