Thursday, May 28, 2009

British Scene Weekend Preview: Chris Edwards vs Usman Ahmed

Veteran flyweight Chris Edwards will be putting his British & Commonwealth titles on the line against Usman Ahmed in Friday night's Sky main event. The under-card features 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Darren Sutherland taking on Vepkhia Tchilaia in a 6 round super-middleweight contest.

Dave Oakes has the preview.

Check out our recap of the show: Weekend Recap

Friday May 29

Chris Edwards vs Usman Ahmed (SKY)

By Dave Oakes

Chris Edwards goes over old ground on Friday night when he makes the first defence of his British and Commonwealth flyweight titles at the Fenton Manor Sports Complex, Stoke, England.

Edwards has already beaten the challenger, Usman Ahmed, three years ago on Ahmed’s debut. Edwards out-boxed Ahmed with ease over six rounds on that occasion and is the favourite to win again.

Ahmed, the lightest pro in British boxing, has improved since their first meeting but is still some way off being ready for a title shot. Unfortunately, the lads in the flyweight division have very limited options when it comes to picking opponents and are often thrown in at the deep end. I feel this will be the case on Friday night.

Edwards is now at the veteran stage of his career, he’s thirty-three years old with a record that stands 12-13-3. He’s a lot better than his record suggests, most of his defeats were in the early part of his career when he was boxing to earn a few quid rather than to win titles. He’s only lost one of his last seven, and that was against the decent Andy Bell early last year.

Edwards’ best wins have come against the classy and underrated Dale Robinson, who he’s also drawn with, and Jamie McDonnell who was considered a hot prospect before losing to Edwards on a controversial points decision.

Whilst Edwards doesn’t carry significant power, his punches do have a wearing effect that slow his opponents down the longer the fight goes on. He’s also got a tremendous work rate and a reliable chin.

Ahmed is a clever boxer who looks to move around his opponent to create an angle before throwing a quick jab and flashy combinations. He should have the speed advantage over Edwards and will know what to expect from the champion.

I think Ahmed will put up a good fight and will take Edwards the distance, but I believe Edwards’ experience, determination and hometown backing from a usually raucous crowd will be enough to take a points decision somewhere around the 116-112 mark.

On the undercard…

Darren Sutherland, one of the hottest prospects in Europe, takes part in his third pro fight against tough journeyman Vepkhia Tchilaia. Sutherland will be looking to do better than fellow Olympic medallist James De Gale, who was taken the distance by Tchilaia on his debut three months ago.

Sutherland is as good as De Gale technically and hits a lot harder, De Gale was landing regularly but wasn’t putting much power into his punches, Sutherland will and I expect him to take care of business and stop Tchilaia around the third round.

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