WARRINGTON VACATES IBF BELT

Featherweight king targets Xu Can and Gary Russell for Ring belt
Josh Warrington has today vacated his IBF World Title after the IBF refused to sanction his proposed unification fight in April.

Earlier this month, the proposed mega fight with Xu Can was delayed with a new working date of April 24. Matchroom will now look to finalise that fight or make a giant match up with WBC king Gary Russell. Both the Can and Russell fights would be for the coveted Ring Magazine belt.

“It’s so important for Josh to be in a mega fight after Lara on February 13,” said Matchroom Sport Managing Director Eddie Hearn. “He has his heart set on the Ring belt and it’s up to us to make the Can or Russell fights for April or early May. I’ve been working hard with Robert Diaz of Golden Boy to close Xu Can and also had several conversations with Luis De Cubas regarding a Gary Russell bout – both fights are Fight of the Year contenders.” 

“It’s disappointing we couldn’t have the IBF Title on the line, but I can’t let those decisions stand in the way of me going down in British boxing history by facing the very best in the division,” said Warrington. “I’ve always dreamt about winning the Ring belt, for me it leaves no doubt who the king of the division is. Right now, my mind and focus is on Lara for February 13 and then I’m looking to pick up that beautiful red and blue belt.”

Warrington will face Mauricio Lara on Saturday February 13 live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.
 
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AVANESYAN-KELLY POSTPONED

Following a ruling from the British Boxing Board of Control, the David Avanesyan vs. Josh Kelly event scheduled to take place on Saturday January 30 has been postponed.

In a statement, the BBBofC said: “Following the increase in COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom and the effects such increases has on the NHS and the work of the Board Medical Officers, it has been decided that no tournaments under the jurisdiction of the British Boxing Board of Control will take place in January 2021.

“A further review by the Board’s Medical Panel and Stewards will take place later in January in relation to tournaments from February onwards.”

Matchroom Boxing will announce the rescheduled date for Avanesyan vs. Kelly as soon as possible.
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SAUNDERS: I HAVEN’T OVERLOOKED MARTIN

Two-weight World Champ focused on all-British showdown
Billy Joe Saunders insists that he hasn’t overlooked four-time World Title challenger Martin Murray as he prepares to put his WBO Super-Middleweight crown on the line for the second time this Friday at The SSE Arena, Wembley, shown live on Sky Sports and DAZN.

Hatfield star Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) was on the verge of securing a mega fight with Mexican pound-for-pound icon Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez earlier this year before the coronavirus pandemic turned the sporting world on its head and scuppered his shot at greatness. 

Saunders, who was scheduled to face Murray twice in 2018, has expressed his desire to take on the winner of Alvarez vs. Callum Smith in a huge unification battle in 2021, but the 31-year-old two-weight World Champion has refused to underestimate St Helens man Murray. 

“I just want to get one in before the end of the year,” said Saunders. “There’s a lot of fighters struggling to get out. I’ve had a major disappointment. The Canelo fight fell through in May. On Friday we’ll rock and roll.“If you want to go on professional experience, he’s had more fights than me. He’s challenged for the World Title four times. He should have been World Champion in two of those fights. I’ve promised him a chance.

“There’s always a risk I could get in there and get knocked out in one round. There’s a risk to people’s lives. I haven’t overlooked Martin. I’ve trained myself the best I can for the date. I know he doesn’t lay down, I can’t afford that kind of performance.“Martin has his own mind. He’s prepared how he wants to prepare, whether he wants to train on emotion, grit or experience. He has to find a way to beat me and that will be difficult for any fighters on the planet. I can sense frustration from Martin’s camp. We had two fights that fell through.

“I would be disappointed if I went in there and blew him away in one round. I need rounds for next year. I need to get in there, in the real thing, to go into the big fights next year. To get over that bridge I need to beat Martin Murray. He’s not one of those fighters you can ever completely right off.”

