Former English, British and Commonwealth boxing champion Chris Edwards has tragically passed away at the age of just 41, WBN has sadly been informed.
Reports in his hometown of Stoke begin trickling through in the early hours of Saturday morning as the retired pro suffered what is believed to be a fatal heart attack.
Campaigning at flyweight and super-flyweight, Edwards won the English strap in 2006 before a career-best win over Jamie McDonnell for the British super-flyweight belt followed a year later.
Edwards became the first man from Stoke to claim a Lonsdale belt for 85 years with the win but lost it just three months on against Andy Bell.
Immediately heading back down to flyweight, his most comfortable weight class, Edwards won two bouts to become a two-weight British ruler before suffering a loss to Shinny Bayaar.
A four-fight winning streak followed as Edwards once again won the British belt, along with the Commonwealth version when avenging his defeat to Bayaar in 2011.
Ten months passed with only a solitary six round draw to show for Edwards endeavors as injuries and cuts took their toll, before Kevin ‘Iceman’ Satchell forced a sixth round stoppage in October 2012, the final time Edwards graced the ring.
A fitting way to end his career in front of an almost capacity crowd at Liverpool’s Echo Arena for a man who was inducted into the Stoke Boxing Hall of Fame in 2016.
Tributes have since poured in for the 5ft 3ins fighter, who was one of the most likeable and professional people on the circuit.
Speaking of Edwards, ex-opponent McDonnell’s trainer Dave Coldwell said: “Just heard the shocking news that former British Champion Chris Edwards has passed away.
“Such a lovely fella with the heart of a lion in the ring. Gone way too soon. RIP champ.”
Coach Joe Gallagher added: “Woke to hear shocking news former British Champ Chris Edwards passed away at such a young age thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones.”
The likes of Frankie Gavin, Anthony Fowler, Matthew Macklin, Martin Gethin and many, many more have sent their condolences to the family of Edwards after what was a real sickener when confirmed.
WBN would also like to send our thoughts to those close to Chris Edwards at this sad time.