John Riel Casimero (23-3, 15 KO’s) successfully defended his IBF flyweight title with a comprehensive 10th-round stoppage of Essex’s Charlie Edwards (8-1, 3 KO’s), in the evening’s first world title fight.

As expected, the 26-year-old Filipino—a two-weight world champion—just knew too much for the inexperienced Edwards, 23, and the gulf in knowledge was clear from the opening exchanges.

Edwards (111lbs) held advantages in reach and speed, but he was unable to capitalise on them. Casimero (111lbs) mastered the range almost immediately and was able to avoid Edwards’ jab and counter with hard shots. He was far more economical but far more accurate. Conversely, those strengths cost him a couple of the middle rounds as he concentrated on attempting to land the perfect shot and was outworked.

Edwards was rocked by a beautifully timed uppercut in the fifth but showed a good chin to remain upright. An accidental head clash opened a cut over Casimero’s right eye in the same session but, in truth, that was as worrying as matters got for the visitor. He began to open up in the seventh and just ratcheted up the pressure from that point on.

A big left hook flattened Edwards midway through the tenth and although he got to his feet, the writing was on the wall. Referee Steve Gray halted the fight 1.57 into round number ten.

The opportunity to fight for a world title was impossible for Epsom’s Edwards to turn down and he will have learned plenty from the whole event. Casimero put himself directly into the mix for some big fights in one of the worlds most exciting divisions.

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