By Keith Idec
Kal Yafai hopes an “explosive performance” Saturday night leads him to the meaningful fights he seeks within the 115-pound division.
England’s Yafai, who holds the WBA world super flyweight title, will collide against David Carmona at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
The bout is now a non-title encounter after Carmona failed to make the weight on Friday - coming in at over three pounds above the division limit.
The Yafai-Carmona match will be streamed live on the ESPN+ app as part of a show that’ll feature IBF super flyweight champ Jerwin Ancajas (29-1-1, 20 KOs) against fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) in the main event.
“It’s now time to establish myself as the top man in the division,” Yafai told Sky Sports for a story posted to the network’s website Wednesday. “I’m very excited about fighting in the USA. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. This is an opportunity to showcase myself in front of a huge audience, not only in the UK, but in the USA as well. It’s definitely important to look good.”
The 28-year-old Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) would welcome a fight against Ancajas next. He also would embrace a shot at WBC super flyweight champ Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs).
“A unification bout could be next, but all I’m thinking about is this fight, looking good and getting the win,” Yafai said. “Then, afterwards, we will sit down with the team and see what is next. I will fight anyone and I want to establish myself as the man in the division. When any of these guys [fellow champions] get offered to me, I will be more than ready and happy to take them out, one after another.”
Yafai isn’t expected to have much trouble with the 27-year-old Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs). He is regularly listed as a 30-1 favorite over a Mexican veteran who’s 1-3 in his past four fights, including unanimous-decision defeats to former 115-pound champions Naoya Inoue (15-0, 13 KOs) and Carlos Cuadras (36-3-1, 27 KOs).
“I’ve come out to L.A. three weeks before the fight and settled in brilliantly,” Yafai said. “I’ve acclimatized well. I’ve had good training, quality sparring and have really enjoyed the experience. I’ve been working at Robert Garcia’s boxing academy and everything has gone to plan.
“I think it will be an explosive performance. It’s something I’ve been working on. I will be going in there with intent to hurt this kid.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.