WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards makes his first world title defense against Angel Moreno this Saturday, March 23 at the Copper Box Arena in London. The bout will be streamed exclusively on DAZN in the United States starting at 10 pm ET.
Edwards (14-1, 6 KOs) is coming off the biggest win of his professional career, a 12-round unanimous decision over Nicaragua's Cristofer Rosales.
A win by Edwards over Moreno is expected but is the kind of necessary formality promoters sign up for because winning would help propel the UK fighter to title unification opportunities against Kosei Tanaka, Moruti Mthalane and Artem Dalakian, who hold the WBO, IBF and WBA belts respectively.
The 26-year-old is one of Britain's five world champions (alongside Anthony Joshua, Callum Smith, Josh Warrington and Kal Yafai).
After admittedly being overconfident in his first crack at a world title against John Riel Casimero for the IBF world title in September 2016, Edwards recommitted himself to the sport in a bid to make his world title dreams come true. Against Rosales in December, Edwards fought a brilliant fight that proved he belongs on the world stage.
Moreno, from Spain, is promoted by former middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and has only lost twice over the course of a 23-fight career. The 35-year-old has never been stopped and is riding a nine-fight win streak. Against Edwards, Moreno will be fighting for a world title for the first time in his career.
But flyweights don’t tend to age very well and Moreno (19-2-2, 6 KOs) is seven years older and also visibly shorter and smaller than Edwards. While anything is possible in a sport beholden to promise of a single punch, Moreno isn’t really that kind of power puncher so he should be fairly easy work for the up-and-coming Edwards.
Edwards is younger, larger and probably just better overall fighter. Backing him at -5000 won’t end up paying huge dividends but it’s a relatively safe bet to make, one that virtually ensures some kind of return.
Neither man is a knockout artist. They have 12 knockouts between them in 38 combined fights. Backing Edwards on points at 1/4 with Karamba seems like the logical choice if only evaluating the fighter’s records. But sometimes it also makes sense in a fight as one-sided as this one appears to be to at least consider hedging the more valuable outcome if not backing it in full altogether.
Because while Moreno has never been stopped before, it’s also true that Moreno has never had to face a fighter as solid as Edwards. And if he did, he didn’t face such a fighter in a 35-year-old body, one that’s coming off such woeful preparation as boxing in a bunch of scheduled six-rounders in his home country.
So, while it’s a bit of a risk, backing Edwards by KO, TKO or DQ at 14/5 with 888Sport really does make some sense if you follow the standard boxing logic that old flyweights can really fight all that well and that younger world champions like Edwards are usually pretty anxious to show off their world championship credentials to the home crowd.
Besides, stoppages happen in boxing from an accumulation of many punches just as often as they do from one or two big ones, and situationally Edwards appears capable of pulling the feat off against Moreno.
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