Sunny Edwards will have to wait a little longer for his first title defense.
An untimely ankle injury forced the unbeaten IBF flyweight titlist to withdraw from his planned title defense versus mandatory challenger Jayson Mama, Queensberry Promotions announced Monday. Edwards was due to headline a BT Sport telecast this Saturday from Copper Box Arena in Hackney, London.
“Unfortunately, Sunny Edwards has been forced to withdraw from his IBF World Flyweight Championship [defense] on Saturday night at the Copper Box Arena with an ankle injury,” Frank Warren, Edwards’ promoter confirmed Monday.
Edwards (16-0, 4KOs) was set to fight for the first time since dethroning long-reigning titlist Moruti Mhtalane in a career-best performance April 30 at York Hall. The feat saw the 25-year-old from nearby Croydon gain his first major title in the same division where his older brother Charlie once held the WBC flyweight title.
A win on Saturday would have positioned the younger Edwards to challenge the division’s best.
WBO flyweight titlist Junto Nakatani is due to defend versus mandatory challenger Angel Acosta (22-2, 21KOs) this Friday, while Edwards has been vocal about chasing a title unification clash with Mexico’s Julio Cesar Martinez, who holds the WBC belt and has history with the Edwards family. Martinez fought to a No-Contest with Charlie Edwards, originally earning a third-round knockout and the WBC belt before the verdict was overturned minutes later after it was ruled that the deciding knockout blow came while Edwards was on the canvas.
Any such plans to establish himself as the class of the division are now on hold. Edwards will have to recover before landing a new fight date with Mama (16-0, 9KOs), an unbeaten contender from General Santos City, Philippines.
“Gutted that my fight on Saturday is off,” Edwards noted through social media. “Will have a rescheduled date ASAP. Want to apologise firstly to my opponent Jayson & his team, as I understand the frustration they must be feeling, secondly Frank Warren & BT as my homecoming was set to be the biggest night of my career.”
The rest of the card has yet to be canceled, as this goes to publish. Among those gracing the undercard are former title challenger Callum Johnson (19-1, 14KOs) who faces Serbia’s Marko Nikolic (27-1, 12KOs) and rebounding middleweight prospect Denzel Bentley (14-1-1, 12KOs) in a ten-round bout versus Andrew Robinson (24-5-1, 7KOs). Should the show proceed, both bouts could receive upgrades.
“More details to follow regarding the Edwards v Mama fight and Saturday night’s show,” noted Warren.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox