Advertisement
Advertisement

Kal Yafai Turns Olympic Downer Into Pro Ranks Success

By Mark Staniforth

Birmingham bantamweight Kal

Birmingham bantamweight Kal Yafai has shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on a place at the London Olympics and turned himself into one of the hottest domestic prospects in the business.

The 23-year-old has made a lightning start in the professional ranks, winning five of his first six contests by stoppage, including taking just 52 seconds to dispatch Pio Antonio Nettuno in Nottingham in November. has shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on a place at the London Olympics and turned himself into one of the hottest domestic prospects in the business.

The 23-year-old has made a lightning start in the professional ranks, winning five of his first six contests by stoppage, including taking just 52 seconds to dispatch Pio Antonio Nettuno in Nottingham in November.

And as far as Yafai is concerned, while he is still very much on a learning curve, there will be no slowing down in 2013 as he targets a title fight sooner rather than later - and a platform to challenge the really big guns.

Yafai said: "I have surprised myself a little bit because I thought it would be a lot tougher to adapt to the professional ranks, but I have taken to it really well and I think enjoying it has been key to my success.

"I'll fight anybody. I would fight the British or European champion now. I don't want to mess around. I know I have the power to hurt any bantamweight. The better my opponent, the more people will see of me."

Yafai admitted he took some time shrugging off his Olympic disappointment. Long regarded as one of Great Britain's best hopes for a boxing medal, he missed out in a controversial box-off with Welsh rival Andrew Selby.

Yafai was beaten in the first bout of a scheduled best of three with Selby, before being pulled out of the second with weight-making issues, thus sacrificing his last hope of making it all the way to London.

Yafai admitted: "It took me some time to get over the Olympics and it was tough to watch. But I had time to pick myself up and get started in the pros. Now I've built such a momentum and I want to sustain it into 2013."

Yafai made a sensational debut in Sheffield in July, stopping durable veteran Delroy Spencer in the second of their scheduled four-round contest, then needed just over a minute to dispatch Richard Voros in his second bout.

Victor Koh stretched Yafai to a six-round points decision in his next bout just two weeks later, before successive knockdowns over Scott Gladwin, Nettuno and Jorge Perez wrapped an excellent year up in fine style for Yafai.

Yafai added: "I'm still at the stage where I just want to get rounds under my belt. I don't go out there looking for a knockout, but if it comes it comes. I don't intend to hang around. That's why I've got my sights on big things for the year ahead."

Mark Staniforth covers boxing PA Sport

Tags: Kal Yafai image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by artfuL_ on 01-02-2013

[QUOTE=Earl Hickey;12879258]oh, here we go...[/QUOTE] ...missed the segway.

Comment by Tyrone Biggums! on 01-02-2013

[QUOTE=sirdarka;12879158]Another classy Muslim boxer from amongst the 1.6 billion Muslims. DEFINATELY a class act for the purists.[/QUOTE] oh, here we go...

Comment by sirdarka on 01-02-2013

Another classy Muslim boxer from amongst the 1.6 billion Muslims. DEFINATELY a class act for the purists.

Comment by Money_May on 01-01-2013

Remember the name people. I got high hopes for Kal.

Post a Comment/View More User Comments (4)
Top Headlines Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Final Press Conference Hunter Admits Amir Khan Lacking 'Killer Instinct' in His Arsenal Felix Diaz vs. Miguel Vazquez: PBC on FS1, 5/28 WBC: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Eleider Alvarez After Next Fight Video: Joe Gallagher Talks Crolla vs. Barroso Clash Canelo-Khan II Would Be Pursued in '16 if Khan Wins De La Hoya's Story in Doubt as Trump 'Great Golfer' Video Surfaces Alantez Fox Faces Milton Nunez on PBC on Bounce Video: Anthony Crolla Ready For Barroso Showdown WBC Prez: Mayweather is Champion Emeritus Like Klitschko Was Lemieux: I Still Believe That I Can Beat Gennady Golovkin Zolani Tete is Upset By Withdrawal of Zhanat Zhakiyanov WBC: If Khan Wins, He Can Choose Golovkin at 160 or Garcia at 147 Kermit Cintron Ready For Battle With Eduardo Flores Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Open Workouts Photos: Anthony Crolla, Ismael Barroso Go Face To Face Deontay Wilder Possibility Helped Draw Joshua To Showtime Broner: I Showed More In Maidana Loss Than In My Wins Khan: Look at Kell Brook's Last 10 Foes, Is It Worth Fighting Him? Jason Quigley: For Me - It's Live Fast and Die a Legend Hearn: I Made Derry Mathews Offer For Dodd on Bellew-Makabu Pulev vs. Chisora Provides Heavyweight Punch To AWE Doubleheader Canelo: While I'm at 155-Pounds, I'm Not Facing Anyone at 160 Hamed Backs Carl Frampton To Overcome Leo Santa Cruz British Boxing Update: Nick Blackwell, Ryan Fields, Welborn Hatton Warns Khan: Canelo Puts on Huge Amount of Weight Ismael Barroso - Never Too Late to Arrive Video: Hopkins Sounds Off on State of Boxing, Mayweather, More Video: Canelo Slams Gennady Golovkin, Talks Khan Clash De La Hoya: To Those Who Know Boxing - Khan is HUGE Favorite Video: Bernard Hopkins Details The Need For Golovkin vs. Kovalev Amir Khan Will Not Rule Out Fighting Gennady Golovkin Next WBC President Outlines Canelo/Golovkin/Khan Title Resolution De La Hoya on Khan: I'm Actually Nervous For Canelo Video: Canelo vs. Khan Final Press Conference De La Hoya: I Won't Vote Trump, He Cheated Me in Golf Video: Bernard Hopkins Tells Golovkin To Follow His Lead Jose Benavidez-Francisco Santana in Play For Crawford-Postol Khan: If Trump Wins, Might Be Last Fight For Me, Canelo at MGM Photos: Canelo, Khan Face To Face at Final Presser
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement