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CHARLIE EDWARDS will make the first defence of his WBC Flyweight World title against Angel Moreno on a huge night of boxing in the capital at the Copper Box Arena on March 23, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Edwards ripped the famous green belt from Cristofer Rosales on an emotional night at The O2 in London in December, outclassing the Nicaraguan with a masterful display to take a well-earned unanimous decision.
The Croydon man, having lost out in his first bid for World honours against John Riel Casimero in 2016, was overcome with joy after fulfilling his childhood dream, and is excited to begin life as a World Champion against Spain’s Moreno.
“Moreno is a very tough and game fighter,” said Edwards. “He’s a mature man and he doesn’t shy away from any opportunities, he’s going to come to try and steal my title from me. This is a fight that I’m very confident of winning and a fight that I can look really good in. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring with him, I sparred him ahead of the Casimero fight but I’m a completely different animal now.
“This is only the beginning, this is a new chapter in my career and this is where the real hard work starts. I want to be an active World Champion, I want to be in the ring fighting and getting better and pushing myself. I’m not in this game to take part, I want to be a multi-weight World Champion. I look forward to taking my first steps as a World Champion and defending my belt on March 23.”
Croydon’s fast-rising Light-Heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi takes a significant step up when he takes on the inform Liam Conroy for the vacant British title in just his tenth fight. Buatsi blasted out Renold Quinlan at The O2 in December to bring up his third successive stoppage win inside the opening round, but ‘JB’ expects a tougher night against former English Champion Conroy.
“This is a good benchmark to see where I’m at,” said Buatsi. “My team see me day in day out in the gym and this is the title they feel I’m ready for. Liam has won his last five fights by knockout and he’ll be heading into the fight full of confidence.
“There’s a good title at stake and he knows there’s a big reward if he beats me. For me, it’s a big stepping stone and another box to tick on my way to the top. This is an important fight for my career and I need to get the belt to move on.”
“I believe I can overpower him,” said Conroy. “I don’t believe he’s been in a situation as a professional in which someone can overpower him. I also don’t think he’s been in with anyone who can take what he’s got to give, which I will be able to.
“There’s plenty of hype around him but he deserves it because he trains hard and has already proved himself at the Olympics. I haven’t got the name he’s got but I’m looking to change that come fight night.”
Cruiserweight rivals Lawrence Okolie and Wadi Camacho finally get it on in an all London affair, with the British and Commonwealth titles on the line. ‘The Sauce’ picked up the Lonsdale belt against Matty Askin at Wembley Stadium and puts his title on the line for the first time against the Canning Town ‘Machoman’.
Lewis Ritson defends his British Lightweight title against ‘The KO Kid’ Andy Townend in a guaranteed barnburner. The Geordie favourite is determined to return to winning ways after suffering the first loss of his career at the hands of Francesco Patera in October.
“This is a great show,” said Eddie Hearn. “A new hero of British boxing defending his World title in Charlie Edwards, with three brilliant British title clashes on the undercard. Everybody resonated with the story of Charlie Edwards after his memorable performance at The O2 in December. He makes his first defence of his title against seasoned pro Angel Moreno.
“Joshua Buatsi fights for the British title against the inform Liam Conroy, which is a significant step up. Lawrence Okolie finally gets the chance to fight Wadi Camacho for the British and Commonwealth titles after the all of the bad blood. Lewis Ritson returns from his disappointing defeat to defend his British title against big-punching Andy Townsend in what will be a brutal shootout, and there’s plenty more to be added to this stacked card.”