Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Kal Yafai Views First Title as Start of Something Big

Birmingham super-flyweight Kal Yafai has vowed that the Commonwealth title will be the first many.

The 23-year-old takes on Yaqub Kareem for the vacant Commonwealth strap in Leeds on Wednesday night, live on Sky Sports, in what will be only his 10th fight in the paid ranks.

He raced to 8-0 after turning pro in July 2012 but with the boxing world at his feet, he was forced to endure seven months on the sidelines with a bicep tear. The Birmingham talent returned to action last October and then moved to 10-0 in December with a seventh win inside the distance.

However, he does admit that such a long injury was tough to deal with.

"You are on the tip of everyone's tongue ... everyone is buzzing about you and saying you are one of the world's best prospects. Then all of a sudden you are taking a backseat and watching everyone else," said Yafai.

"It's been very frustrating but you have to be mentally tough as well and luckily I am. I know what I am capable of and I knew that I would be back and back strong and I'll show that.

"I've had enough of those fights where I am expected to win against journeymen - I had had enough of them after three pro fights to be honest. You have to go through it, I can't pick the opponents. I just get in and do the business and fight who I am told.

"The first three weeks with the bicep tear I couldn't do anything. I was stuck in my flat with my arm in my cast, couldn't drive, couldn't even get changed - and in the middle of summer too.

"My missus had to dress me, wash me sometimes, it was horrible. I got out of the cast in time to go on holiday and I was able to enjoy that, but when I got back it was straight into the rehab.

"I was a bit worried at the beginning because you're out for so long and you have no use of your left arm then all of a sudden you are using it again but you have to build up slowly, build the strength back.

"To build back muscle strength is hard to do, but luckily enough it was fine and I was back in business. It felt odd being back in the ring again but I got into the groove again in December and I am flying now.

"I had a couple of eight-rounders, the first was when I got injured and boxed him with one arm so I couldn't get him out of there.

"I know I am ready. I've had 10 fights - there's an argument that I have been out for a long time but people don't see what I have been doing in the gym behind closed doors, I have had plenty of sparring, plenty of rounds and I am ready for those championship fights.

"I'm very excited about tomorrow's fight. I've been training hard, I'm in great shape and I just want to get in there now and get the job done and grab hold of my first title belt."

Yafai's clash with Kareem is part of a great night of action in Leeds as local star Josh Warrington defends his Commonwealth featherweight title against Martin Lindsay, with the British strap also on the line.

Liverpool's Stephen Smith takes on former world title challenger Mauricio Javier Munoz for the WBC Silver super-featherweight title and crunch eliminator clash.

Kal's younger brother, Gamal, makes his professional debut at super-bantamweight and Gavin McDonnell defends his British super-bantamweight title against Josh Wale in a Yorkshire derby.

Hull's lightweight star Tommy Coyle, newly-crowned English light-welterweight champion Tyrone Nurse, Brentwood's super-featherweight Martin J. Ward and Middlesbrough cruiserweight Simon Vallily are all in action.

** Tickets are on sale priced at £30, £40 and £60 available from the First Direct Arena on 0844 248 1585 and at www.firstdirectarena.com. VIP tickets priced at £120 are available exclusively from Matchroom Boxing on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com.

Tags: Kal Yafai image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Mike Tyson Says Molestation Incident Was a Motivator To Box Frampton: Selby is a Natural Fight To Make, The Timing is Right Haye: Before You Criticize Parker, Take a Good Look at Joshua! Abel Sanchez on What McGregor Must Do To Beat Mayweather Enrico Koelling Helping Erik Skoglund Prepare For Callum Smith Maybe there are worse things in boxing than Mayweather-McGregor Mayweather Vows: This Fight Won't Be Dull - It's Kill or Be Killed! Carlos Molina Hits Santo Domingo For Carlos Adames Clash Eddie Alvarez: McGregor Has Very Real Shot To KO Floyd Early Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Plans October Return, Eyes Martin Murray Cortez: McGregor a Very Powerful Puncher, Has Great Potential Amanda Serrano is Latest To Consider a Jump To MMA McGregor: Conditioning is Not an Issue Against Mayweather Jessie Magdaleno vs. Cesar Juarez Clash is Close For October Holyfield: Joshua Must Think About His Image, Forget Tyson Fury Kyoguchi Wins IBF World Title: Ryoichi Taguchi, Kono Get KO Wins Eubank Sr: James DeGale is "Suspect" For Not Entering WBSS Omar Figueroa: Mayweather-McGregor a Joke, Slap in The Face Garcia Open to Staying at 140, Moving Up to 147 After Broner Charlo: Jacobs Exploited Golovkin's Flaws, Better Than Canelo Daily Bread Mailbag: Mayweather-McGregor, Ward-Stevenson Frank Warren on Haye-Ringstar TV Deal, Signings in The UK Aloyan Gets WBC Belt in Second Pro Fight, Fedor Chudinov Wins Wilder's Manager Concerned That Stiverne Missed His Drug Test Mayweather: I Can't Move Like I Did Before, I'm Going Toe To Toe! Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson: Roots of a Success Story Jhonny Gonzalez Blasts Rosales in Two, Wants Miguel Berchelt Deontay Wilder's Manager: It Makes Sense To Fight Luis Ortiz! Miguel Berchelt Wants To Fight Again in 2017, Not Rushing Return Jose Pedraza vs. Mickey Bey in Talks For August 22, Las Vegas Gilberto Ramirez: I Won't Let Jesse Hart Run, I Want Him To Fight Malignaggi: McGregor Can Exploit Things, Have His Moments David Allen Drops, Stops Tom Dallas in Three Rounds Gassiev Sees No Reason For Lebedev Rematch After WBSS Refusal Joe Cortez Helping Conor McGregor Prepare For Floyd Mayweather Mayweather: Believe I Can't Read and Spell? I Made $800 Million! Frank Warren: Mayweather, McGregor - Big Talk, Will They Deliver? Garcia: Non-Title Fight Vs. Broner Still Biggest of Our Careers Mairis Briedis vs. Mike Perez on September 30 in Latvia Top Rank VP: Pacquiao-Horn Was Close, 117-111 Created Issue
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement