The Vandalic Boxer… Edwin Tellez, 12-60-5, 6 KO’s, has a fascinating tale to tell. A Nicaraguan, whose country has become one of the focusses of boxing’s return from the pandemic in recent months, he started his boxing journey very early in life – hardly in high school before beginning to punch! He was just 15 years old when he made his professional debut.
Nowadays he is more likely to be seen plying his trade in Spain than his homeland, but his heart and his flag will always be the blue, white and blue of Nicaragua, though with an inverted shield to show his opposition to what is happening back home.
His nickname came after his defeat to Christian Rodriguez in 2019, as he was dubbed the nom de guerre reference to the Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega’s description of opposition to his government as vandals. In a recent article he was quoted as saying, about his nickname, “I didn’t think or imagine getting that nickname. But I’m proud to be able to represent my country in that way and thus be able to express our right to expression.”
But represent in a very real way, it does. It makes him another kind of hero than the usual journeyman but the method of opposition he employs – by being highly visible – is effective.
His work rate as with all journeymen is impressive. Whilst in Berlin in 2015 he was in the opposite corner to one Josh Warrington, who was the European featherweight champion at the time. Warrington stopped Tellez in the fifth. Warrington was on his way to a showdown for the WBC international title and needed the fight but not any injuries; he got both.
In 2018 Tellez was in the ring with English super featherweight champion, Zelfa Barrett, as Barrett was rebuilding after his first professional loss to Ronnie “The Shark” Clark. Barret did not have it all his own way as Tellez, particularly in the fourth did what he needed to do, not to survive, but remind Barret that he was in a real fight. It was not a glorious example of pugilism as both were guilty of low blowing, Tellez getting caught by the referee, Barrett managing to escape punishment until the seventh when he got a final warning. At the final bell, Barrett got the win but Tellez got plaudits for taking the fight to Barrett though he was also savvy enough to know that he needed to escape any real punishment so that he could fight another day… pretty soon.
They got to repeat the fight in April of last year but this time Barret refused to let points do the deciding as he stopped Tellez in the 2nd round, Tellez’s corner throwing in the towel.
Tellez is a presence we have seen much of in the UK with a 2015 points loss to Stuart Hall in Hull, a 2016 loss to Tyrone McCullagh in Belfast, 2018 losses to Declan Geraghty and Stevie Quinn Jr also in Belfast, sharing the ring in 2018 with Joe Ham at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and Leon Woodstock in Elland Road. That night he would have reacquainted himself with Josh Warrington as it was on the Lee Selby/Josh Warrington undercard.
Being based in Spain though does present a different type of opportunity and in 2015 he fought not one but two Fonseca’s – brothers Freddy and Francisco and in 2016 took on Stephane Jamoye twice! It’s an impressive CV and though it has less wins than losses on it, there are clear indications that when Tellez is on the undercard, be prepared for a decent fight – and some political chutzpah to boot.