Kal Yafai has set out to make his mark as the world’s No 1 super-flyweight with hopes of dispatching the likes of Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez and WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada.
Birmingham’s long-reigning WBA champion has the opportunity to push his career to the new heights when he makes his title defence against Chocolatito, a four-weight champion, in Texas on February 29.
Since 2016 Yafai has made five successful title defences, taking his unbeaten record to 26 wins, but has always maintained the desire to test his skills against the worlds very best.
Speaking to the media Yafai has been quoted as saying “It’s a fight that I’ve been wanting for a long time,”
“Fighting a huge name, a former pound-for-pound king. Can’t get any bigger than that.
“I can’t wait for it. His engine, his punch selection, his combinations, his punching power, his speed – what’s not to love about Chocolatito? He’s all action and I’m sure he will make for a great fight.”
The 32-year-old Nicaraguan has responded with two come back victories, both ending with stoppages since his long reign was finally brought to an abrupt end by Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, the first man to claim a points win and then brutally going on to stop Chocolatito in the rematch.
However, the 30-year-old Brit is taking little from the two defeats against the Thai southpaw, although he has the same aspirations of ending the fight in similar style.
“We’re quite different stylistically, so I can’t take much from it, apart from he did get knocked out badly in the second fight,” said Yafai.
“Has it done anything? We’re not sure, but I’m not taking any of that into this fight. I’ll be looking to do the same.”
A unification fight against Estrada has twice fallen through, but Yafai hopes it will be third time lucky with a meeting against the Mexican which would have even more relevance in the division should he overcome Chocolatito.
“He had the hand injury in mid-December, and then I was going to fight him again,” said Yafai.
“It got pushed back to January 30, the Miami card, and he had another hand injury, so I was in a bit of limbo with that. Eddie [Hearn] worked his magic and got me the Chocolatito fight.
“After this, that’s a fight I want, and it’s a natural fight to make. It’s a unification fight, it’s the two best fighters in the division.
“But I’m not really looking at it right now. I’m just looking at getting the win over Chocolatito. That’s a massive fight itself.”
Fight prediction – Yafai win, in a close split points decision.
I believe if a fully motivated switched on Yafai turns up and performs to his best ability it will be just enough to edge a close points decision win in what will be the toughest fight of his career.
Had this match up been made a few years back I would of only seen one clear winner but I feel Kal is now catching Chocolatito at the right time and should get the victory if he doesn’t take Roman Gonzalez lightly.
Written By Kenny Leavett