Sunny Edwards became Great Britain’s eighth reigning world boxing champion with a measured and cute performance against the experienced Moruti Mthalane.
The 25-year-old brother of former WBC ruler Charlie Edwards captured the IBF flyweight belt on a defining night at York Hall in London.
Edwards boxed perfectly from the start, moving out of danger following combinations. It was the best strategy to use, and it paid off.
Through six rounds, it was a complete shut-out. Mthalane didn’t come alive until the second half of the fight, but it was too late by then.
Sibling Charlie was tweeting every punch alongside Sunny as the pair made history as the first family members to share world title glory sine Liam and Callum Smith.
“Movements great here six up,” said Charlie at the halfway point. “Punch perfect so far. Every round for me with one close round,” he added a short time later.
Following ten completed rounds, he stated: “Six minutes and the new,” before, “Three minutes away and the new! Switched on.”
As the announcer read out the scores, all seemed good for Edwards at 120-108, 118-111 from two officials.
The win was a little soured when a respected judge and referee in Ian John Lewis got it completely wrong. He scored it a mind-boggling 115-113.
In all honesty, it was never that close. Mthalane, too his loss like the gentleman he is.
Reporter Dan Rafael tweeted afterward: “We go to the scorecards in #MthalaneEdwards: 118-111, 120-108, 115-113 all for the winner Sunny Edwards, who pulls a HUGE upset and wins the IBF flyweight world title.
“Impressive display against a tremendous fighter in Moruti Mthalane.”
We go to the scorecards in #MthalaneEdwards: 118-111, 120-108, 115-113 all for the winner Sunny Edwards, who pulls a HUGE upset and wins the IBF flyweight world title. Impressive display against a tremendous fighter in Moruti Mthalane. #boxing
— Dan Rafael (@DanRafael1) April 30, 2021
Frank Warren was delighted when he said: “Ladies and Gentleman. The IBF World Flyweight Champion comes from Britain, and his name is…”
Callum Johnson, who was in the studio to analyze the fight, was the first to congratulate Sunny.
“Great near on perfect performance from Sunny Edwards tonight,” he said, adding: “Great hard fight with Mick Conlon but his class and quality was the difference.”
Sunny was too busy enjoying his night to get to all the messages of his win.
“Haven’t opened or replied to a single message yet, been enjoying reading all your tweets, though. “I will be onto you all in the morning,” Edwards promised.
118-111, 120-108, 115-113
Unanimous decision ✅
AND. THE. NEW.
An utter masterclass from @SunnyEdwards as he beats Ring #1 Flyweight Moruti Mthalane and becomes… THE NEW IBF FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD ???? #MthalaneEdwards pic.twitter.com/AryAWwCNAi
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) April 30, 2021
Regarding the Conlan fight that Johnson mentioned, the Irishman had to work hard for his 15th pro victory, one less than Edwards.
Scores of 114-114, 115-114, and 117-112 came back from his battle with Ionut Baluta, the latter of which was another shocker.
It was probably the correct result in the end, but Conlan was far from the dominant force he usually is during fights.
He may have to take a couple more interim bouts before going for that elusive world title shot.
Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.