Bell Defeats Edwards
By Aaron Klein: British super flyweight champion Chris Edwards (11-13-3, 3 KOs) lost his BBBofC British super flyweight title on Friday night against the young 22 year-old challenger Andy Bell (11-3, 3 KOs), who defeated Edwards by a 12-round unanimous decision at the Metrodome, Barnsley, in Yorkshire, England. Edwards, 31, put on an exciting display of non-stop aggression, reminding one of an older Mickey Ward, though without his devastating hooks. Unfortunately for Edwards, he gave virtually all of the first six rounds of the fight to the crisper-punching challenger Bell, and found himself playing catch-up in the remaining second half of the fight.
Edwards was knocked down in the third round after walking into a left hand by Bell, though he wasn’t hurt by the shot, as it was a case of him not being in good position when the punch landed. Edwards, while getting outclassed in the first half of the fight, his energetic pace became a problem for Bell in the 2nd half of the fight as he seemed to wear down under the constant fire from Edwards. Unfortunately for Edwards, he began to tire out as well, and many of his punches weren’t landing cleanly in the later rounds, which caused him to lose a couple of the later rounds. The final judges’ scores were 117-111, 117-111 and 115-113, all for Bell.
It was all Bell in the first three rounds, as he used his two-handed punching style to punish Edwards with combinations as he pressed forward. Due to his lack of size, both in reach and in height, the 31 year-old Edwards had to fight hard to try and get inside on Bell. This would leave Edwards open to a lot of punishment as he would come in, since Bell, a very relaxed puncher with excellent accuracy, had it easy with an opponent coming directly at him without any finesse about him. In the 3rd round, Edwards’ wide open style of fighting caught up to him when he marched into two consecutive left hands that knocked him down. Bell had no illusions about Edwards being hurt, so he didn’t even attempt to finish him. Indeed, it was Edwards that came forward after getting up from the knockdown and pressured Bell. However, at this stage of the fight, Bell was too fresh and easily picked Edwards apart with combinations. In a way, Bell looked like a matador fighting an angry bull, one with little power but a ton of aggression.
Nothing changed in the 4th and 5th rounds, for Bell was landing a lot of clean shots to the head and preventing Edwards from working his way to the inside. When he would get inside, Edwards wasted time with wrestling and throwing weak shots that did little. For all of his want to get inside, when he did get there, Edwards proved to be a poor inside fighter and seemed to stifle his own power in doing so.
In rounds six and seven, Edwards seemed to will himself back into the fight, using nonstop working, in which he wrestled, threw shots and pushed at Bell. This had an overall effect of keeping Bell from getting his own shots off due to the constant mauling pressure from Edwards. It was a lot of work from Edwards, however, which he had to do to overcome Bell’s much more effective punches. It was a very blue collar showing in these two rounds by Edwards, for he rose up above his limited talent to control a better-schooled fighter on aggression and hard work alone.
In rounds eight through ten, Edwards continued applying a great deal of pressure and outworking Bell. However, Bell’s cleaner shots seemed to be enough for him to win the rounds by a close margin. I could see Edwards winning all of them as well, since he was doing most of the work in the rounds and seemed to be tiring Bell out. The problem for Edwards, as I mentioned previously, is that he wasn’t always landing hard shots and his punches were much less impressive than Bell’s. Edwards’s accuracy just wasn’t there and his work quality suffered for it. His punches, though more numerous in volume, were the pushing variety, thrown just to be thrown but not to do damage.
Edwards stepped up the pace a notch in the 11th round, and seemed to pull away from Bell, who was already having serious problems with the previous pace that Edwards had been pushing on him. Whenever Bell would set up to thrown a punch, he’d receive two incoming from Edwards. Because of this, Bell spent most of the round covering up on the ropes and trying to fend off shots.
In the 12th round, Edwards continued with his high pace and landed many more shots than Bell in the round. It seemed as if Edwards had found his second wind, whereas Bell was clearly feeling the effects of Edward’s withering pace. In the end, however, it was too little, too late for Edwards, since he had given up the first five rounds of the fight and then a number of the middle rounds.