EXCLUSIVE: Charlie Edwards discusses Kal Yafai rivalry, future plans for all-UK world title clash
Charlie Edwards has been building towards a fight with WBA Champion and fellow-Briton Kal Yafai for what could be a mouth-watering affair down the line.
In an interview with WBN this week, Edwards outlined that the clash could happen but maybe not in 2018.
Edwards has been very vocal with his intentions to face Yafai in the past, leading the pair into a heated argument at the Lawrence Okolie v Isaac Chamberlain card back in February.
“This year – I very much doubt it. I’m going to get a world title shot back down at flyweight and it opens doors,” Edwards exclusively told World Boxing News.
“That Kal fight is always going to be there, it’s a fight I really want and it’s a fight he doesn’t really want at the minute because it’s a high risk, low reward for him.
“So I’ve got to earn my stripes and going back down winning a world title – you don’t know what doors it will open for me.
“Now I know how to do the weight properly, I’ve brought a nutritionist on board, I’ve got my team around me now who are really good together.”
When asked if the Yafai was in danger of turning into a long awaited rivalry like Amir Khan and Kell Brook, Edwards replied: “I think if I win a world title and make some noise then it’s going to have to get done.
“The British public will be like – come on let’s see these two fight because they’re both world champions.
“Even though it’s the weight below, they already know I’ve fought at the weight above and because we’re both British I think it will get more pressure.”
Attempts to lure Kal Yafai into a fight have so far been unsuccessful but Edwards believes his tactics will eventually bear fruit.
“It will be like he just wants to shut me up when he gets unstuck, when I wind him up that will be the beating of him,” pointed out Edwards.
“The thing is I genuinely like Kal as a person. When we was on the GB team we would go out eating every week, going to Nando’s together. We even used to share a GB flat and we’ve shared a lot of company together.”
Despite the old friendship, Edwards stated a fight would not be damaging to any future relationship.
“I’ve always been quiet and unassuming throughout. Now I’m an adult and I know how the game works.
“For this circumstance, I know I get under his skin because he’s never seen me like this before. That’s why he gets angry, he did a sole interview about me two weeks before the Sho Ishida fight.
“I thought a world champion going on about someone who’s supposed to be irrelevant to you and trying to put you down by saying I’ll do this and I’ll do that, it shows his attention is on me, it means I’m under his skin.
“I know after the fight we will be pals, there’s always respect there – I’m not saying he’s a s*** fighter at all.
“I know he’s a tough fighter and it will be a hard night’s work but I’m just fully confident that I can beat him. If I’m confident that I can beat him then I will voice it,” he concluded.
Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller