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Heavyweights to slug out national title in Canberra

CANBERRA boxer Ben Edwards has declared, ''I'm a better fighter'' as he prepares to chase his dream of being the Australian heavyweight champion.

Edwards - the first Australian to knock out rugby league bad boy John Hopoate - will put his life as the world kickboxing champion on hold to prepare for the fight against Queenslander Shane Tilliyard.

Despite having just four boxing bouts under his belt, Edwards is confident he can punch his way to victory.

Edwards will take on Tilliyard in a battle of Australia's highest ranked boxers.

While Edwards is confident he has the power to knock out his opponent, he's wary of being over-confident.

''We both have a similar style, we're not technicians in the ring, we just look for the knockout,'' Edwards said.


''I'm a better fighter but anything can happen, it only takes one punch.''

Edwards is no stranger to title fights.

He launched his first bid for the heavyweight belt last year, but had to settle for a draw against Michael Kirby in Melbourne.

After a six-week break, Edwards is now back in training.

He trains mostly in the capital, but drives to Sydney on at weekends to spar.

Edwards started his boxing career in 2007 and has had just four sanctioned fights since.

Despite his lack of time in the ring Edwards is backing himself to win the belt.

''I have a strong punch from kickboxing and I'm bigger so I am confident I will win,'' Edwards said.

The title became vacant two weeks ago when the now former Australian heavyweight champion, Lucas Browne, signed an exclusive contract with England's Ricky Hatton.

Edwards says Browne is arrogant and he wants to meet him in the ring.

Edwards will battle Tilliyard for the belt in Canberra on July 6.