Saunders vs. Murray tops of big night of action in London, Belfast’s James Tennyson (27-3, 23 KOs) meets Canada’s Josh O’Reilly (16-0, 6 KOs) in an Eliminator for the WBA Lightweight World Title, Watford Super-Bantamweight Shannon Courtenay (5-1, 2 KOs)looks to return to winning ways against Poland’s Dorota Nurek (6-1, 1 KO), Derby’s Zach Parker (19-0, 13 KOs) takes on Spain’s Cesar Nunez (17-2-1, 9 KOs) for the WBO International Super-Middleweight Title, New Malden Super-Middleweight talent Lerrone Richards (13-0, 3 KOs) makes his Matchroom debut, Southamptons’ Lewis Edmondson (3-0) clashes with Manchester’s John Telford (11-2-1, 2 KOs) over six rounds at Super-Middleweight and exciting Sheffield Featherweight Donte Dixon (4-0, 3 KOs) meets Welshman Angelo Dragone (5-1) over six rounds. 
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RITSON VS. VAZQUEZ + UNDERCARD PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Lewis Ritson – Forest Hall, England – 20-1, 12 KOs – fighting Miguel Vazquez for the WBA Intercontinental Super-Lightweight Title:

“We need to get past Vazquez, he’s our main focus. We’re not looking past Saturday. If we can get past him, and we’re confident that we can, then we’ll start looking at those other big names. I think I’ll put an even better performance on behind closed doors with no pressure on my shoulders. When I first saw him at the first press conference, I thought he looked massive. Now he looks quite skinny, quite frail, to be fair, but we’ll see on Saturday night what he comes to bring. We know that we’ll bring our A-game.Asked if he is nearing world class, Ritson said: “Very close. Sparring is sparring, it’s totally different when you get in there and fight, so you can’t really take much off sparring, but if you did off the sparring, we’d be very happy with where we are and where we can end up. Get past this, hopefully the lockdown eases down, and we’ll get back to Newcastle and in front of a packed crowd and some big fights to come.

Miguel Vazquez – Guadalajara, Mexico – 42-9, 16 KOs – fighting Lewis Ritson for the WBA Intercontinental Super-Lightweight Title:

“We have been training for this fight for a long long time. Obviously it got delayed, but we have been ready for this fight for a long time and I’m up against a really tough fighter in Lewis Ritson. It is a great opportunity for me. It is a really big fight for me and it’s not going to be an easy one at all which is why I have been preparing as hard as I possibly can for this. When people watch the fight they can expect to see a Miguel Vazquez that is prepared to go on to become a World Champion again. I’m ready to win. All the fights that I’ve had have enabled me to get to where I am now. It was a great experience fighting against Canelo. But all of the people I’ve faced during my period as World Champion as well were important for my career.”

Qais Ashfaq – Leeds, England – 8-0, 3 KOs – fighting Marc Leach in a Final Eliminator for the British Super-Bantamweight Title:

“It has been amazing. I feel like I’m coming on leaps and bounds with Angel Fernandez and the team in Loughborough. I’m looking forward to showing what I’m about on Saturday night. Get this fight out of the way on Saturday and get a good stylish win, and then move on and win that British Title. I’m part of a fresh new team, coaching as well as management. I believe it has freshened me up in many ways and I’m learning things that are going to show on Saturday. I look forward to showing the improvements. The management team will drive me in the right direction. I’m learning a lot in the gym now. My improvements in the gym have been huge. The facilities at Loughborough University are unbelievable, we have everything that we need.”

Marc Leach – Salford, England – 14-1-1, 3 KOs – fighting Qais Ashfaq in a Final Eliminator for the British Super-Bantamweight Title:

“We’ve sparred each other over the years so we know a bit about each other. I’m just going to take every round as it comes and perform to the best I can. I feel a bit stronger. As everyone knows, the last two or three pounds is the hardest to make. I haven’t had to do that this time so I’m feeling fit and strong. I can’t wait now. Jamie is my coach and he had the British Title. I’m bringing it back to Salford where it belongs. My weight or the weight above, I just need the opportunity to fight on shows like these. Thanks to Qais and everyone else for accepting it. It’s going to be a bit cagey as we know each other so well but I think I’ll win on points.”

Joe Laws – Benwell, England – 9-0, 5 KOs – fighting Rylan Charlton in a six round Super-Lightweight contest:

“I’m going to knock him out, flatten him. I’m a product of where I come from. But sometimes, at the weekends, it can be too comfortable to nip out and see my friends. I’m at a stage of my career where the fights will start getting harder. Lanzarote takes me out of my comfort zone.”I’m a passionate kid. If I box, fight or play scrabble I am a passionate kid. I’m going to flatten him. I’m throwing with intent to hurt. He’s training to knock me out, know what I mean? Once I get in the ring, it’s personal. Come Saturday I will show no respect whatsoever.

