SUNNY EDWARDS is still positive about his future despite experiencing his first career loss against Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez.
The two talented flyweights put their undefeated records and belts on the line in a high-stakes match at the Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona last night (December 16).
There were numerous verbal exchanges between both fighters during fight week, adding to the anticipation of the ring showdown.
After nine rounds of intense action that showcased their skills, it was the damage inflicted by Rodriguez that ultimately determined the outcome. With a bloodied, bruised, and swollen-eyed Edwards unable to continue, his trainer Grant Smith made the decision to end the fight, especially after Edwards was heavily dropped in the previous round.
Edwards spoke to Boxing News several hours after the fight, reflecting on the biggest night of his seven-year career.
“Maybe my pride’s hurt a little bit but it’s a boxing ring and a lot can happen. Bam, great fighter. It weren’t my night tonight.”
Addressing reports of a hospital visit for treatment, he said: “It was just my [left] eye. There was damage to my eye and [when] I got to the hospital, they confirmed it. That’s all it was. Rest of my body; hands, legs, head, everything feels great but just this eye.”
The Edwards’ reputation has been built on making opponents miss and using his elusiveness to frustrate and ultimately outclass his previous 20 opponents. However, the constant educated pressure of Rodriguez forced Edwards to stand and trade, revealing a different but capable side of him.
“Whether or not I was forced to [fight] I feel like there was times when I knew trying to do what I wanted to do was getting me beat,” he said.
“I was losing rounds and with the conversations we had in the corner it was go big or go home at that time. And I thought I had a decent round until getting put down. At that point I feel like my vision wasn’t where I needed it to be. Grant was already a bit on to me about his opinion on the fight and my face more so. Grant made the decision and here we are.”
Edwards had no complaints with the decision to pull him out of the fight, acknowledging the severity of his situation.
Shortly after the defeat, Edwards discussed the future with promoter Eddie Hearn, considering a potential move from flyweight where he reigned as IBF belt holder since April 2021.
“I feel like I’ve got loads of options genuinely,” he said.
“I know I can make it (light-flyweight) comfortably. It’s where I could drop down and look to fight. I think I’m held in good regard with the IBF. There’s probably a much bigger purse availability with someone like me that’s already been built up, been in big events, headlined and can sell and market a fight quite well. I could do that. Depending on what Bam does if he’s gonna stay or go up there’s options still down here at flyweight. I’d go anywhere so for me I feel like everything’s an option.”
“Real fights only,” he added. “I don’t need tick-overs. Put me straight back in the deep end and I’ll go again. Losing to one great fighter don’t make me feel any less of a great fighter. I feel like on a different day things could have gone a different way. I know how I felt in there today. I don’t think I was completely outclassed. Things just didn’t go right for me on the night, and they needed to.”