Boxing: Britain's Edwards retains IBF flyweight title in Dubai

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Sunny Edwards celebrates with head coach Grant Smith after defending his IBF title at the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai on Saturday night. (Twitter)
Sunny Edwards celebrates with head coach Grant Smith after defending his IBF title at the Coca Cola Arena in Dubai on Saturday night. (Twitter)

The action-packed card was held in front of a huge crowd at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai

By Team KT

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Published: Sun 12 Dec 2021, 4:53 PM

Britain’s Sunny Edwards retained his IBF flyweight title by scoring a unanimous decision victory over unbeaten Filipino fighter Jayson Mama in the main event on a historic Probellum Revolution card on Saturday evening.

The action-packed card was held in front of a huge crowd at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and was broadcast to millions of fans across the globe, with the very best fighters from around the world on display.

Some of the legends for the world of boxing were in attendance, including Roy Jones Jr, a former multiple world champion in four weight classes and famed ring announcer Michael Buffer.

The main event also saw victories for the likes of 2020 Olympic gold medallist Bakhodir Jalolov, Jono Carroll, Anthony de Bruijn plus many more.

Sunny Edwards once again displayed his elite boxing skills as he defeated Jayson Mama to make the first defence of his IBF flyweight title.

Edwards (17-0, 4 knockouts) was a level above throughout the fight, even overcoming a nasty cut early into the contest that could have potentially caused an issue.

The 25-year-old ensured that wouldn’t be the case though, dominating proceedings and putting the exclamation point on the performance by dropping Mama (16-1, 9 knockouts) in round 10.

Mama lasted the distance, but there was only one winner in the end, with all three judges scoring it heavily in the favour of Edwards, as he extended his unbeaten record in style.

“In the second round my right eye was completely covered in blood at one point, but I’m a warrior and came through it. Mama is a great fighter and a great contender, and I’m sure his time will come in the future.

“I came here to fight Mama, and I did that and prepared hard and trained diligently, but I want to be in the big fights now. I want the Ring Magazine and WBC belt. That was my mandatory, and now I want Julio Cesar Martinez. I’m coming!

“To all of my fellow countrymen, thank you for supporting me,” said Mama. “I’m sorry I didn’t get the win, I did my best but it wasn’t enough. Sunny Edwards is a great champion and a talented boxer.

“He’s smart and fast, but next time I will come back stronger. I promise you all I will go back to the Philippines and train hard for the next opportunity.”

There was a controversial ending between Donnie Nietes and Norbelto Jimenez as the two men fought to a split draw after 10 rounds of action.

Four-weight world champion Nietes (43-1-6, 23 knockouts) and challenger Jimenez (30-9-6, 16 knockouts) both gave it their all in the contest, with each fighter getting the advantage over the other at various points in the contest.

After 10 hard-fought rounds, confusion struck as Jimenez thought it was a 12-round contest, but it was only scheduled for 10, and the fight headed to the scorecards.

The judges couldn’t split the two men, with scores of 96-94 Nietes, 96-94 Jimenez, and 95-95 meaning the bout ended in a draw, with Nietes keeping hold of his belt in the process.

“I felt I controlled it from the first round, then in the seventh round he was running around the ring,” said Nietes. “I noticed that he fights really dirty. I’m 39-years-old, and the key to this game is discipline.

“I was able to make it out of the last round as still the champion. It depends on the promoter if they want to schedule a rematch again.

“I feel all the crowd know that I should have been the winner,” said Jimenez. “The fight was meant to be 12 rounds and they put it down two rounds because they don’t trust their fighter. If Nietes wants to win a world title, then he has to face me again.”

Heavyweight sensation Bakhodor Jalolov once again displayed his incredible knockout power as he wiped out Julio Cesar Calimeno inside the very first round.

Jalolov (9-0, 9 knockouts) was back in action for the first time since winning the gold medal in the super-heavyweight division at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer, returning to the paid ranks to take on Calimeno (4-2, 4 knockouts).

He didn’t waste any time though, landing a huge left hand that sent Calimeno to the canvas. He couldn’t get up before the referee’s count of 10, handing Uzbekistan hero Jalolov the superb victory.

“I am absolutely ready for the world heavyweight championship. It doesn’t matter who will be the champion,” said Jalolov. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Usyk, Joshua, Fury, anybody. I am ready. I will keep on winning, and keep on performing at my best.”

Jono Carroll moved a step closer to another world title shot after picking up a second-round stoppage win over Aelio Mesquita.

Carroll (21-2-1, 5 knockouts) started well and dropped Mesquita (20-6-1, 18 knockouts) at the end of round one. It wasn’t initially given as a knockdown, but the referee informed the judges to score it as one.

‘King Kong’ then continued to dominate, dropping the Brazilian several more times throughout round two, and after a constant onslaught, the referee waved it off and handed Carroll the impressive win.

“My hard work and dedication have paid off. I was never born with serious skill, I’m just tough and durable and have dedicated myself over the past few years,” said Carroll. “Everything is coming together, my strength and patience have improved, and I’m working with world champions and it’s going to be my time.

“I was cut three weeks ago and had eight stitches, but I don’t care, it was just a flesh wound. I’m here for world titles so I don’t care what I have to do. Those world titles will be mine soon.

“I knew my opponent would be strong so I planned on making him miss in the first few rounds. He has a lot more knockouts than I have, so I knew it would be dangerous. I took a few on the gloves and thought where was the power? So I knew I could walk through him.

“I walked straight in front of him and took what he has and got the knockout. This is the revolution and we are taking over.”

Anthony de Bruijn was victorious after a back and forth battle with Diego Valiterra, coming out on top thanks to a six-round majority decision win.

The bout was serving as the float fight on the bill, and both men took full advantage of their opportunity to shine in front of a big stage, as de Bruijn (11-0-1, 6 knockouts) got the better of the early rounds.

Valtierra (6-5, 2 knockouts) came back into the fight as it progressed, having success of his own and making it an entertaining affair, but de Bruijn managed to see out the fight and deservedly got his hand raised.

“After the first couple of rounds I thought it would be easy, but then he came back strong towards the end of the fight,” said de Bruijn. “I survived through the rounds, and it was nothing that I haven’t faced before.

“I dealt with it and in the end, we got the win. I kept boxing and thought I could have stopped him at one point but it is what it is. I knew I would get the win, and thank you to everybody for coming.”



SUNNY EDWARDS def. JAYSON MAMA via unanimous decision after 12 rounds (117-110, 118-109, 118-109)


DONNIE NIETES split draw with NORBELTO JIMENEZ after 10 rounds (96-94 Nietes, 96-94 Jimenez, 95-95)



ANTHONY DE BRUIJN def. DIEGO VALTIERRA via majority decision after 6 rounds (57-57, 58-56, 59-55)




ROHAN DATE def. KELVIN DOTEL via unanimous decision after 6 rounds (60-53, 60-53, 60-53)

SULTAN AL NUAIMI def. SAHIL RAHMAN N via unanimous decision after 4 rounds (40-36, 40-36, 40-35)


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