Exclusive: Gamal Yafai eyes July return, focused on continuing rise
Having claimed the Commonwealth super bantamweight title last time out, Gamal Yafai refuses to settle on his laurels and is already mapping out his plan to the top of the division.
The 24 year-old from Birmingham has raced to 9-0 in 24 months as a pro, and like undefeated brother Kal, is touted as one of the top prospects in his weight class.
Victory over Bobby Jenkinson in March has pushed Gamal to number six in the British rankings right behind Carl Frampton, Scotto Quigg, Gavin McDonnell, Jazza Dickens and Kid Galahad and on the fringe of mixing it with some of the UK’s top names.
Despite his obvious pleasure at picking up the coveted strap against Jenkinson with a seventh round stoppage, Yafai is already planning to make an even bigger impact over the next couple of years.
“It was a pretty good performance against Bobby Jenkinson but I still had more to give in that fight I think. I was still happy with it considering I had a really bad cut,” Yafai exclusively told World Boxing News.
“It was good and a proud moment, but if I’m honest, I was over it after a few days. I won’t be happy with any title unless it’s a world title. That’s my ultimate goal, but yeah, winning that Commonwealth title is a stepping stone to take me to the next level.
“I’d like to think I’m heading in the right direction, maybe a year away from most of those top fighters, Frampton maybe two years if he is in my division then, but it’s really hard to say as It depends on how rapidly I develop in the next year.”
Asked whether stablemate Gavin McDonnell, the current European and WBC silver champion, could be on the radar for Yafai soon, the former Team GB star admitted that a future battle with world champion Jamie’s brother has some appeal.
“I’d like that fight, but I don’t think I’m not on his radar as Gav is looking to fight for the world title soon. It’s a fight I may be in a position to take in the next year. He’s a good lad and he helped me out a bit for my last fight. Gav is definitely an underrated fighter,” he stressed.
“Right now, I’m on the right path and hopefully by then I’ll have a good ranking with one of the governing bodies. That would be nice.
“It’s looking like I could be fighting again in July, but hopefully before the season is over I can continue my progress with another win,” added Yafai.