By Elliot Foster
Kal Yafai looks set for a world title challenge before the year is out.
The Birmingham super-flyweight, who is the current WBA Inter-Continental, British titlist and ex-IBF Inter-Continental ruler, has been teetering on the brink of landing a shot at the sport’s biggest prize for some time.
And Yafai (19-0, 13 KOs), who was last in action against Jozsef Ajtai in June at London’s O2 Arena, when he stopped the vastly overmatched Hungarian inside one of six scheduled rounds, looks to have finally hit the jackpot.
The 27-year-old turned professional in 2012, making his debut as part of the undercard to Kell Brook’s majority decision victory over Carson Jones, in which Brook’s IBF International crown was at stake, at the Sheffield Arena.
He has come a long way since then, Yafai, and he could soon be sitting at the top table among Britain’s 12 current world champions.
His promoter, Eddie Hearn, was originally trying to get a fight made with McJoe Arroyo for the IBF crown at 8st 3lbs. That was locked in, according to the Matchroom chief. But then Arroyo was beaten by Jerwin Ancajas in the Philippines last month, leaving Hearn and the Yafai team looking at other options.
It now appears that they have turned their attention to WBA champion Luis Concepcion, the Panamanian who became champion in August when he outpointed now-ex-titlist Kohei Kono in Japan.
Concepcion, who is nicknamed ‘El Nica’, is 30 years old and has a ring record of 35-4 with 24 early endings.
Boxing Scene understands that the fight between Concepcion and Yafai –– after it being made too soon for the Birmingham card at the Barclaycard Arena on October 22 –– will land at Manchester Arena on November 26, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and will form part of the undercard to Anthony Joshua’s second IBF world heavyweight title defence against an opponent to be named.
The opponent in the opposite corner to Joshua, plus ticket prices, on-sale dates and details of the undercard are expected to be announced by the end of this week.
Scott Quigg, the former Super WBA super-bantamweight champion, who has been out of action since breaking his jaw in a defeat at the hands of now-featherweight titlist Carl Frampton in February, is set to return to the ring on the same bill, with further information to be revealed in due course.