British super-flyweight champion Chris Edwards will make the first defence in Barnsley on 28th March of the title he won last December. The Fenton based fighter will meet English champion Andy Bell at Barnsley’s Metrodome Leisure Centre on a Sky Sports televised card, the event being promoted by Frank Maloney.
Edwards became the first ever holder of the British title in the newly introduced weight division when he defeated Jamie McDonnell on points after twelve gruelling rounds at the championship distance. Likewise, Bell is the original holder of the English belt at super-fly having stopped Robert Nelson in the 7th round at Doncaster Dome last September. Bell successfully defended his title against Wayne Bloy in his hometown of Nottingham the week before Edwards lifted the British Belt.
22-year-old Bell has scored ten wins and three losses since his first pro contest in October 2004. He has recorded three KO’s but has also been stopped twice himself, most notably by Jamie McDonnell in December 2006. Bell has also collected the British Midlands Area bantamweight and British Masters bantamweight titles along the way; Bell has yet to fight over twelve rounds however.
Edwards, at 31, has contested 26 professional bouts and is currently ranked at 37 in the flyweight division by the WBC and is one of only two Europeans ranked, the other being European champion Andrea Sarritzu. Sarritzu is also the last man to have beaten Edwards back in March 2006. Edwards’ record now reads W 11 (KO 3) L 12 D 3 but is improving as he now boasts a five fight unbeaten run.
Edwards will enter the contest with the benefit of experience. Having twice contested 12 rounders, Edwards has also faced the more illustrious opposition; apart from the aforementioned Sarritzu and McDonnell he has also fought former Commonwealth bantamweight champion Lee Haskins and former Commonwealth flyweight champion Dale Robinson twice.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into the ring,” said Edwards. “I’m in training and will be ready when the date comes around. I worked hard to win the title and I’m going to work even harder to keep it. Neither Andy Bell or anyone else is going to take it away from me easily.”
“I’ve watched Andy on video and one of the lads on the team was there when he defended his English title. Like McDonnell, he will be bigger than me and he can also switch-hit so that’s an added problem. I suspect he won’t be as mobile as me though and he will also have to work to make the weight which is something I won’t have to do.”
“The experience I gained against Dale Robinson and Jamie McDonnell will stand me in good stead and I will go to Barnsley confident that I can retain my belt.”