Rylan Charlton – Norwich, England – 5-0-1, 2 KOs – fighting Joe Laws in a six round Super-Lightweight contest

“He’s good at doing the talking, I’m good at doing the beating up. There isn’t much pressure on me. Joe is used to having a crowd behind him and there won’t be a crowd. All the pressure is on Joe! I’m going in there to do a job and this the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.”

Thomas Patrick Ward – West Rainton, England – 29-0, 4 KOs – fighting Thomas Essomba in a ten round Super-Bantamweight contest: 

“I’m ready to go. Obviously there was a change of opponent but our training regime doesn’t change at all. It doesn’t matter who we’re fighting, we train hard, give 100% and remain ready and focused. I’m ready to go on Saturday night. Every fight has to be won. It doesn’t matter what the calibre of the opponent is. I was supposed to fight Garcia who is ranked in the WBO. That would have pushed me on to get a World Title shot. We’re still pushing for them World Titles. I believe I’m ready to fight any of those World Champions. I believe I’ll beat any of them. I’m ready to take on the full division but we’ve got a fight on our hands on Saturday night.”

Thomas Essomba – Wolverhampton, England – 10-6, 4 KOs – fighting Thomas Patrick Ward in a ten round Super-Bantamweight contest: 

“First of all I want to say thank you for the opportunity. I fought as recently as August. I think that will help me in this fight. I didn’t expect to fight this soon after that. The notice they gave me was very short but I believe the camp I had for my last fight is going to help me for this fight. I will find the solution to win. Every fight is important for me. The opportunity to fight Tommy is a big one for me.”

Ellie Scotney – Catford, England – making her professional debut in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest with Bec Connolly:

“I’m just grateful to be given this opportunity in the circumstances. To be around those people in the gym, I’m learning outside of boxing. I’m trying to be a sponge to everything in that gym and I’m thankful to be there. In hindsight it seemed like a tough decision turning pro but I’ve never looked back once. My character and my boxing, it just wasn’t settling well there and I just didn’t love boxing like I use to. As soon as I made the decision to turn pro I fell in love with it again. I’m getting my journey started. As soon as I box on Saturday I’d like to be out again the next week! It’s a great time to be involved in women’s boxing. As soon as I get started I want to keep going.”

Bec Connolly – Swindon, England – 3-7 – fighting Ellie Scotney in a six round Super-Bantamweight contest:

“It’s quite exciting isn’t it. I didn’t think with all of this COVID stuff this year that I’d get to box at all. It’s a massive change on the management side of things, I’d been with Paddy for the best part of ten years. I’m with Mike in Malmesbury now with new management as well in Al Siesta. I can’t see small hall boxing coming back for a long time with this COVID stuff so it’s time to do the big shows. Experience is only good if you use it, and I plan on using it on Saturday. She’s not your typical debutant and I think people in boxing know that already. Ellie has got a lot of accolades behind her. Inactivity as a boxer is a killer. You want to be busy and you want to be out there. This is a great platform to be on and I’m just really grateful that it’s happening.”
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FOR THE FANS: DUBOIS vs JOYCE TO LAND ON NOV 28th, LIVE ON BT SPORT

HALL-OF-FAME Promoter Frank Warren has today revealed the highly anticipated Heavyweight battle between Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce will land on Nov 28th, live on BT Sport.

In an incredible reversal, the fight – the most significant domestic bout staged in the UK post-Lockdown and the biggest domestic Heavyweight clash in years – will now NOT be on pay-per-view.

The blockbuster November event, branded with the apt tagline ‘At Last’, will represent the final chapter in a saga that has seen April, July and October dates cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Warren was keen to point out that the COVID outbreak and its negative effect on UK jobs and livelihoods was on his mind as he decided to scrap plans to make the fight PPV.

He said: “This is about keeping boxing alive and relevant at a tough time and doing something for the fans and we have moved heaven and earth to put this on as a BT Sport subscription Fight Night instead.”

“With boxing still being behind closed doors and struggling back to its feet post-Lockdown, I wanted to give something of a gift to British boxing fans. Dubois versus Joyce is the best fight on the British boxing calendar and I want this to be something as many people as possible can enjoy. It’s a bonus that the added exposure gained from the fight will really help the boxers as they move forward with their careers.

“Above all, this is about making sure that the fans are looked after and this fight will be available to BT Sport subscribers. Queensberry and BT Sport are looking forward to delivering a huge night of boxing, so let’s make sure the eyes of the country, and the world, are on British boxing come November 28th. 

