'Edwards is tailor-made for me': Pedro Guevara interview
Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
Former light flyweight WBC champion Pedro Guevara tells Boxing Monthly that he is ready and willing to take on the UK's WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards...
Back in the day, Max Schmeling advised the Klitschko brothers that if they wanted to reach the top in professional boxing they had to make it in America.
And it was true.
Fast forward 20-odd years and UK seems to have effectively replaced the United States in world boxing dominance, not only sporting champions and top contenders over several traditionally American owned divisions but by physically invading the territory, with Tyson Fury extending Deontay Wilder to a merciful draw in his backyard and Matchroom now an equivalent force to Golden Boy and Top Rank.
Ruiz Jr’s upset of Anthony Joshua might - paradoxically - have strengthened this trend as contenders from all around the world are now looking at fights in the UK or against UK fighters as golden tickets to money and fame.
Speaking of which, former light flyweight WBC champion Pedro Guevara (34-3-1, 20 KOs) has reached out to Boxing Monthly for the purpose of sending a challenge to reigning WBC flyweight king Charlie Edwards (15-1, 6 KOs).
Interestingly, both men tasted defeat for the first time in their first world title challenges against the very same man - John Riel Casimero - but the Mexican feels he would have the edge over the popular Croydon man should he accept to meet him in the ring.
BM: When did you start boxing and why did you decide to turn pro?
PG: I have been boxing since I was ten years old. After eight years of amateur experience competing in national tournaments, I decided to turn pro for the same reason everybody does: to become a world champion. But, unlike everybody, I achieved that.
BM: Exactly like Edwards, you had your first defeat when challenging for the IBF world title against the very same opponent in John Riel Casimero. How did you feel at the time and how did you deal with the loss?
PG: I took the fight at three weeks' notice. I knew it wasn’t enough to prepare for an opponent of that calibre but it would have been foolish to pass on such an opportunity. I was particularly concerned about his punching power, nevertheless I lasted the distance and dropped a close decision. Hence, it did not really feel so much as a loss but as precious experience for a future occasion. As it turned out, I was right: two years later I became the WBC light flyweight champion of the world.
BM: You defended the title two times before losing to Yu Kimura, then challenged and lost against Ken Shiro. How did those defeats felt in comparison to the first one? Were they as easy to deal with?
PG: I don’t think I lost against Kimura. When the last bell rang, I knew I had it but two of the judges disagreed. Now, that felt way more frustrating than an actual loss. On the other hand, I admit Ken Shiro was stronger than me. I am still happy with my performance, considering how much I struggled to make the light flyweight limit. That’s when I knew it was time to move up in weight, so I accept it as a necessary evil in order for my career to progress.
BM: Why moving up two divisions, though?
PG: I stepped up to super flyweight with only one objective in mind, which was to chase Roman Gonzalez. Unfortunately, that bout never materialised. I decided to stay at the weight as I saw other opportunities for big fights in the U.S. Up to that point, the States were actually the place to be for the smaller weight categories. Then everything changed once I saw Edwards against Rosales.
BM: Before we get into that, it is curious to notice that you are currently ranked at no. 5 both by the WBC and by the WBO, only in two different categories, respectively super flyweight and flyweight. How is that possible?
PG: I can do both comfortably but in answer to your question: no idea. Honestly.
BM: Of all the champions in both divisions, why do you want Charlie Edwards?
PG: It struck me when I saw him winning the title that I have got both the IQ and the experience to beat him. And I would not have to worry about the judges, if you know what I mean... I want to be world champion again and he is tailor-made for me.
BM: How do you rate him and most importantly how do you beat him?
PG: I take nothing away from him. He is a good fighter, with great footwork and speed. I win the fight by not to allowing him to set into a rhythm, cutting the ring to the size of a phone booth and dragging him in an absolute war. And then there can only be one winner.
BM: What about WBA champion Kal Yafai and Charlie’s brother Sunny, both campaigning at your current weight? Are they not on your radar?
PG: Yafai definitely is. He has proved himself at world level, also defending the title in the States. I wouldn’t disregard an offer to fight against him. But, given the choice and balancing the experience factor, Edwards represents the same reward with a lower risk. Sunny is looking great at the level he is at and I believe he has the potential to go all the way, but right now he brings nothing to the table.
BM: Do you think that the Casimero fight is something to go by to measure your chances against Edwards?
PG: Well, I went the distance whereas he got stopped but both fights were a long time ago and we both improved. Only, I have more experience against a higher level of opposition and that can make a difference.
BM: If you had Charlie Edwards in front of you right now, what would you say to him?
PG: Let's give UK and Mexican fans another night to remember, a miniature version of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua. I am happy to travel and meet you in your backyard. I hope to hear from you soon.
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