Kal Yafai is hoping to send out a massive warning to the super-flyweight division this weekend and set up a first US fight should he win when he defends his WBA belt against Sho Ishida on Saturday in Cardiff.
The man from Birmingham is hungry to make a statement and make it clear that he has set his sights on being the number one guy in the division and beating Ishida would ensure in 2018 massive unification fights could be on the horizon for the former Olympian.
The 28-year-old boasting a perfect unbeaten record of (22-0-KO14) went on to win the vacant title from Luis Concepcion nearly a year ago on the undercard of Joshua Molina and had a successful first defence in his hometown against Ishida’s Japanese compatriot Suguru Muranaka back in May.
He now gets the chance to defend his world title on yet another massive Sky Sports Box Office card, headlined by Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title defence against Frenchman Carlos Takam, and hopes coming out on top will secure those big nights that he desires, both at home and in the United States.
Speaking on the fight Yafai has been quoted as saying “I know what I’m up against and have to do on Saturday,”
“I try not to think about possible big fights in America at this stage. I know they are within touching distance but I have a job to do beforehand which is my obvious priority.
“HBO have invested in the super-flys and look set to continue doing so. I’ve always wanted to fight in America. I’m potentially just one fight away from doing so now. I live the life and I’ll be doing everything in my power I retain my title.
“I’m excited to fight on such a huge card and show my skills. I can’t wait now, I’ve put a lot of work into my training as always. I’ve been training for about 12 weeks now.
“Camp has gone great, we’ve had some quality work. It’s been gym, eat, sleep and repeat so we’re fully focused on the job at hand. We had Stuart Hall in at the start for his height and Andrew Selby a few times.
“I’ve watched quite a bit of Ishida and he’s a good fighter. I think he’ll look to box off the back foot. I think he’ll look to use his height and reach to try and keep me at bay. He’ll be cagey early on I think though I expect to find my range quickly.
“Despite the height, I’ve just trained as normal. There’s nothing too out of the ordinary we have implemented for this. I think possibly the height angle has been over talked in the build-up. Once we get in there, he’ll see I’m pretty good at taking a fighter’s strength away from them.”
Watch Kal Yafai vs Sho Ishida on the Joshua vs Takam undercard, from the Principality Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.