On the back of his first fight on American soil Kal Yafai, Birmingham’s first ever world champion, exclusively spoke with BirminghamLive to discuss his next move.
On the back of a successful display in America, which saw Yafai’s opponent David Carmona quit on his stool before the eighth round, he has reflected on that display and revealed his plans to dominate the States for the foreseeable future.
It’s no secret in boxing the super-flyweight division is highly regarded in America and with so many huge fights ahead for the Brummie battler it is where he sees his career lying.
Kal was in a reflective mood over his victory against Carmona first and foremost but also adapting to fighting abroad for the first time in his professional career.
On his display against Carmona, Yafai said: “It was good overall, obviously at the beginning I found a knockdown early in the first round, seen the red mist, went in there and tried to get it done and got caught myself.
“But I settled in to the fight, broke him down, which was good because he ended up weigh in in over the super flyweight limit, so it was good to push the bigger man back and make him pay.
“I knew he would be tough, but I could hear him breathing heavily and wincing from body shots from the third round so I thought maybe a round or two at the most more and I would get to him.
“However, he stuck in there until the end of the seventh and I knew he would be tough, he’s been the distance with Inoue, he was unlucky against Cuadras, so I knew it was going to be tough but I was happy I got the job done.”
A factor Kal had to consider for the first time in his career was the change in scenery and location for this fight as he Travelled Stateside.
It was something he made sure he prepared for in the right manner so that any external factors such as the time difference or his diet wasn’t affected by the American way of life.
The WBA World Champion said: “The positive thing for me was that I travel out to America, especially the west coast, quite often, so I know how long it takes for me to adjust to the conditions and jetlag amongst other things.
“I went out three weeks before and three weeks was perfect. I settled down, had good training, sparring so everything went down pretty smoothly and that was evident in the fight.
“So it was a success all in all and I can’t wait to go back.”
Those final few words could prove to ring true in Kal’s coming fights as America continues to promote the super-flyweight division quite significantly.
Kal has conceded he will have to conquer America to take over the entire division due to the fights being made over there at his weight, however he still knows big fights could come to fruition on these shores.
“I may have to go Stateside regularly because of the fights on offer, I can always come back and box in Birmingham or on [Anthony] Joshua cards but I really enjoyed boxing out there,” Kal said.
“I really did enjoy the whole experience from training, to the fight, the food, just everything I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to doing it again and I think I’ll continue to do it.”
On the matter of the big fights being held Stateside, some of the names being banded about is something else Kal was keen to discuss.
The 24-0 star is happy to take on anyone but wants his next one to be a big one.
Kal added: “If the Chocolatito [Roman Gonzalez] fight was offered to me I’d take it, he is number one challenger with the WBA.
“I would take any fight though really and I’m sure you know that yourself, I want the bigger fights, I want to be a world champion fighting top fighters, so I’d be happy with any of those names.
“At the same time I’m in a good place, I’ve just made my third defence of my world title, my first fight in America, so I’m looking forward to heading back there at the end of the year.”
Kal was quick to quash any possibilities of fighting Charlie Edwards, a fellow Brit and former world title challenger who has been calling out the Brummie star for over a year now.
Kal said: “I don’t know where it all come from, but I know what he’s trying to do.
“None of the other world champions will touch him because he is nothing to them, whereas I’m with the same promotional company, so it’s an easier fight to make theoretically.
“But he doesn’t bring anything to the table that I want or need, the only way that fight happens is if he becomes my mandatory or a huge offer is put to me, but the thing is there is no money in that fight but other than that I’m not interested.”
Source : BirminghamMail