Charlie Edwards Makes Emotional Return, Targets World Title ‘Gold Rush’

April 13, 2024
1 month
Charlie Edwards celebrates with his team after victory over Georges Ory

Former flyweight world champion Charlie Edwards made a triumphant and emotional return to the ring on Friday before turning his focus on a return to title contention.

Edwards (19-1-0 7 KO) made his bantamweight debut at York Hall in London, England where he was too good for former European champion Georges Ory, easing to a unanimous decision victory while claiming the WBC international silver title in the process.

Once one of the brightest stars of British boxing, Edwards’ career had been completely derailed after a series of bad decisions involving his management and promotional representation.

He had been largely inactive over the past five years. In 2019, he was fighting inside a sold-out O2 Arena where his WBC flyweight title defense ended in a third-round No Contest against Julio Cesar Martinez; his last fight in June last year was a six-rounder at the far less glamorous Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester.

Edwards Gets Belief Back

“It was very special. I’ve been through a lot. A helluva lot,” said Edwards, who became emotional in the ring. “No one wanted to know me. I’ve been messed around so much, and lied to. I never thought this day would come back.

“I’ve been grafting my bum off, pushing away and believing and believing. And I just want to say a massive thank you to God for putting me on this path, for putting me through the trials and tribulations to grow as a man – and a massive thank you for my wife Christine and to my daughter Sofia.

“I’ve just given everything to this sport, and I really didn’t think I was going to get it back. And I thought that I was going to give up at certain stages. I just had to keep pushing through, because I wanna show her that no matter how hard life gets, you can keep pushing through and you can get back to where you need to be.

“And I’m back there now and wanna say a massive thank you to [promoters] Kalle and Nisse Sauerland; Wasserman and Channel 5 for backing me, because it’s gonna be the start of another special journey; and a massive thank you to this man. If it weren’t for this man, I wouldn’t be believing in myself like I have.”

Smith Praises ‘Special Talent’

Vital to Edwards’ return to the ring has been his recent link-up with trainer Stephen Smith. The 31-year-old revealed in the lead-up to his fight with Ory that a trial period training with Smith had reignited his passion for boxing.

And the trainer believes his fighter can re-establish himself at the top of the game, especially with the support of his new team including big-time promoters Nisse and Kalle Sauerland and global management company Wasserman.

“He showed glimpses of what he can do and how good he is,” Smith said. “He’s a special talent, and unfortunately he hasn’t been given the chance to show it. And he just said himself, thanks to these men next to him – they’ve backed him and they’ve said, ‘Charlie, we’ll give you this date, this date, this date; you’ve got a bit of activity coming up.’

“He’s got fights coming up, he’s got people behind him, he’s got a team all pulling in the same direction – and that’s all he ever needed. He needs momentum, and he’s got it now.”

‘Time To Get This Gold Rush Back On’

Edwards is now only looking forward as he aims to make up for lost time. The older brother of former world champion Sunny Edwards was even happy to call out plenty of names.

“I loved every second if it,” Edwards said. “I loved every second of fight week, and many of you don’t know, a week ago I got a cut in my last spar, so I went into that fight with a cut as well, and I masked it and I boxed clever.

“I didn’t take risks in there; by no means was that the best Charlie Edwards. All the fighters out there that didn’t want to entertain me, now I’ve got the first one out the way. Once I’ve got the second and the third, I’m taking you all out. I’m coming back to world honors. Thomas Essomba, European champion. Paul Butler. You can’t run forever. You can’t dodge me forever.

“It’s time to get this gold rush back on. Over these last few years I’ve earned nothing. My wife has been bringing the income in through our Airbnb business, and I’m a proud man, so it’s nice to have the ball back rolling. Get busy now and the world’s my oyster.”