WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards is determined to relish his time in the spotlight after witnessing the cruel way his friend Anthony Ogogo was forced to retire.
Olympic bronze medallist Ogogo announced his retirement as a professional middleweight last week when a seventh operation in little over two years failed to cure damage caused by a fractured eye socket.
All of these fights out there are fights I want. I want to build a legacy and go down as a British great. These are the stepping stones I need to take.Charlie Edwards
Edwards himself only won a world title in his past fight having had to rebuild his reputation following a defeat by John Riel Casimero in 2016.
After spending years in the same amateur setup as Ogogo he recognises the extent to which his prime years are potentially under threat.
Victory over Angel Moreno on Saturday at London’s Copper Box Arena, and a further win for Welshman Andrew Selby - who later that evening fights Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar in Mexico to become his mandatory challenger - will also next provide Edwards with a high-profile domestic rival.
It is rare for a flyweight to be presented with the circumstances to earn significant money, and the 26-year-old - who trains in Sheffield - said: “It was a real, real shame for Anthony. It’s realistic; it’s here today and gone tomorrow.
“It’s taught me to really enjoy the present moment. I was on the GB team with him for years.
“(Me and Selby have) both got to get through fights; not just one of us. I wish him all the best and I’m sure he’ll wish me the best; we’ve both got tough nights ahead.
“All of these fights out there are fights I want. I want to build a legacy and go down as a British great. These are the stepping stones I need to take.”
The improving Edwards’ first challenger is Spain’s 35-year-old Moreno, who weighed in at 7st 13lbs 4oz on Friday.
“He’s a very tough, game fighter, a bit like a bull in a china shop,” Edwards said.
“He tries to be awkward but can get very frustrated. He’s strong, and a bit dirty, so he’s going to come and really try and cause an upset, try and be awkward to start with, and then try and put it on my chest.
“But there’s going to be so many opportunities to catch him clean.
“I wouldn’t speak back on the spars, but I’m very confident. I’m a completely different fighter from two-and-a-half years ago, so if he’s expecting the same he’ll be in trouble.
“He’s stayed with the same coach so he will have improved, but they’ll still be doing the same stuff they were doing back then.”