“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to BT Sport for being willing to make this happen.

“I sound like a broken record I’m sure, but sometimes you have to put the sport and the fans first. Queensberry gets that and BT Sport gets that. ‘For the fans’, it’s what it’s all about.”
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SMITH: THE AMATEURS ARE IN THE PAST, I’VE GOT NEW GOALS TO ACHIEVE

Gifted Sheffield standout ready for Bennett test
Dalton Smith, Sheffield’s most successful amateur boxer of all time,only has eyes for the future as he prepares to take the biggest step up in his pro career to date when he fights Liverpool’s Nathan Bennett over eight rounds in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday August 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US. 

In a glittering amateur career, Smith established himself as one of the very best fighters in the country, winning medals at the Junior European Championships and youth Commonwealth Games, as well as representing Team GB around the World and taking on the very best amateurs on the planet in the World Series of Boxing.

Since swapping his Team GB vest for the paid ranks with Eddie’s Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in March 2019, Smith has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in the UK, winning all five of his bouts in impressive fashion and stopping all but one opponent inside the distance.

‘Thunder’s’ successful switch from the amateurs is all the more compelling given he had four operations on his hands before even starting his professional adventure, and the gifted 23-year-old says his hands are feeling stronger than ever as he looks to move 6-0 this weekend. 

“In the amateurs I had a lot of hand injuries towards the back of my career and I’ve got the scars to show for it.” said Smith. “I’ve had two operations on my right hand and I had to have a tendon repaired on my left hand. You can see why I say the gloves and the hand wraps have a big impact in the amateurs on fighter’s hands. I’d be going to tournaments, throwing punches but holding back. 

“It was like a mental thing where I’d had all of that time off with injuries and operations, I just didn’t want to go through all of that again. You just have to overcome that and have trust in yourself. They’ve been fine ever since. Now I’ve turned professional I get the pro wrap, the gloves are shaped better and I’ve not had not any hand trouble whatsoever.”

Trained by his father Grant at the Steel City Gym in Sheffield alongside former WBC Flyweight World Champion Charlie Edwards and his brother Sunny, Smith has settled well into life as a professional fighter and hopes to replicate his outstanding amateur achievements in the pro game. 

“My dad got a trophy cabinet for me to keep all of my medals and trophies together. I used to come back from a tournament and my dad would stack my medals in there. The trophies go back to when I was eleven when I first started competing. It’s nice to look back on my past achievements. It’s something to show your kids when you get older.

“I won National Titles all the way up to the Seniors. Just before I turned professional, I won the Senior ABA’s. I had a good amateur career so it’s nice to see all of my medals and look back on them but I’m in the professional game now and I’ve got new goals to achieve. I’ll have to get a new trophy cabinet now to stick the belts in. The amateurs are passed me now and success in professional game is my new goal.”

Smith vs. Bennett lands on Week 1 of Matchroom Fight Camp, top of the bill sees Sam Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) put his IBF International Super-Welterweight Title on the line against Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs), Belfast’s big-hitting James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) takes on Cardiff’s Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant British Lightweight Title, fast-rising Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) steps up to take on Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant English belt and Chatteris talent Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) in an electric Featherweight battle.
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AGYARKO TAKES ON SMITH IN MIDDLEWEIGHT MAYHEM

UNBEATEN MIDDLEWEIGHT CONTENDER Caoimhin Agyarko will take on Jez Smith live from the BT Studio on Friday night in the third of Frank Warren’s post-lockdown summer series.Heading up the show is the tasty looking light heavyweight collision between Lyndon Arthur and Dec Spelman with the Commonwealth title at stake in a fight where sparks are certain to fly.

Agyarko and Smith coming together is also a combustible cocktail containing mostly pure aggression and come forward intent from both fighters.

Agyarko (6-0), known as Black Thunder, recognises this domestic dust-up as his first big test, while Smith (11-1-1) acknowledges this is his time to shine in stepping up to middleweight for a golden opportunity to kickstart his career.

“Jez Smith is a decent opponent so I am looking forward to it,” said the 23-year-old from Belfast. “I have been wanting someone who will come and fight, someone who will throw back and leave openings. Someone who will test me as well, so this could be it.

“He has never fought at middleweight before, but he carries a bit of power for a welterweight and has five stoppages from his 11 wins. I’ll not be taking anything for granted. Regardless of whether he is a welterweight or not, I am taking it as my toughest fight to date and I am going to put on a good performance.

“Obviously I would have preferred a middleweight with a good record but nobody wanted to step up to the plate at this moment in time. Fair play to Jez for taking this fight and I am sure he will be out to prove everybody wrong and cause an upset.

“This is a stepping stone for me, a domestic dust-up and what I’ve been calling for. I am looking forward to getting the job done and moving on to bigger and better things.”

Smith, from Harrow, is undaunted by the mission of stepping up in weight and views the fight as his potential passport back to the big stage he operated on during his prospect phase.

“I’d been preparing for a fight in Belarus and working hard, but I didn’t know what was going on with travel quarantine,” said Smith, the younger brother of former WBO European champion Mitchell.

“So I put my name out there in case anything came up and then I got a message from my trainer saying we’ve been offered a fight at middleweight.

“I was going to fight between light middle and middle in Belarus so I said to myself it is just an extra few pounds and I believe I am big enough. To be honest with you, I look at Agyarko and I don’t think he is a middleweight.

“I believe he is not massive at the weight and, if he wanted to, he could do a lower weight. He is quite chunky but it doesn’t faze me and I believe I am strong enough and I spar bigger lads all the time.

“I can fight, I can box and, I’ll tell you one thing for sure, I am not coming in as a body. I am coming to win and he is going to get a tough night’s work.

“It is a massive opportunity for me. It is on BT Sport and if I put on a massive performance and turn him over it opens up a huge door for me.

“I am not saying I am going to fight at middleweight from now on, it is just a fight I believe I hold my own in. I believe I can win. I am not being unrealistic because I don’t think he is a world-beater. I’ve watched him and he is a good fighter, but I am believe I am too and I can’t wait to get in there.

“If people go off my last performance then more fool them.”

Also featuring on the card is the exciting Liverpool trio of Nick Ball, Andrew Cain and Brad Strand from the Everton Red Triangle gym. 11-0 featherweight Ball takes on the 6-0 Jerome Campbell from Kingsbury.Live coverage on BT Sport 1 begins at 7pm on Friday.
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JOHN HEDGES SIGNS WITH MATCHROOM BOXING

Decorated amateur standout inks deal with Eddie Hearn
Decorated amateur standout John Hedges has signed a multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and will campaign at Super-Middleweight after making the decision to turn professional with S-JAM Boxing in April.
 
The elusive 6’5” southpaw won four National and seven International titles during a glittering spell in the unpaid code in which he amassed an extremely impressive record of 44 fights and 40 wins fighting all over Europe. 
 
Known as ‘Gentleman John’, the gifted 18-year-old prospect fights out of the Hoddesdon Boxing Academy and joins a Matchroom stable that boasts two undefeated Super-Middleweight World Champions in Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders. 
 
Based in Takeley, Essex Hedges is confident his flashy style will suit the professional game and believes he is in the perfect place to start making a name for himself in the 168lbs division when boxing resumes later this year. 
 
“I’m delighted to be teaming up with Matchroom Boxing,” said Hedges. “It’s a massive move for me and I can’t wait to get started. I’m a long 6’5” southpaw and I’m everyone’s worst nightmare. With my size and ability, I honestly believe that I’ll go all the way and become a young World Champion, if not the youngest. 
 
“I’ve got the best manager and coach behind me, and now I’ve got the best promoter behind me in Eddie Hearn. The opportunities are going to be endless for me, this is what dreams are made of. I’m only young but I’ve been around the block and I’m ready to take over. 
 
“I’m flashy, entertaining and I always put on a show. Joining Matchroom and looking up to the likes of Callum Smith and Billy Joe is going to take my fighting to another level. As soon as that opportunity comes, we’ll push for any titles there is. We’re not avoiding anyone; we believe that we’re as good as the best right now. It’s about taking my chance.”
 
“I’m excited to add highly-rated prospect John Hedges to our ranks,” said Eddie Hearn. “John has proven his credentials in the amateurs, winning countless titles at both National and International level. His size and ability will make him a problem for anyone at 168lbs and I look forward to guiding his development once he makes his professional debut later this year. 

“If John needs any inspiration he need look no further than his new stablemates Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders who both hold World Titles at his weight. He possesses bags of confidence which is vital in this sport and he now has the perfect platform on Sky Sports and DAZN to showcase his skills.”
 
