Charlie Edwards suggests Paddy Barnes turned down World Title fight with him


Charlie Edwards [14(6)-1(1)] claims he offered Paddy Barnes [5(1)-1(1)] to challenge for the world title in London next month, albeit indirectly.

The new WBC champion suggests Barnes turned down the offer – and his assertion has been met ith a strong denial from the Belfast boxer.

The older brother of regular Barnes name dropper Sunny Edwards beat the fighter who stopped the Irishman from making history, Cristofer Rosales, to claim the title last December.

The Surrey native has now been offered the chance to top a bill in London by Matchroom and makes a March 23rd defence at the Copper Box Arena.

The fighter, who turns 26 tomorrow, will defend his green belt for the first time against Spanish sparring partner Angel Moreno, but claims he offered the North Belfast puncher a shot at the coveted title via his management team – which is also Barnes’s management team.

Edwards told IFL at the press conference for his first defence that “I think he said that [he wanted the fight].”

“To be fair, we did put his name out there.”

“I did speak to my management team and said ‘listen, if Paddy Barnes wants it’, because it’s my voluntary, I said ‘let’s make it happen’.”

“But nothing got said, nothing came back after that.”

The English fighter then seemingly criticised his MTK stablemate for apparently turning down the opportunity.

“Paddy who? Paddy who? Like, I don’t know where his head’s at. He’s calling me out but then all this happens.”

The Matchroom world champion, who has made huge crossover strides since his win on the Whyte-Chisora 2 undercard, remains hopeful the fight will happen further down the line.

Edwards outlined how “it’s one of them, I hope the fight does happen, either for me or for Sunny, because it’s a British showdown.”

“Everyone loves a British fight, and it could be a fight that everyone wants to see. I’m sure it will happen down the line, whether it’s me or whether it’s Sunny.”

“I’ve got no qualms in beating him, it would be a long time coming for me. Obviously being around the amateur scene and him being all successful, getting bronze medals in the Olympics and that.”

“It’s definitely a fight in the future I’d love to entertain”

Barnes has previously knocked back all Edwards advances be them from Sunny or Charlie, but claims he would fight the older sibling now he has the WBC title.

The Cliftonville double Olympic bronze medallist would reveal that he holds a vicious hatred of Charlie, alleging that Edwards had spread a rumour that he had dominated Barnes in sparring and forced him to pull out of the 2011 European Championships.

Barnes now wants the grudge match, explaining to IFL last month that “now that [Edwards] has a world title and probably the best world title, the WBC is the best world title, if that fight was offered to me I’d take it straight away, 100 percent…”

“I don’t really know the politics of boxing. I am with Frank Warren, he is with Eddie Hearn, but obviously we are with the same management team lets see what our managers say.”

Naturally, Edwards’ comments yesterday did not go down well with Barnes.

The former amateur star claims no appraoch or even mention of the bout was made to him.

Indeed, ‘The Leprechaun’ went as far as to suggest there was ‘no chance’ the world champion brought up the idea of the fight.

Barnes also took exception to the ‘all-British’ suggestions from the champ .

Barnes is currently in training camp in Glasgow at the minute preparing for his return to the ring.

The 31-year-old will make his U.S. debut on the Mick Conlan undercard in New York on St Patrick’s Day where he will face Oscar Mojica over six rounds.

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Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com