Charlie Edwards talks heartbreaking path to glory, mom serving as his biggest inspiration

first_imgCharlie Edwards scored a unanimous decision victory over Cristofer Rosales on Dec. 22 to win the WBC flyweight title. But it was his celebration afterwards that captured the heart of a nation. Down on his knees, trying to fight back the tears, Edwards’ mother, Terry, was weighing heavy on the English boxer’s mind during that moment and continues to do so today.Join DAZN and watch Charlie Edwards vs. Angel Moreno on March 23 Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearCurrently ranked No. 3 in the world at flyweight, Edwards is now looking to defend his belt before potential unification fights against Japan’s WBO champion Kosei Tanaka (12-0, 7 KOs), South Africa’s IBF champion Moruti Mthalane (37-2, 25 KOs) or Ukraine’s WBA champion Artem Dalakian (18-0, 13 KOs). A rematch with Rosales or fight against No. 1 contender Andrew Selby are also high on his list, as is a grudge match against fellow Team GB boxer and WBA super flyweight Kal Yafai.The path to all of those possibilities, though, begins Saturday against Moreno. And once again, Edwards will have all the inspiration he needs. “To be able to go and win this (WBC title) and go and present it to her, that’s why I got so emotional,” Edwards (14-1, 6 KOs) told Sporting News, while preparing for his upcoming bout against Spain’s Angel Moreno (19-2-2, 6 KOs) on Saturday, live and exclusively on DAZN. “I broke down in that ring. I can say now, no matter what life throws at me, because I’m sure we’re going to go through a whole load of things in the future, at least now, I’ve fulfilled that promise to my mum. I don’t know how much time she’s got left, hopefully she’ll be around till I have children of my own and forever more. But because of the emotional up, down and rocky rollercoaster, being able to hand her this belt and seeing her face … that’s an emotion and a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was so proud.” MUM I DID IT ❤️Thank you everyone for all your messsges my phone is going mental I really really appreciate it!This is a dream come true 🌍👑— Charlie Edwards (@CEdwardsBoxing) December 22, 2018What a moment 👏 @CEdwardsBoxing gives his Mum an early Christmas present, the famous green and gold belt 😃 #AndTheNew #RosalesEdwards #WhyteChisora2— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) December 22, 2018 Terry’s long battle with cancer and major complications to treatment have been the source of Edwards’ continued inspiration.“My mum is the toughest, she’s been very ill for the past four years,” Edwards said. “The reality is, she shouldn’t be here today, I’m surprised she’s here today. She’s been through three major brain operations to draw out the fluid in the brain as she had a cavernoma (a cluster of abnormal blood vessels in the brain).“My mum had breast cancer and instead of going for chemotherapy, they gave her radiotherapy and that made the cavernoma grow and swell,” he continued. “My mum was meant to start treatment, but she put it off so she could come to my debut fight. Afterwards, she started the treatment and on the third time she really wasn’t feeling well, and they didn’t know what was wrong with her. They gave her a scan and found out she had a brain tumor and gave her a 50/50 chance of surviving.”That’s what made Terry’s attendance at The O2 Arena in December to watch Charlie win the world title all the more special. The ony other fight of his that she was able to witness in person was Edwards’ pro debut in 2015. Charlie raced out to an 8-0 pro record, despite his mom’s battle with cancer taking an emotional toll on him. But after suffering his first defeat — in an IBF flyweight title fight at the hands of John Riel Casimero back in Sept 2016 — Edwards was left heartbroken. He had promised his mom that he would be bringing the belt back to her and because he didn’t accomplish the feat at the time, Edwards was devastated.“I wasn’t good enough, and that’s what broke my heart more than anything — it was a promise that I didn’t fulfill and with this rollercoaster of emotions I’ve been on, I didn’t know how long my mum would have left and if I would ever be able to fulfill that promise of taking her the world title and telling her ‘we done it,’” he shared. “It took me two weeks of running away from reality. I couldn’t face anyone, I lost my first fight, I got stopped, I’ve never been stopped and it felt like my whole world in the space of a year had been flipped on its head.”That sent Edwards into a torturous downward spiral.“I went to Spain and started drinking, but soon realized ‘I can’t do this anymore! What am I doing to myself!?’” he added. “I was a complete ball of negative energy, hating on myself and I was paranoid. I got on the phone to my management team MKT Global and to Eddie Hearn and told them I need to fight before Christmas, otherwise I don’t know where my head would have been and what would have happened to me. Eddie did me a real favor and got me out in November against a journeyman, but those six weeks of training were the hardest six weeks training of my life … mentally.”But they paid off, as Edwards defeated Georgi Georgiev via third-round TKO in the November 2016 fight, regaining his winning mentality and subsequently stepping up to super flyweight. His first outing at the new weight was for the vacant BBBofC British super flyweight title, which Edwards grabbed by defeating Iain Butcher via unanimous decision in April 2017.“I won the fight with flying colors, every round and I thought, ‘Yes, finally I’m back, this is my time again now!’ — it was the best night of my career, [being crowned] British champion,” Edwards said.But Charlie’s celebration would be cut short, as his mother’s health deteriorated, as she was rushed to the hospital and put into an induced coma.“We got back to the airport to go home, and I got a call from my mum’s partner — ‘your mum’s been rushed back to A&E the bleeding’s back,’” he remembers. “So, we go straight from the highs of winning the British title straight to the hospital — mum’s in an induced coma in intensive care. I walk in to see her, she’s laying there with a tube coming out of her mouth. I went from a high emotion, the highest point of my career to be smacked down on my face, I was supposed to go away to Rome for five days to celebrate my win, but I couldn’t leave my mother’s side.”Terry was hospitalized for five days, before she had to have yet another brain operation. It was a devastating time for Charlie, not knowing if his mother would make it through another operation. Saying to his mother what no child should ever have to say, he whispered in her ear: “ Listen mum, please do not fight anymore, we all love you and it’s your time to go. Go and be happy, have a better way of life on the other side, you deserve it, you don’t need this pain anymore.“And bless her heart, she made it through the operation,” Edwards added, “and now she’s making a real improvement after all the rehab.”After his impressive unanimous decision victory over Rosales in December, Charlie became the world champion he promised his mother he would be. The fans, the media (including myself) that sat ringside were all in solidarity with Charlie and his family. It was a touching moment for everyone in the arena, witnessing a young man’s emotional and heartfelt display.last_img

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