By Keith Idec
Kal Yafai is in position to purse championship unification fights within the super flyweight division.
While those options are appealing, Yafai also is interested in facing a former champion next. Eddie Hearn, Yafai’s promoter, told Sky Sports following his technical knockout of David Carmona on Saturday night that England’s Yafai could make the next defense of his WBA world super flyweight title against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez in his next fight.
Early last year, Nicaragua’s Gonzalez was arguably the best boxer in the sport, pound-for-pound. Even after suffering back-to-back defeats to Thailand’s Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, Gonzalez would be by far the most accomplished opponent of Yafai’s 5½-year pro career.
“Kal made a big statement over here and I can see him staying in the States for his next fight,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “He is ready for the challenge of unification, but we also really like the ‘Chocolatito’ fight and have already opened talks with his team. There’s exciting times ahead of Kal, for sure.”
The 30-year-old Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) hasn’t fought since Sor Rungvisai dropped him twice and knocked him out in the fourth round of their immediate rematch September 9 at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Sor Rungvisai (45-4-1, 40 KOs) pulled off one of boxing’s biggest upsets of 2017 in their previous fight, in which he dropped Gonzalez in the first round and won a majority decision to take his WBC world super flyweight title in March 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The 28-year-old Yafai (24-0, 15 KOs) has mentioned a title unification fight against Sor Rungvisai, a powerful southpaw, as one of his options as well. He also could pursue a title unification match against IBF champ Jerwin Ancajas (30-1-1, 20 KOs), the Filipino southpaw who out-boxed the Philippines’ Jonas Sultan (14-4, 9 KOs) to win a unanimous decision in the main event Saturday night, after Yafai stopped Carmona (21-6-5, 9 KOs) at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California.
Yafai, a 2008 Olympian, knocked down Carmona four times before Carmona’s trainer, Alejandro Galindo, decided the Mexican veteran shouldn’t continue following the seventh round of their scheduled 12-rounder. The Ancajas-Sultan and Yafai-Carmona matches were streamed live in the United States by ESPN+.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.