IBF flyweight champion Sunny ‘Showtime’ Edwards 20-0 (4) says he is untouchable when he is on song and when he faces WBO counterpart Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez 18-0 (11) at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona this Saturday night he plans on proving it.
The 27-year-old Brit has sublime skills but his lack of power combined with the light weight class he competes in has kept him out of the spotlight for all but the most hardcore fans.
Mexican-American southpaw Rodriguez, 23, will provide the perfect foil for Edwards to prove he is as great as he says he is.
“I don’t have to overthink it, I know the best of me is capable of beating anyone at this weight and the weights above,” said Edwards.
“After I beat Bam, I feel there’s a lot more still to come. That’s the first step, unified champion of the world, it sounds good. Bam has got quick hands, good feet, heavy hands as well. He’s a great fighter, but he’s not been in with me yet.”
Defeating Rodriguez will be no easy task. The Robert Garcia trained fighter had a breakout year in 2022 when he jumped up in weight at short notice to take on Carlos Cuadras 42-5-1 (28) for the vacant WBC super flyweight title in February.
Rodriguez dropped the Mexican veteran in round three and went on to win by unanimous decision before claiming another big scalp in the form of former world champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 54-6-1 (46) in June. The Thai southpaw was stopped in eight.
A bout against Israel Gonzalez 28-5-2 (11) followed in September that Rodriguez won by decision before dropping back down to the flyweight division where he won the vacant WBC title against Cristian Gonzalez 15-2-1 (5) by decision in April this year.
No matter which way you look at it, Rodriguez is no easy mark. But Edwards remains supremely confident he has the skills to get the job done.
“I was made for this. I’ve never had anything else; I’ve never done anything else; I’ve never really wanted anything else,” he said.
“I don’t do it for anyone, to make anyone proud. If anything, the compliments and the flattery makes me feel uneasy. Everywhere I’ve gone throughout my life I’ve had people saying nothing but good things about how good I am.
“I feel like my last fight [against the undefeated Andres Campos in June] was a kind of pre-season for this one. This fight was always spoken and thought about. I’ve stayed in the gym straight out of that fight in June and I’ve applied myself, so I am genuinely raring to go.
“I like a build-up, but that’s more for the fans than for me. I like them to be excited for the fight.
“Maybe I’m more of the spiteful one, the outspoken one, the confident one. Whereas he’s a very good fighter but he seems uneasy in public, he isn’t happy in front of the camera, he’s not confident in front of groups of people. If he wasn’t a boxer, you wouldn’t see much of him at all.”