Ricardo Sandoval will be among the sport’s most interested observers for this weekend’s IBF flyweight title fight.
Moruti Mthalane will attempt the fourth defense of his second title reign, facing unbeaten Sunny Edwards (15-0, 6KOs) this Friday at York Hall in Bethnal Green, England. The winner will then turn his attention to a title eliminator on May 14, where Sandoval (18-1, 13KOs) will hit the road to face Wales’ Jay Harris (18-1, 9KOs) in a fight to determine the next mandatory challenger.
“Whoever wins this weekend will be the world champion that I plan to face next,” Sandoval told BoxingScene.com. “No matter who wins, I will be ready to fight for that IBF world title.”
Sandoval travels overseas for the first time in his young five-year career, having only fought in the United States and Mexico since turning pro in 2016. The 22-year-old rising contender from Rialto, California aims to extend his current 14-fight win streak—and perhaps even his current five-fight knockout streak—against Harris, a former title challenger and widely regarded as a perennial Top 10 flyweight.
Before then comes this weekend’s title fight, where Mthalane (39-2, 26KOs)—like Sandoval in two weeks—plays the role of road warrior in the United Kingdom for his challenge of London’s Edwards. Mthalane has won 10 straight title fights spanning two reigns following a 6th round injury stoppage to Nonito Donaire in Nov. 2008. Edwards enters his first career title fight, proving himself to be a skilled technician on the prospect and contender level.
“It’s going to be a great fight,” insists Sandoval. “Moruti Mthalane is a great champion. I feel like Sunny Edwards is gonna come out and try to outbox him. It’s going to be a great fight and I will be watching.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox