Exclusive: Kal Yafai ready to reign, promises world title by 2017
Top-rated super-flyweight Kal Yafai believes a world title is within reach and aims to follow up his future coronation with a lengthy and successful spell as champion.
At just 26, Yafai is regarded as one of the best prospects within the Matchroom stable and has consistently impressed with eye-catching performances since turning professional with Eddie Hearn in 2012.
A Commonwealth title in 2014 was followed up by IBF and WBA Inter-Continental titles – either side of the coveted Lonsdale Belt – and Yafai is primed to make the ultimate step-up at any moment.
“I think I’m ready for a world title now,” Yafai exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I was hoping to get some rounds under my belt last time out (KO1 victory over Dixon Flores) as I didn’t box for over five months, but it didn’t happen. If I don’t fight for a world title next, I’d want to fight for the world title right after that.”
Asked about some of the options open to him for a world title, with the likes of Carlos Cuadras, Kohei Kono, McJoe Arroyo and Naoya Inoue all holding recognised titles, the Top 15-ranked WBC and WBA contender was quite happy to place his fate in the hands of his promoter.
“I leave everything with Eddie – to be honest, and whatever is best for me, I will do. I have a great team behind me so I leave it in their hands, but I’ll fight any of the champions out there.
“I know big things are expected of me, but I know what I’m capable of and really believe I’ve got so much more to show. I just want to be the best I can be and that’s why I work so hard. The fighting part is all fun.”
Yafai has been linked to fights against Frank Warren-handled domestic rivals Paul Butler and Jamie Conlan, although for one reason or another, the Birmingham puncher doesn’t see those bouts in his immediate future.
“The Butler fight couldn’t be made, so I’ve basically put that at the back of my mind and I’m fully concentrating on winning the world title,” he pointed out.
“I think the Conlan fight is a backwards step at the moment – to be honest, and I don’t think I benefit from that fight at all. I don’t mean that disrespectfully as he was in a great fight last time out.
“I’m just hoping to be back in the ring soon and want to be active more than anything as I know this will bring the best out of me when it matters.
“I will be world champion in the next twelve months, without any doubt, and plan to be there for a long time with plenty of big fights to come,” added Yafai.