Advertisement
Advertisement

Gamal Yafai: I Know I Can Be a Serious Fighter

By Shaun Brown

On Sat night at Wembley Stadium in London all eyes will be on Carl Froch and George Groves who aim to settle their ‘Unfinished Business’ in front of 80,000 people and the millions watching across the world. With a glittering undercard featuring James DeGale, Kevin Mitchell, Jamie McDonnell and Anthony Joshua there is also another participant who will be aiming to make sure people are mentioning him in the coming days and weeks.

After a successful professional debut last Weds night in Leeds, Gamal Yafai will once again be looking to have people raving about him after the super bantamweight beat up Ricky Leach in one round with a mix of vicious intentions and thudding power. Yafai, nicknamed ‘The Beast’, has now been given a spot by his promoter Eddie Hearn as a live float (against an opponent TBA) on the Froch-Groves showpiece and can’t wait to be a part of the experience.

“I want to deliver on this one,” Yafai told BoxingScene. “Eddie’s delivered by putting me on. We had a meeting before my debut and he told me ‘I want you to perform tonight’ and he said that he wanted to get me out on Froch-Groves and be a live float if I did. I was over the moon and happy and can’t thank him enough.”

Hearn has been like a child in his favourite sweet shop since Yafai made his maiden bow and talked about him getting him on ‘every show’ such was his enthusiasm for the 22 year olds performance and the impact he’s made in such a short time. This vote of confidence has rubbed off on the younger brother of Kal, the unbeaten Commonwealth Super Flyweight champion, also promoted by Hearn.

“It’s good to know that he does have that confidence in me and it makes me want to perform even better,” said Gamal. “If your promoter doesn’t believe in me then you’re on a downer but because he thinks so highly of me I want to keep on proving him right and I want him to talk about me and I want everyone to talk about me. That’s why I train hard and live the life. As an amateur I was known for a lack of training and not training as hard as I am now but I’d be the first to admit that.”

‘Scene asked the former member of the elite Team GB squad and 2010 European Amateur bantamweight bronze medallist what has changed since those days.

“I knew I had to change because you can get away with it as an amateur to be honest. As an amateur I wasn’t the best trainer but at times I could win and beat the top guys at my weight without training that hard. I’ve changed, I live the life and I don’t go out to clubs and have late nights. I have early nights, go out running at 6-7am and train hard. Hopefully it will pay off and I can feel it paying off even now. I’m much fitter, much faster and stronger and I won’t stop till I get that world title and more.”

Despite the reputation of being a power puncher, Yafai is looking to hold himself back a bit more in future fights and let his hurtful shots come more naturally. Adrenaline played a big part in his fast start against Leach but the Birmingham fighter is looking to show fans that he’s not just a slugger.

“I want to perform,” he admitted. “I know I have to but I won’t rush it as much. I don’t have to look for the power because it’s there anyway. But I’ll be a bit more patient. Obviously I’ve got a reputation as a puncher and knocking people out so you have to live up to it. People don’t realise I can box, I was a good amateur and can box when I have to. I will start to do that. I’ll let the power come naturally than looking for it and hopefully the knockouts will keep coming. The more my technique comes on, the more power I’m gonna have in my shots. The more experience I get the better and harder I will punch.”

At just 22, Yafai said that he isn’t wanting to be rushed in the professional ranks and is looking more at learning his trade and gaining the valuable experiences that he will need before making moves up in class. Without sounding arrogant, he did predict that if he could do 12 rounds now he could beat quite a few of the top guys. And in his final words, in his first ever interview with BoxingScene; he spoke with a belief as intense as his debut showing.

“I know I can be a serious, serious fighter. If I’m put in the right direction, not get rushed and get that experience then I will be a great fighter.”

Please send news and views to [email protected] or @shaun_brown on Twitter.

Tags: Gamal Yafai image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Eric Molina: If No David Price - Bring on David Haye Showdown! Del Valle Provides a Tough Litmus Test For De La Hoya, Team Says Canelo: I'm Making History - Golovkin is Older and Fought Nobody! Rosado, Monroe Exchange Harsh Words Ahead of Sept. 17 Fight Ray Edwards, Former NFL Veteran, Inks Boxing Promotional Pact Rosado-Monroe Winner Could Get Canelo Next, Says Golden Boy VP Diego De La Hoya: Just Having The Last Name is Not Enough Jermall Charlo is NOT Yet on Board For Julian Williams Defense Tommy Oosthuizen Resumes Career With a Stoppage Win Peralta Parks Cab in The Garage, Ready For Guerrero Rematch De La Hoya: Canelo in The Process of Being a Worldwide Superstar Canelo vs. Smith: Sadam Ali, Eddie Gomez Added To The Card Kid Galahad: Brook Will Beat Golovkin in Style, Box His Ears Off! Malignaggi: I Wouldn't Mind a Shot at David Peralta Next P. Fury: Brook in a Win-Win Position Against Gennady Golovkin David Price Eager To Face Joseph Parker on Joshua Card Crolla Very Motivated To Topple Jorge Linares in 'Legacy Fight' Ricky Burns, if He Beats Relikh, To Land Adrien Broner Next? Mayweather vs. Pacquiao PPV: Strange Twist in Waiter Lawsuit Lauren's Trainer: Svensson Never Fought Anyone on This Level Teddy Atlas: Nobody at 147 is in a Hurry To Face Errol Spence Abel Ramos Breaks Down Juan Jesus Rivera in Six Rounds Edwards Gaining Steam in Camp as Casimero Bout Nears "Fighting Words" - Guerrero, Angulo and the Right Time To Go Canelo: Ready To Face Golovkin? He Has To Be Ready For Me! Two Olympians Investigated For Gambling Allegations in Rio Sammy Valentin Joins WBO Drug Free Kids Movement In Tampa Canelo, Smith No Longer VADA Testing - No Cause For Concern Peralta: I Was a Sad Cab Driver, Now I'm a Happy Boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov Denies Promotional Deal, Eyes Olympics Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Gennady Golovkin vs. Kell Brook Video: Badou Jack Talks James DeGale Unification, More Photos: Shakur Stevenson Sports TMT Hat at Homecoming Parade Video: J. Mayweather Discusses Mayweather vs. Pacquiao II Ian Tims Joins MGM, Will Return Soon Chocolatito vs. Cuadras: Ryan Martin Added To The Card Video: Peralta on The Journey From Cab Driver To Contender Video: Robert Guerrero Reflects on Shocking Loss To David Peralta Langford Not Bothered By Trash Talk From Eubank Jr. and English Kovalev's Promoter: Tickets For Ward Bout Are Reasonably Priced
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement