Britain’s Charlie Edwards retained his WBC flyweight title for the first time by posting a comprehensive 12-round unanimous decision over gutsy challenger Angel Moreno at the Copper Box Arena in London. All three judges scored the bout a shutout at 120-107.
Edwards, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at 112 pounds, was the vastly superior technician and walked the Spanish challenger on to clean, sharp counters from the opening bell. The home fighter was never really troubled and finessed his opponent with a nice display of boxing.
Moreno’s game plan was to make the champion work at an uncomfortable pace, but as well as being an adept technician, Edwards is piping fit. The 26-year-old from Surrey was never flustered and scored a flash knockdown in the eighth when he connected with a quick right lead.
“It was about levels,” said Edwards (15-1, 6 knockouts) in his post-fight interview with Sky Sports. “(Moreno) is a tough fighter; he helped me out (in sparring) for the (John Riel) Casimero fight. I knew he was gonna be tough and I knew he was gonna be there to the end, but it was a punch-perfect performance.
“I want to build a legacy. Whoever’s next, I’m ready. If that’s Andrew Selby, if it’s (WBA junior bantamweight titleholder) Kal Yafai, if it’s (IBF titleholder) Moruti Mthalane, I want to unify and I want to be undisputed.”
Edwards, who dethroned Cristofer Rosales to win his world title in Dcember, weighed in at 111.6 pounds, while Moreno tipped the scales at 111.4.
Super-hot light heavyweight prospect Joshua Buatsi captured the vacant British championship by scoring an impressive third-round stoppage of Liam Conroy. The official time was 1:53. Buatsi (10-0, 8 KOs) was made to miss early but still landed the crisper blows over the first two sessions. The breakthrough came in the third when the Olympic bronze medalist decked his man with a sharp right-hand counter over the jab. Conroy still had plenty of fight in him but Buatsi’s punch variety immediately came to the forefront. The Londoner mixed up his punches well, threading home a big right to the jaw that floored Conroy again and referee Phil Edwards had seen enough.
The unbeaten Lawrence Okolie retained his British cruiserweight title and claimed the Commonwealth belt for the second time by posting a fourth-round stoppage of Wadi Camacho. The official time was 2:00. Some of the action was scrappy but Okolie’s danger punch, the straight right, was landing intermittently and clearly had an effect. That very punch was set up by a solid body-attack in the fourth and Okolie followed up with an impressive burst that forced Camacho to take a knee. For all intents and purposes the fight was over, but the underdog rose to face the inevitable. Okolie (12-0, 9 KOs) landed an accurate burst and the fight was stopped.
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for The Ring and a member of the ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
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