Charlie Edwards defends his World Boxing Council flyweight title against Spain’s Angel Moreno at the Copper Box in Stratford on Saturday night, but the Englishman’s key to success is as much about transcendental beliefs as his training regime.
After a brilliant performance to claim the title on Dec 22 against Cristofer Rosales in London, Edwards should defeat Moreno, nine years his senior, on points or by late stoppage.
Edwards certainly knows his opponent well, after they sparred 28 rounds together when he was preparing for his first world title shot, against Johnriel Casimero of the Philippines, in September 2016.
Edwards and Moreno tipped the scales inside the 112lb limit on Friday at a Canary Wharf weigh-in watched by boxing fans and curious business folk passing by in hasty lunch breaks.
The Londoner spoke about his belief in karma, explaining that meditation and the tattoos on his body are expressing his life though art. “I got a lion with a crown on my forearm, which was my first tattoo, after the Casimero fight. I got it because I was very brave, courageous to get in there in my ninth professional fight,” said the 26-year-old.
“I got the crown on it because I wasn’t going to stop until I became the king, which I am now.
“I’ve got Zeus on me. When I was growing up I used to always love Hercules. He’s the king of the gods. My left hook’s like lightning, so that’s the lightning from Zeus on my hand. I’ve also got Achilles, the Trojan warrior.
“I’ve got an eagle on my right shoulder because I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. I’ve also got the third eye chakra below my left ear.
“I do a lot of meditation and visualisation. It’s played a big part in my success in my career. I believe in the universe and the higher source. I visualise a lot and it comes into my day-to-day living.”
Edwards expects to defeat “a tough competitor” on Saturday night. “He’ll try to play a cat-and-mouse sort of game, but I don’t believe his boxing IQ is as high as mine. It’s all about being patient and he will break.“
Victory will bring another tattoo, on his neck. “I’ve always been a big fan of tattoos. I was a blank canvas before I became a boxer. My aim is to translate my entire career, and my beliefs, onto my body.
“In this defence, my game plan is to enjoy myself. I don’t have to force anything. It’s for me to enjoy and box the perfect fight. It’s a punch perfect performance.”
On the undercard, London cruiserweights Lawrence Okolie and Wadi Camacho contest the British and Commonwealth titles, the capital’s rising light-heavyweight star Joshua Buatsi takes on Barrow-in-Furness man Liam Conroy for the vacant British title in his 10th fight, and Newcastle’s Lewis Ritson makes his debut at 140lb as he takes on Argentina’s German Argentino Benitez for the WBA Inter-Continental title.
Telegraph Sport, meanwhile, understands that heavyweight Tyson Fury's next fight is being finalised and could be announced in the coming days with a contest for the unbeaten former world No 1 facing German prospect Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on June 15. Both opponent and venue, however, are yet to be made official.
Schwarz is unbeaten in 24 fights, and is ranked No 2 with the WBO and No 9 with the IBF. Fury has gone undefeated in a 28-fight career spanning 11 years.