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Sunny Edwards suffers nasty cut in win over Adrian Curiel, calls for Gal Yafai fight next

Sunny Edwards. Photo credit: Getty Images

Former IBF flyweight champion Sunny ‘Showtime’ Edwards 21-1 (4) says he has signed on to face amateur rival Gal Yafai 7-0 (5).

The 28-year-old Brit got back in the win column with a ninth-round technical decision win over ex-IBF junior flyweight titleholder Adrian Curiel 24-6-1 (5) of Mexico on Saturday night on the undercard of the world title defence between Ring Magazine and WBC super flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada 44-4 (28) and Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez 20-0 (13) at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona that was won by the challenger.

In his previous outing, Edwards was stopped in nine heats by Rodriguez. He now has his sights firmly set on British southpaw Yafai, 31.

“Galal, I’m ready,” Edwards said after his victory over Curiel. “I think I’m the biggest name in the flyweight division.

“I beat Galal in the amateurs but the coach who’s still the coach today [Rob McCracken] picked him for [Team Great Britain for the Olympics] anyway.

“I’ve signed the fight.”

Edwards was boxing the ears off Curiel, 25, before an accidental clash of heads opened a nasty vertical cut on his forehead that forced the bout to be stopped in the ninth round on the advice of the ringside physician. The scorecards at the time of the stoppage were 90-82, 88-84 and 87-85, all for Edwards.

“I don’t know if the crowd realised what happened there,” said Edwards to the boos of the crowd. “The ref, the doctor, stopped the fight. No ask of mine; no decision of mine. I’m more upset than any one of the 10,000 fans in here.

“I thought I won every single round. I thought I was clearly ahead and I thought my opponent was slowing down. I’m more disappointed. I thought I was gonna get him out of there. If not, win absolutely conclusively. I managed to leave Arizona uglier twice in a row and that wasn’t my intention.

“The last time I came over here one of the judges didn’t give me any rounds and the ref let him hit me with a thousand low blows so I don’t expect any favours when I come to America but I thought I was way clear. Maybe one round I could give him.

“I don’t know how it looked from the outside. I felt I was cruising. I’ve been asked and asked and asked by everyone around me – my manager; my promoters – ‘Get back to your boxing and show everyone they can’t hit you’. The only shot I thought I got hit with was a headbutt.”

The Yafai bout will likely not happen until much later this year at the earliest as the cut that Edwards sustained is expected to take many months to heal.

Yafai won gold at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in the flyweight division.