By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
KAL YAFAI is ready to go to America if it means a shot at pound-for-pound star Roman Gonzalez.
The Birmingham fighter made the first defence of his WBA super-flyweight title with a unanimous points win over Suguru Muranaka on Saturday night.
Yafai, 27, was rarely troubled by the Japanese fighter and hit his opponent that many times his hands were left in agony, dashing his hopes of getting the stoppage he wanted.
The unbeaten Brit is now eyeing up unification clashes with IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas or WBO title holder Naoya Inoue.
But a clash with Gonzalez, known as ‘Chocolatito’, would make him the most cash and get him huge recognition in America where the Nicaraguan is a popular figure.
First Gonzalez must come through a rematch with Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, who upset him in a thrilling and controversial fight in March to take the WBC title.
“He’s the biggest name so he is the one you have to chase,” said Yafai. “I thought he won his last fight, I thought it was close and he nicked it.
“Maybe he is not what everyone thinks he is at super-flyweight. Maybe he’s not big enough and strong enough.
“If he gets in with me I’m a big, strong super-fly so let’s see how he deals with that.
“He has a big profile in the US and that would be great to help me build my name. I would travel there no problem.”
Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn is actually involved in the negotiations for Rungvisai’s rematch with Gonzalez after the Thai fighter’s advisor asked him for his guidance.
Hearn is considering getting a clause in the contract to make the winner of that rematch against Yafai.
But he is also keen to put the Brummie boxer in with former amateur team-mate and current British champion Charlie Edwards, despite the WBA champion believing he will a level above his rival.
“Gonzalez brings the most money,” said Hearn. “That is a fight that can take place in the States and Kal wouldn’t mind fighting in the States.
“We have talked to the IBF champion’s team and we are in talks with the WBO champion. I’d like to see one more fight and then unify.
“I said to him about Edwards and he said ‘I’ll batter him’ but you have to keep it relevant and two Brits for a world title is relevant.”