News Update: Ben Whittaker has been called for a new fight with his rival in…..

Ben Whittaker’s British rival Lewis Edmondson has called for a fight in the Olympian’s hometown of Wolverhampton

Ben Whittaker extended his unbeaten record to eight victories with a points victory over Ezra Arenyeka this month; Lewis Edmondson is pursuing a domestic clash after confronting Whittaker at a press conference

Lewis Edmondson says Ben Whittaker is “scared” of a fight and insists his British rival could “have it all in his favour” with a hometown clash in Wolverhampton.

The pair have been on a collision course since Edmondson confronted and called out Whittaker at a press conference in December last year.

Coming off a dominant performance on the undercard of Jessica McCaskill vs Lauren Price in Cardiff, where he sealed a points victory over Joel McIntryre, a tough and experienced operator, Edmondson is now eager to step up in levels and headline a show in front of Whittaker’s fans.

“I’ll come to Wolverhampton,” he said. “[Whittaker] can have it all in his favour like the golden boy he is.

“I just want him looking at me from the other side of the ring, knowing that he’s in there with a live opponent.”

Now, after messaging his rival’s dad, Tony Whittaker, the undefeated light-heavyweight believes that the grudge match will take place later this year.Lewis Edmondson

“I speak to Ben Whittaker’s dad regularly; we send many voice notes back and forth,” Edmondson told Sky Sports. “He says the fight’s going to happen.

“He sends me some voice notes back; we have a laugh and a joke.”

Whittaker, who now has over two million followers on Instagram, outpointed Ezra Arenyeka in his last fight on the Billam-Smith vs Riakporhe bill at Selhurst Park earlier this month.

But, while the Olympic silver medallist put on a comprehensive display in his first 10-round contest, Edmondson knows that tougher tests await him.

“[Arenyeka] was worse than the fella he fought on his debut,” he said. “It was awful, he was like a white-collar fighter.

“I don’t believe he’s the real deal, but let’s see him step up and fight a live opponent. Let’s see if he’s worth all the money he’s been paid.”

Following a spell of inactivity, when he was in hospital recovering from septicaemia – a life-threatening illness – on two separate occasions, Edmondson returned to the ring in 2022.

With stability restored to his life and career, the 28-year-old looks to accelerate his progression in the sport.

In the landscape of the light heavyweight division, with Joshua Buatsi and Anthony Yarde eyeing up career-defining challenges, Edmondson and Whittaker are two highly-ranked British fighters hovering a few places below world level.Lewis Edmondson returns to action on the undercard of Lauren Price's world title fight against Jessica McCaskill

For them, a domestic dust-up makes perfect sense, yet Edmondson still harbours concerns that Whittaker is fearful of him.

“I don’t think he’s got it in him,” he said. “Whenever my name gets mentioned, he always looks uncomfortable.

“I think what scared him was how quickly I’ve accepted the fight on so many occasions.

“Domestically, there’s not really any other names, unless one of us steps up to fight someone like Dan Azeez, but I don’t think that will happen.

“We both need this fight as a stepping stone before we move onto the big boys.”

While Edmondson has always doubted Whittaker’s interest, he felt more hopeful that the potential clash will materialise after an impromptu conversation with BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom in the north east, where he was supporting a friend who fought on the undercard of Savannah Marshall’s MMA debut.

“I was up in Newcastle where my friend [Kane Mousah] had a fight on the [PFL Europe] show, and I did his corner,” Edmondson recalled.

“Ben Shalom was there, and he reassured me that the fight’s going to happen.”Lewis Edmondson returns to action on the undercard of Lauren Price's world title fight against Jessica McCaskill

Anticipating a night of pandemonium, Edmondson knows that he would have to contend with Whittaker’s flamboyance outside of the ring too.

Away from his elusive movement and sharp reflexes, the 27-year-old is known for his electric ring walks, dancing out to an orchestra playing Drake’s “Over” in his most recent entrance.

Edmondson pays little attention to Whittaker’s showmanship, though, and even has something up his sleeve for if the pair do eventually lock horns.

“I’m sure he’ll try and have me waiting in the ring for ages, but I don’t care about that,” he said.

“I’ll probably have one of my friends performing as well – I’ll leave that as a surprise for when the fight happens.”

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