Charlie Edwards was crowned a world champion at the second attempt as he outpointed Cristofer Rosales to win the WBC world flyweight title at London’s O2 Arena.
The judges scored the fight 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 to return a unanimous verdict for Edwards.
Edwards suffered a cut in round seven but consistently out-boxed his opponent to earn a favourable decision.
“That one was for my mum,” said an emotional Edwards.
The 24-year-old, who was stopped by John-Riel Casimero in his previous world title bid for the IBF belt in 2016, extends his professional record to 14 wins and one loss, while Rosales has four defeats in a 32-fight career.
In the early stages, Nicaraguan Rosales was clearly targeting Edwards’ body but the former Great Britain amateur boxer stayed disciplined enough to pick his shots at the right time as Edwards landed a quick two-punch combination followed by a stinging body shot at the end of the second round.
Rosales, who stopped Northern Ireland’s Paddy Barnes in his last contest, struggled to cope with Edwards’ movement as the Surrey fighter repeatedly beat him to the punch, including a staggering left hook-right uppercut attack in the fourth.
However, Rosales saw Edwards stumble in the seventh and launched a desperate onslaught that opened up a cut on the top of Edwards’ head.
Edwards weathered a storm as a relentless Rosales came forward with barrages in the ninth and 10th rounds, but Edwards resumed the outstanding work behind his pestering jab for the remainder of the fight to see his hand raised as a deserved world champion.
He dedicated his career-best triumph to his mother, who has been suffering from an illness.
“You always believed in me and when she was ill she told me never to give up on my dream,” said Edwards, who added he wants to target a unification fight next.
“I believed from when the fight got announced and was going to bed with a picture on my wall, visualising. It’s a dream come true.
Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Joshua Buatsi continued his rapid rise through the professional ranks as he extended his unbeaten record to nine victories with an impressive first-round win over Renold Quinlan.
There were year-end successes for two veteran heavyweights as Carlos Takam dropped Albanian Senad Gashi three times in the seventh round to claim a stoppage win.
Liverpool’s 35-year-old heavyweight David Price finished a tough year following two losses with a fourth-round stoppage victory over Tom Little, despite Little’s protests that the referee stepped in too soon.
Source BBC News