Sunny Edwards is single-handedly changing the face of boxing in the lower weight divisions.
The man known as ‘Showtime’ has managed to grab some of the sport’s attention away from the marquee divisions and put it onto the fighters at flyweight.
Make no mistake, that is no mean feat.
Sure, the hardcore boxing fans will always show love and care to the guys battling it out down at 112lbs or at 115lbs, and there are so many amazing operators in those divisions, but Sunny has made himself so well known that even the more casual fans feel compelled to watch him.
The flyweights and super flyweights have not been as must-see for many years but so much of their appeal now is down to the charisma and skills of the IBF world champion.
I think he may also be the uncrowned king of boxing Twitter too!
Sunny knows he has a marmite personality and that as many people watching his title defence on Friday, November 11 in Sheffield, will be waiting for him to slip-up, as they are cheering him on.
But boxing history is littered with fighters who, for whatever reason, you simply had to watch.
Sunny is up against a seriously dangerous Nicaraguan fighter called Felix Alvarado, but he’s not interested in easy touches or straightforward title defences, not a chance.
Sure, he may make these fights look easy, with the way he slips, counters and forces his opponents to miss time after time, but Sunny’s natural talent only works so well because he is extremely dedicated to the sport.
He lives and breathes it and, trust me when I tell you, he is not taking Alvarado lightly.
Beyond Alvarado, are some mega fights. Sunny against Jesse ‘Bam’ Rodriguez, at some point next year, is a fight that we all want to see, it would be massive for the sport, but he must defend his title against Alvarado first.
We all shared Sunny’s frustrations that the unification clash with Julio Cesar Martinez fell through, but he’s moving on and at Probellum Sheffield, he’ll put that disappointment behind him by producing the most dazzling performance of his career.
Sunny rubs some people up the wrong way, and I bet he’ll get into Alvarado’s head during the build-up, but the one thing everyone in the sport can agree on, is that this man is creating a buzz about the flyweights, that we’ve not seen in years.
Sunny Edwards: the Lord of the flys!
Jack Bateson versus Shabaz Masoud is a lot of things.
It’s a brilliant fight between two young and undefeated prospects.
It’s a battle between two lads who will be roared on by huge crowds from Leeds and Stoke, in Sheffield, on November 11.
And it’s an intriguing clash of styles that leaves me finding it impossible to pick a winner.
Far too often, fighters at this stage of their careers would avoid each other and Jack and Shabaz could’ve easily gone down different routes, but they haven’t done.
And so, in the Steel City, as the chief support fight to Edwards’ fight with Alvarado, they clash.
As soon as the fight was mooted, both made it crystal clear that they wanted it to happen, and huge credit must go to them both.
Boxing fans have, sadly, grown used to not seeing young fighters like this meet until much further down the line, but Bateson and Masoud have delivered in a big way.
When we announced that an agreement had been reached, there was a huge buzz around the fight and over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had so many people asking me about the fight, when it was happening and where.
Now that all of those details have been confirmed, the build-up can really begin.
Jack and Shabaz are lovely lads, they really are, but because this fight means so much, expect them to clash in the weeks ahead as we move towards Probellum Sheffield.
We’ve already had a taste of that with their exchanges on Twitter!
This fight is a final eliminator for the British super bantamweight title, with Jack’s WBA Intercontinental belt also on the line, and it’s a coming out fight for the pair of them.
The winner will be catapulted into big fights but let’s be clear about this, the defeated fighter can absolutely come back from a loss.
I’m so excited about this fight because, like everyone reading this column, I’m just a fan at the end of the day and Bateson vs Masoud is the type of fight that boxing needs to see more often.
Roll on November 11 in Sheffield!