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Charlie Edwards retains title after being knocked out by illegal punch

Charlie Edwards retains title after being knocked out by illegal punch
© Reuters
The WBC flyweight title contest was initially awarded to Julio Cesar Martinez before the decision was overturned.

Charlie Edwards retained his WBC flyweight title as his bout against Julio Cesar Martinez was ruled a no-contest – moments after the mandatory challenger had been declared a winner.

The Londoner's nine-month reign as world champion seemed to be over when he was counted out after a relentless assault to the body from the Mexican in the third round.

Vasiliy Lomachenko v Luke Campbell – The O2 Arena
Charlie Edwards retained his WBC flyweight title after the result was overturned (Steven Paston/PA)

However, the final punch to the ribs came after Edwards had taken a knee and once the incident had been shown on the big screens at the O2 Arena, a knockout victory for Martinez was overturned because of the illegal blow.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told Sky Sports: "This fight has been ruled a no-contest and a direct rematch will be ordered."

Edwards was making the second defence of his title against an opponent who earned his opportunity following a fifth-round knockout of Andrew Selby in Mexico in March.

Edwards said it was a shot while he was on the floor which won his opponent the contest
Edwards said it was a shot while he was on the floor which won his opponent the contest (Steven Paston/PA)

Boos rang out around the O2 Arena following the controversial ending but they turned to cheers following Sulaiman's announcement.

Edwards said: "He did hurt me, I won't deny that, and that's why I took a knee. But it was the shot on the floor that put me away.

"I took a knee for a purpose. He finished me off with a body shot. Cheaters never prosper."

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