British Boxing: Chris Edwards – “It Was a Team Effort”
As the dust settles on Chris Edwards’ historic victory, the first boxer from Stoke to win a British title for 85 years took time out to thank the team at Impact Boxing who had assisted him in his quest to capture the inaugural super-flyweight Lonsdale Belt. “I couldn’t have achieved this without Impact Boxing,” said Edwards. “When I joined them two years ago I was going nowhere with my career but since being with Impact not only have I received the best coaching but I’ve also been encouraged to have the belief in myself..”
“I would like to thank Mick Carney and Scott Lawton for spotting my potential and having the faith in me to give me this opportunity. I would also like to thank Lindon Newbon who has been there for me every step of the way and has probably worked just as hard as me to win this title. He was a great inspiration in the gym; on the road when I’ve been running and in my corner on Saturday night.”
“Darren and Mick also played important roles over the weekend; not only were they spurring me on in the corner but they helped to keep me focused all weekend. Gary Reid and Jimmy Doherty, two of the other boxers in the gym, were there and I could hear them all the way through the fight shouting out encouragement to me; they were a great help too.”
“I thought I’d won the title in April against Dale Robinson but the judges disagreed and it was declared a draw so it makes this victory even sweeter. I’ve worked hard to win this belt and I’m not ready to give it up easily so whoever comes along next I will be ready for them. In the meantime, I intend to have a rest over Christmas and enjoy being British champion.”
Edwards emerged victorious in a hotly contested bout where the fortunes of both men ebbed and flowed:
The early rounds had seen McDonnell produce the slicker work as Edwards to time to come to terms with the younger man’s height and reach advantage. By the third however Edwards was on the front foot and advanced relentlessly despite being tagged repeatedly by McDonnell.
Although McDonnell was repeatedly on target with both his jab and hook he couldn’t connect with sufficient power to deter the diminutive Potteries fighter. As soon as Edwards came within range he then unleashed barrage after barrage of strength sapping hooks the body of McDonnell.
As the fight progressed Edwards’ experience and fitness began to tell and the youngster became visibly frustrated. Now desperately looking for the knockout punch McDonnell began to leave himself open to even more ferocious volleys from his adversary. Despite taking the 9th by a comfortable margin McDonnell could do nothing to match Edwards superior work-rate during the subsequent rounds and Edwards lifted the title on a split decision with Dave Paris scoring the contest 115-114 in Edwards’ favour; Phil Edwards 116-113 for Chris and Marcus McDonnell 113-116 to McDonnell.