Charlie Edwards on Friday vacated his flyweight world title, saying that it was too difficult to continue making the 112-pound division weight limit.
Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs), 26, of England, won the belt by upset unanimous decision from Cristofer Rosales in December 2018 and made two successful defenses, a unanimous decision against Angel Moreno in March followed by a third-round no contest against Julio Cesar Martinez in fight that may have made Edwards’ decision to move up in weight an easy one.
Fighting on the Aug. 31 undercard of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Luke Campbell lightweight world title fight at The O2 arena in London, Martinez dominated Edwards and scored what was initially ruled a third-round knockout victory.
However, the result was changed to a no contest and Edwards was allowed to keep the title minutes later when a video replay review showed that Martinez, the mandatory challenger, had committed an accidental foul when he delivered the final punch while Edwards was already on the mat from a knockdown.
The WBC said it would order Edwards to have an immediate rematch with Martinez (14-1, 11 KOs), 24, of Mexico, but given the beating Edwards took it was no surprise he did not want to fight Martinez again.
Edwards sent a letter to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman to inform him of the decision to vacate the title.
“Me and my team have decided due to how much I struggled with the weight last time out — it actually scared me about how much I was putting my health on the line — and I can’t risk causing damage to myself as health is the single most important thing in life,” Edwards wrote. “I am gutted because I value being WBC world champion, and [I’m] so proud to be able to be in history as WBC flyweight world champion! The best belt in boxing by far.
“I want to continue to represent the WBC and really want to push on through the [junior bantamweight] rankings and pursue the title! But I wanted to let you know first before anyone else that I will be vacating the [flyweight] title to move up and challenge at the new weight. Thanks so much for everything.”
Martinez is likely to be ordered to face a contender to be named for the now-vacant flyweight belt.