JAYSON Mama suffered another snag in his world title bid after International Boxing Federation (IBF) flyweight champion Sunny Edwards pulled out because of an ankle injury just a few days before the fight.
Mama had travelled from the Philippines to Dubai and stayed there for two weeks before flying to London just to learn that his Sept. 11 fight with Edwards at the Copper Box Arena would not push through.
“I’ve trained really hard for this fight. I’ve sacrificed a lot. My team and I stayed in Dubai for 12 days so we could enter the U.K. just for Edwards to pull out of the fight with an ankle injury during fight week. He could give medical reports, but I don’t believe it. I think he just doesn’t want to fight me because it’s too risky for him,” said a clearly frustrated Mama.
This is the second time that Mama’s world championship fight was cancelled.
He was initially slated to face then IBF champion Moruti Mthalane on Dec. 20, 2020 in South Africa. The fight was cancelled after the event’s promoter, Tono Promotions, failed to comply with Boxing South Africa’s requirements to stage the fight.
Mama was okay with an Edwards vs. Mthalane fight in April with the assurance that he gets a crack at the winner, which was Edwards.
“It’s really frustrating to see a champion pull out of the fight during fight week. Who suffers an injury during fight week while you do light training? No matter what Sunny Edwards does, he has to deal with his mandatory challenger Jayson Mama or he can vacate his belt,” said Mama’s promoter JC Manangquil.
Edwards has no escape from Mama because he’s the IBF flyweight division’s mandatory challenger unless he vacates his belt.
According to IBF rules, Edwards has 60 days to defend his belt in a mandatory fight after an injury. He may choose to apply for medical extension, and if it’s approved, will get a longer time to recuperate. In that instance, Mama will be given a chance to fight for an interim title against the next highest ranked available fighter, which is Ricardo Sandoval.
MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons is also doubtful of Edwards’ injury, but he’s optimistic that Mama will become a world champion soon.
“I’m just gutted for Jayson. He did everything he was supposed to do in preparation for his IBF world title fight. Under these terrible Covid-19 conditions, he had to jump through hoops just to get to England. And when he lands, he is told that Sunny Edwards has turned his ankle!? I find this to be highly suspect,” said Gibbons.
“Jayson is a man of faith and knows his trust in God will make things right. He will be IBF world champion one day soon.”