Sam Jones of S-JAM Boxing said: “I am absolutely delighted to link up with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing. I believe they have the perfect platform for John with Sky Sports and DAZN and I genuinely believe he can become a superstar in boxing.”
 
You can follow Hedges’ journey on Twitter: @johnhedges_ and Instagram: johnhedges1
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COVID-19: MATCHROOM BOXING SCHEDULE UPDATE

Newcastle and Cardiff events rescheduled; Manchester cancelled
In line with the latest BBBofC and Government guidelines relating to COVID-19, Matchroom Boxing have taken the decision to reschedule their events due to take place in Newcastle on Saturday June 27th and Cardiff on Saturday July 11th, while the event taking place at Manchester Arena on Saturday July 4th has been cancelled.
 
Subject to the developing situation, Lee Selby’s IBF Lightweight World Title Final Eliminator against George Kambosos Jr at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff has been rescheduled to Saturday October 3rd, while Lewis Ritson’s clash with former World Champion Miguel Vazquez at the Utilita Arena Newcastle has been rescheduled to Saturday October 17th.  
 
Tickets will be valid for the rescheduled dates in Cardiff and Newcastle or refunds will be available from your point of purchase. Tickets for the cancelled Manchester event will be available from your point of purchase.
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CHARLIE EDWARDS SIGNS FOR QUEENSBERRY PROMOTIONS

FORMER WBC World Flyweight champion Charlie Edwards has signed a multi-fight deal with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren.

He joins brother Sunny in the Queensberry Promotions camp and believes it’s only a matter of time before ‘The Croydon Klitschkos’ are fighting in world title contests on the same bill.

Edwards, 27, said: “I was with Eddie Hearn for six years and I needed to freshen things up. I feel this is the next chapter of my career.

“I have seen what Frank has done for my brother Sunny. He has done very well for him from the start.

“Frank really looks after his fighters as well. I felt I was taken for granted and I am looking forward to getting started with Frank as my promoter.

“I have chatted to Frank at Sunny’s fights and the timing was right.  My management MTK sorted the deal, my adviser thought it was best for me and the offer is great.”

Edwards (15-1, 6KOs) will be moving up from Flyweight to either Bantamweight or Super-Flyweight where he is ranked number two by the WBC in their world rankings.

Charlie vacated his WBC world crown after being severely weight-drained for his defence against Julio Cesar Martinez last August that ended in a no-contest.

He added: “The next fight is likely to be a gage to see where I’m at regarding my best weight. The main thing is keeping my world ranking at Super-Flyweight for now.

“I look at the Bantamweight champions. I’m not deluded and say,  ‘I’m world level’ at that weight because that would be stupid.

“If I go to Bantamweight I wont be rushing to get in with world level fighters. It will be building up over a few fights.

“I have Frank behind me and he is not going to chuck me in at the deep end. It’s going to be building into the world title picture.”

Edwards insists he is more than happy to box on one of the behind closed doors extravaganzas Warren has planned this summer.

His big hope is to fight on the same bill as his brother Sunny, who also has serious world title aspirations at Super-Flyweight.

Charlie who trains alongside his brother under Grant Smith in Sheffield said: “Just mentioning me and my brother fighting for world titles on the same bill gives a tingle down my spine.

“I did a bucket list some time ago. Sunny and myself fighting on the same show has always been there. That was another thing that made it perfect sense to join Frank because it can happen.

“We still try to outdo each other when we train. That is the beauty of it. We’re brothers, we have ultimate love and want the best for each other.

“We want to beat each other whether we’re sparring or on the track. We have progressed because we always push each other.”

Warren said: “I am absolutely delighted that Charlie has joined our team and we will work out a plan for him to become a two weight world champion.

“We have often spoke at my shows when Sunny has been boxing. We always got on well and shared a joke.

“The two brothers fighting for world titles on the same show isn’t a pipe-dream. We deliver and It is a realistic prospect.”

Charlie turned professional in January 2015. In his fifth fight he won the English Flyweight title against Louis Norman and two fights later added the WBC International Silver championship.

In September 2016 he fell short against high class Filipino John Riel Casimero in a IBF Flyweight title challenge, his only professional defeat.

Seven months later, Edwards outpointed Iain Butcher to become British Super-Flyweight champion, a crown now held by his younger brother, Sunny.

Charlie upset defending champion Cristofer Rosales on points to become WBC Flyweight title holder in December 2018. He made one successful defence three months later in a points decision against Angel Moreno.
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