Undefeated Sunny Edwards scored a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over longtime world champion Moruti Mthalane to win the IBF Flyweight world championship on Friday night at York Hall in London, England. Edwards implemented a strategy from the outset that emphasized lateral movement to keep the champion at distance where he could not get his punches off consistently. Although this fight did not have much in the form of drama, it was the definition of Boxing in that Edwards stayed disciplined all the way through the fight, got his punches off first and evading Mthalane’s offense. Simply put, Edwards hit and was not hit often in return in what was an outstanding performance to win a world championship in the 112lb. Flyweight division. Official scores were: 118-111, 120-108, and 115-113 in favor of Edwards. Sunny Edwards advances to 16-0, with 4 Knockouts. Moruti Mthalane falls to 39-3, with 26 Knockouts.
Also on this card:
Undefeated WBO number one Jr. Featherweight contender Michael Conlan scored a hard fought twelve round majority decision over WBO number nine rated contender Ionut Baluta. For twelve rounds, the two fighters engaged in a grueling give and take battle that followed one pattern throughout. Baluta throwing punches in volume and generally outworking Conlan, but Conlan being more accurate and seemingly landing the harder punches. While this was the pattern was consistent from the opening bell, as the fight progressed, Conlan was able to get some separation between himself and Baluta due to some effective body work that seemed to take some steam out of Baluta’s near relentless output. Official scores were 114-114 (Even) and, 115-114, 117-112 in favor of Conlan. Michael Conlan advances to 15-0, with 8 Knockouts. Ionut Baluta falls to 14-3, with 3 Knockouts.
In a battle of unbeaten Jr. Middleweights in what was an elimination bout to determine a mandatory challenger for British Jr. Middleweight champion Ted Cheeseman, Troy Williamson scored a sixth round stoppage of previously undefeated Kieran Smith. What was a close and competitive bout ended suddenly when Williamson connected with an overhand right that set off a brutal barrage of unanswered punches that sent Smith down to the canvas. The bout was immediately stopped without a count. Official time of the stoppage was 1:28 of round six. Troy Williamson advances to 16-0-1, with 12 Knockouts. Kieran Smith falls to 16-1, with 7 Knockouts.
Undefeated Lightweight Ryan Garner overcame a bad cut to score a six round decision over Jordan Ellison. Although Garner dictated the combat throughout, Ellison connected with a right hand to the head at the end of the third round that opened a cut on Garner’s left eyelid. Despite the cut being in a bad spot, Garner remained in control and was able to score the decision victory. As all non-title bouts that do not have an impact on regional or world rankings are solely scored by the referee officiating a bout throughout the United Kingdom, Referee Ian-John Lewis scored the bout 60-54 in Garner’s favor. Ryan Garner advances to 10-0, with 6 Knockouts. Jordan Ellison falls to 11-33-2, with 1 Knockout.
Jr. Middleweight Joshua Frankham began the evening by scoring a four round decision over veteran Naeem Ali to remain unbeaten. Referee Robert Williams scored the bout 40-36 in Frankham’s favor. Joshua Frankham advances to 3-0, with 0 Knockouts. Naeem Ali falls to 2-67-1, with 1 Knockout.
York Hall is traditionally one of England’s historic venues for the sport of Boxing dating back to to 1949. A venue that is not unlike the legendary Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, PA here in the United States another historic Boxing venue that has hosted many memorable battles throughout its history. Although the venue was without its normal crowd of spectators due to the ongoing global COVID-19 epidemic , Sunny Edwards victory in winning the IBF Flyweight world championship is the latest in a long list of memorable moments to have taken place in London’s York Hall.
In terms of what the future holds for Edwards, it is logical to think that after a near perfect performance in a fight against the vastly more experienced Moruti Mthalane, a fighter who had two reigns as IBF Flyweight world champion and who had not lost a fight in over thirteen years, the sky may be the limit. After defeating Mthalane, Edwards might be in a position to garner more lucrative opportunities against the other world champions in the division if he chooses to remain at 112lbs.
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