Boxing: Satchell scalp is in the bag, vows champ Edwards
BRITISH champion Chris Edwards fights Scouser Kevin Satchell in front of a 7,000-strong Liverpool crowd tomorrow night happy to be returning to the lion's den.
The Fenton warrior will take on the newly-crowned Commonwealth title holder in a flyweight unification bout at the Echo Arena on the Liverpool waterfront.
But the 36-year-old will not be daunted by the partisan audience after beating another local boy, Paul Edwards, at the Liverpool Olympia last year.
Experience will also be on his side as he embarks on his 10th championship fight against a 24-year-old taking part in only his ninth professional bout.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I've been into lion's den before and returned without a scratch," said the 5ft 3in crackerjack.
"The scousers make a load of noise, but it's just me and him in the ring. They can make a din, but they can't throw punches.
"By the time I pull on my gloves, I'll have shut everything out. There's no way they can disrupt my focus and I'm ready to fight."
It was Paul Edwards who Satchell stopped to win his belt at Aintree in June.
Satchell, from Kirkdale, has carried all before him so far in his two-year career, but can count on his toughest assignment to date this weekend.
Chris Edwards added: "He hasn't had many fights and the one against Paul was his first over 12 rounds.
"That was an easy day at the office for him, but maybe Paul took it lightly because he had beaten Satchell twice as an amateur.
"He didn't turn up, but you know you're not going to get that from me.
"I've been preparing for this for 10 weeks, training three times-a-day, and I'm primed. He's a tough kid, but I'm tougher."
Chris Edwards beat Shinny Bayaar last December to win a Lonsdale belt outright, and he will be line for a shot at the European title against Romanian Silvio Olteanu if he can get past Satchell. Yet the former street scrapper has not lost sight of his tough old roots, even if he does have the luxury of being sponsored by Knight's BMW these days.
He has become patron of the Round One charity to help underprivileged children living in the Potteries, using boxing training to keep them off the streets.
The kids could have no better role model, says Edwards' coach, Lindon Newbon, who helps run the sessions at the Fight Factory gym in Longton.
"My hardest job is keeping Chris out of the gym on his rest days," he said.
"We work with children who have been excluded or are on the verge of exclusion and give them some fun and some discipline.
"Chris can relate to them and they can train alongside the British champion."
Edwards will be offering no tea and sympathy to Satchell, though, and the Liverpudlian reckons he knows just what he can expect.
Their dust-up comes on an impressive bill in front of the BoxNation cameras.
David Price defends his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles against the 2000 Olympic super-heavyweight champion Audley Harrison, while Shane McPhilbin and Jon Lewis-Dickinson square up for the domestic cruiser-weight crown.
Satchell is predicting fireworks.
He said: "I know he's going to give me the hardest fight I have ever had because he's got a big heart.
"I am not underestimating him and I don't think he is as past it as some people have claimed.
He is a lot fitter than Paul and he's got all that history.
"The British title is the one we all want. I can't wait. To fight for it is good enough, but to win it would be amazing."
THE Edwards v Satchell fight is second on the BoxNation programme. Coverage begins on Sky channel 437 at 9.45pm tomorrow.