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Psychological games continue at Sunny Edwards versus Ryan Farrag weigh-in

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Sheffield trainer Grant Smith is confident that his young super flyweight protégé Sunny ‘Showtime’ Edwards 8-0 (3) will score a breakthrough win over Liverpool’s Ryan Farrag 19-3 (5) when he makes the first defence of his WBO European title at York Hall, Bethnal Green this Friday night live on BoxNation.

After weeks of niggle over social media – most of it instigated by the outspoken Edwards – the pair came face-to-face at the weigh-in yesterday when Farrag’s refusal to shake Edwards’ hand set off a torrent of verbal abuse from both sides.

“You’re shaking,” Farrag needled Edwards as the pair faced off for the cameras.

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“You can’t wait to get away from me, can you?” taunted Edwards when Farrag walked away from his extended hand.

This was the cue for Edwards’ older brother Charlie, also a super flyweight boxer, to chime in with his two bobs worth.

“You get past him, I’ll put you to sleep,” said Charlie, before quickly clarifying: “But you won’t get past him; you won’t get near him, ya muppet.”

“You’re the biggest shitholes in boxing,” replied Farrag.

Trainer Smith gave his take on the verbal stoush in an interview with The Star: “Farrag was trying to get under Sunny’s skin, but Sunny is too smart and confident to fall for that.

“He is the defending champion and favourite to win. He’s ranked at number 14 in the world and is good enough to be fighting for a world title now.

“British, Commonwealth – anything like that, we’d take it. We just take whatever fight comes our way.”

Edwards originally came from Croydon but relocated north to the Steel City Gym five years ago. Since then Sheffield has adopted him and his brother as their own.

With his neat and trim haircut, boyish looks and slight frame, Edwards looks more like a choirboy than a prize-fighter.

But make no mistake, the 22-year-old is a fighter through and through.

“He’s still only a baby now,” said Smith. “He makes super flyweight easily and has got eight years or more left in him.

“He’s also selling a lot of tickets in Sheffield – altogether, he’s sold £7,500’s worth.

“Sunny and his brother Charlie are the most promising boxers coming out of Sheffield – we are negotiating a big fight for Charlie and the future is great for them both.”

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