Just moments ago we saw IBF Flyweight champion Sunny Edwards (18-0, 4) make his second defenses as he over-came Pakistani fighter Muhammad Waseem (12-2, 8) in a rough, messy, dirty fight in Dubai.
The opening round was a quiet feeling out round, which Edwards did enough to take, though neither man really did a lot of anything. There was a long period of both guys looking to see what the other hand to offer, but neither really stood out as such, with Edwards edging it on the quality of what little work he did do. In rounds 2, thankfully, the action did pick up with both men picking up the pace. This saw Waseem's pressure intensifying whilst Edwards looked to box, move and counter, though again it was somewhat quiet and felt like the bout was going to struggle to come alive.
Thankfully in round 3 the action did pick up as Waseem began to get in to range and back Edwards on to the ropes, where he let shots go in an attempt to break down the champion. Despite being against the ropes Edwards showed silky skills, timing and counter punching as he landed just as much as he was taking as the bout began to come alive. The following few rounds, through the middle of the bout, saw the bout keep the same pattern, with Waseem backing up Edwards, and Edwards boxing on the back foot, landing some amazing counters, but taking body shots on the ropes.
Sadly though, for both, the action was marred by a lot of wrestling, accidental headclashes, holding, and general rough house tactics from both. It was the style of fight that suited Waseem, who didn't have the speed or skills to keep up with Edwards, but it was messy and the referee did little to really tidy things up. In fact the referee seemed to be making things worse, with warnings for minor infractions, and man handling Waseen a number of times whilst working in the clinch.
The referee continued to make a mess of things in rounds 6, when he deducted Waseem a point for holding, something both men were doing repeatedly though the fight, and then doubled his frustration with a second point deduction a round later. By then it seemed the referee wasn't exactly acting an impartial authority on the bout, and certainly seemed harsher on Waseem than Edwards, when both were just as dirty as each other.
Sadly for Waseem the deductions seemed to kill some off some of his fighting spirit, and although he was solid in round 8 he did very, very little afterwards as Edwards began to box, move, using his feet and showing what he can do. Edwards began to make things look easy and started to make Waseem look incredibly slow, clumsy and old as he began to run away with the bout, which had been close through much of bout thanks to Waseem's pressure.
Given how Edwards fought rounds 9, 10 and 11, it was clear the win was his and he seemed to know it as he got on his bike through round 12, essentially doing victory laps as Waseem ineffectively chased him around the ring for the better part of 3 minutes.
After 12 rounds there was no denying Edwards was the rightful winner. His eye catching counter shots made even the good rounds for Waseem close, whilst the early rounds, where he edged them, and the later rounds, where he made things look easy, were undeniable rounds for the champion. And then with the deductions any debate on the winner was moot. Despite that Waseem climbed the turn buckle to celebrate, and we suspect he may have been the only man in the venue, which to be fair was mostly empty, to think he'd won.
The judges had it closer than most, with scores of 115-111, twice, and 116-110. We felt they were closer than they should have been, but can certainly see why the judges had it that close given that many of the middle rounds were hotly contested, and Waseem's pressure in them was certainly successful.
Sadly the real disappointment was the referee, who seemed poor through out, and could have easily taken points from both. It was a dirty fight, but not one where a man had to effectively fight on a tightrope, as Waseem did.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.