Cherry, Douglas looking for winning edge heading into crossroads bout

Edner Cherry is seeking another shot at a world championship, while Omar Douglas is looking to move into title contention.

Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas

Edner Cherry (left) has twice lost in world championship bouts, while Omar Douglas is hoping to move closer to his first title shot with a win in their 130-pound contest Tuesday night in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. (Kenyon Sessoms/Premier Boxing Champions)

The two fighters are at different points in their respective careers, but their paths have become intertwined in a bout that will directly impact the future trajectory for both men.

Two-time title challenger Edner Cherry (35-7-2, 19 KOs) will take on talented prospect Omar Douglas (17-1, 12 KOs) in a 130-pound bout set for 10 rounds that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays card at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (FS1, 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

At Monday's weigh-in, Cherry came in at 129½ pounds and Douglas hit the scale at 129.3.

Cherry, 34, has the edge in experience, having fought 289 rounds in 45 career bouts. He has twice competed for world titles, losing to Timothy Bradley at 140 pounds in September 2008 and to Jose Pedraza at 130 pounds in October 2015.

Cherry, a native of the Bahamas who has long lived in Wauchula, Florida, said he still has plenty left in his tank to take care of Douglas.

“Age doesn’t mean nothing in my book; it’s just a number,” he said. “With my experience, I’m not worried about his age.”

Douglas, 26, seemingly was on his way toward a potential title shot, but he took a step backward in November when he dropped a 10-round unanimous decision to former 130-pound champion Javier Fortuna.

In that fight, Douglas gained a first-round knockdown but failed to keep the pressure on as he faded in the latter half of the bout. He said that will not be the case against Cherry.

“Losing to Javier Fortuna really opened my eyes on what it takes to be a boxer,” Douglas said. “There was a lot of pressure on me for that fight but I’m not making an excuse for it. I enjoy the pressure and all the eyes on me because it helps me grow as a fighter.

“Going to the cards always has me nervous and leery. Ever since the amateurs I always go for the knockout punch because you just don’t know what is going to happen.”

Since losing to former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi in February 2007, Cherry has gone 14-2, with those defeats coming in his world title challenges. He bounced back from his split-decision loss to Pedraza with a 10-round unanimous decision over Lydell Rhodes in his last fight in June.

I’ll teach [Douglas] a lesson and he can think about that after I get the win. I’ve been in his spot before, but he can’t say the same for where I am. Edner Cherry, two-time world title challenger

“I am motivated and I believe in myself," Cherry said. “Those are the reasons that I am still here at the top of the 130- and 135-[pound] divisions. My family gives me drive every day. This is my job and I have to go out and do it well."

Douglas said a win over a respected veteran such as Cherry will show that he is willing and ready to challenge for a world championship.

“I’m the guy that will take on anyone and is not going to sit back and pick and choose who I am going to fight,” he said. “Not many are willing to take the risks to be great, and I’m doing that.”

Douglas has fought 73 rounds in 18 career bouts, giving Cherry a huge edge in experience, but the fighter known as “Super O” said the more relevant number to focus on is their nearly nine-year age discrepancy.

“They say time always catches up to you no matter what. Sure, [Cherry] has a lot more fights than me, but again Father Time is lurking,” Douglas said. “It happens in every sport that the physical and mental aspects shift to the younger athletes.

“Nothing again Cherry, but again I am working my way up and he stands in my way. I believe in sports science and evolution, but in the end, it’s all about time. At this point in my life I am more mature than my last fight. I learned a lifetime in that experience.”

When it comes to lessons learned, the “Cherry Bomb” said he will give Douglas another tutorial in the ring Tuesday night.

“He’s in my way, plain and simple. Young guys like that, I’ll teach them a lesson and he can think about that after I get the win,” Cherry said. “I’ve been in his spot before, but he can’t say the same for where I am.

“If I defeat this kid, it will be huge not only personally, but will get me closer to that world title that I want and closer to those big fights. We're both very hungry, so I think this is going to be entertaining for the fans. It's going to be fireworks on [Tuesday night].”

For a complete look at Cherry vs Douglas, visit our fight page.

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