World flyweight champion Charlie Edwards 'more modest' after defeat

Charlie Edwards, who makes a first WBC world flyweight title defence against Angel Moreno on Saturday, admits he needed to be more modest to become a proud champion.

The English boxer says he was over-confident ahead of challenging John Riel Casimero, of the Philippines, for the IBF world title in September 2016, resulting in a tenth-round stoppage defeat.

Edwards (14-1, 6 KOs), 26, responded by making lifestyle and training changes, which culminated in a unanimous decision victory over Nicaragua's Cristofer Rosales to lift the WBC belt in December.

"Looking back, it was too soon, but at the time I thought it was ready," Edwards told ESPN. "I was doing it for the wrong reasons, I wanted to be someone so badly. I got caught up with all the egotistical vibe in Marbella [in Spain], where I was based, and I lost contact with what I wanted from the sport in the first place.

"I wouldn't change losing that fight -- it showed me what I needed to do to become world champion. Now I want to be an inspiration for the younger kids coming through. I came back from Spain and got back to the really hard, gritty lifestyle of a professional boxer.

"I went around learning from people like Ryan Burnett -- I was his chief sparring partner for a while -- and I sparred champions in Ukraine too. Grant Smith is my new coach and he has taken me to a new level."

Edwards is one of Britain's five world boxing champions (the others are Anthony Joshua, Callum Smith, Josh Warrington and Kal Yafai).

The Surrey-born boxer, who now lives in Sheffield, is the least well-known of Britain's titleholders but he can take a step towards wider recognition with victory over Spain's Moreno (19-2-2, 6 KOs) at the Copper Box Arena in east London.

Bigger fights potentially lie in wait for Edwards against British rivals Andrew Selby (11-0, 6 KOs) and Yafai (25-0, 15 KOs).

Welshman Selby is No 1 in the WBC rankings and faces Julio Cesar Martinez (13-1, 10 KOs) in an eliminator for Edwards' title in Mexico also on Saturday, and seems the more likely fight to happen first if Selby is successful.

Yafai, of Birmingham, has made four defences of the WBA junior-bantamweight title and also looks likely since both are promoted by Eddie Hearn.

"One of my goals has always been to be a multi-weight world champion and my hero is Manny Pacquiao," Edwards told ESPN.

"But at the moment I'm in the flyweight division and I'm hoping to unify the division. There's Kal Yafai at super-fly but short-term the aim is to unify the flyweight titles. Andrew Selby has got an eliminator that could set us up for the end of the year. I'm in this game for the big fights and that would be a big fight. I lost to him as a kid, I was only 18, so it's a fight I really want and that I feel I can win."

Edwards added: "When I moved down to flyweight, I stated to Eddie, I'm ready for anyone and everyone, and that's why he gave me the No. 1 flyweight in the division, and I went and did the performance that I did, and now I'm the No 1.

"I know I possess the self-belief and skill to become a world champion in the super-flyweight division."