Nossir, he doesn't have one of the biggest stables out there. In fact, he keeps it pretty tight. Stephen Edwards works with Julian “J-Rock” Williams, and two other guys still at the prospect stage.
But that doesn't mean his talents, and his messaging, should not be treated as if he was on that ultra list of “known” boxing trainers. Edwards, who came on the Everlast “Talkbox” podcast, is a truly sharp communicator, and, it looks like, a superb motivator. He and Williams, 27-1-1, looked in sync for the Saturday night clash against Jarrett Hurd, in Virginia, and on FOX.
Edwards is one of the best guests you could want for a podcast; he speaks concisely, pulls zero punches, and yes, has a fearlessness about him which means he will go where others fear to tread. Like, regarding PED testing.
Edwards has for a long spell been a vocal proponent of stringent testing, of random testing, and he doesn't BS it. It looks shady as hell, he's told me, when A side boxers are NOT agitating for stringent testing.
Now, we understand, not everyone is born to lead. Many clean fighters are out there, and cannot be smeared because they aren't as vocal as Edwards about the need for hardcore testing in the fight game. But Edwards deserves extra credit for his boldness and his courage, yes courage, in standing up for clean participation in the pugilism sphere.
He told us on the latest podcast that he asked Team Hurd for heavy testing, three months out from their fight, and he was happy that Team Hurd as A-OK with that. Edwards said that he knew his boxer was in stellar shape and he didn't want any shade cast because he knew his kid would perform very, very well. “I didn't want any excuses,” he said. “I don't believe you should work on the honor system in boxing, you do this testing for a reason,” he stated. “There's no reason to have a special start date when you're clean, when you're clean, the fight's already been agreed to in principle, let's start sticking the needle in these kids' arms RIGHT NOW.”
He said he knows that cheaters cycle on, then cycle off, and then agree to a test, after the chemicals have exited their system.
Sure, we can do testing…But we will do it four weeks before the fight.
C'mon, think about it.
“They set their own testing,” he said, with disgust. If they set the date, then the testing really isn't random is it? He commends Team Hurd for being fine with the stringent testing.
“We were not fighting without testing, we are not doing that ever again,” he said.
So, has he been getting calls from people looking to soak up that wisdom? So, other hitters in the Edwards camp include Kyrone Davis (NJ born, Delaware resident; 13-2), a middleweight, and also 3-0-1 bantamweight Romuel “Cuco” Cruz, from PA, who was born in Puerto Rico
“I been getting calls, Mike, and I definitely wouldn't mind taking on more guys, but they gotta be a certain kind of guy. They gotta have a certain kind of character, they gotta have a certain kind of work ethic, and they gotta buy into, I'm not willing to cheat to win, I don't have to cheat to win. So, it just depends, I definitely don't mind taking more guys, Julian's not gonna be fighting forever, but it's gotta be the right kind of guys.”
My three cents: Seems to me like Edwards is the sort of person who can teach you boxing, and also teach you about the right ways to live. And if you can get that in one fell swoop, that's as good or better than gold.