Kal Yafai plans to dominate the super flyweight division

Sporting News
Khalid “Kal” Yafai (24-0 15 KOs) defends his WBA super flyweight title against Israel Gonzalez in an action-packed event at the Monte Carlo Casino, the Salle Médecin in Monaco on Nov. 24, live and exclusively on DAZN.
Khalid “Kal” Yafai (24-0 15 KOs) defends his WBA super flyweight title against Israel Gonzalez in an action-packed event at the Monte Carlo Casino, the Salle Médecin in Monaco on Nov. 24, live and exclusively on DAZN.

Khalid “Kal” Yafai (24-0 15 KOs) defends his WBA super flyweight title against Israel Gonzalez during an action-packed event at the Monte Carlo Casino, the Salle Médecin in Monaco on Nov. 24, live and exclusively on DAZN.

The undefeated WBA super flyweight champion spoke exclusively with Sporting News ahead of his fourth world title defense and first appearance in the principality of Monaco, which is known for its wealth and extravagance as well as the historic F1 Monaco Grand Prix.

Yafai’s opponent in Monaco will be Mexican Israel Gonzalez (23-2, 10 KOs) who is making his second attempt at a world title after failing against Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF world super flyweight belt earlier this year.

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Kal knows he’ll need to bring his A-game to the ring against Gonzalez.

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“Mexican fighters are known for their aggression and I expect him to be physical and try to box in the early rounds," Yafai said. "He’ll try to apply pressure and then I’ll go through my gears”

There is a lot of hype about staying undefeated and boxers putting too much emphasis on facing lesser fighters to keep hold their zero, but Yafai isn’t putting any pressure on himself to keep his record intact as he looks to dominate the super flyweight division, which includes fellow champions Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1, 41 KOs), Gideon Buthelezim (21-5, 4 KOs) and Ancajas (30-1-2, 20 KOs)

“A lot of people think it’s really important to be unbeaten, but a lot of great fighters, not only in the past but in the present, have lost and come back even better so it’s not something I’m afraid of losing," Yafai said. "But as long as I keep winning, I’ll do my best to keep the record going. I’m looking to dominate my division, I’m a big super flyweight, I’m fast and definitely the best, if not one of the best technical fighters in the division, so I’m looking to clean up”.

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Also fighting on the same card will be:

Russian Denis Lebedev (31-2, 23 KOs) who headlines the event and will defend his WBA cruiserweight world title against undefeated American Mike Wilson (19-0, 8 KOs).

American Michael Hunter (15-1, 10 KOs) steps in for China’s 20-0 heavyweight star Zhilei Zhang, who had visa issues, and will face Russia’s Alexander Ustinov (34-2, 25 KOs).

‘Wise Guy’ Frank Buglioni (23-3-1, 16 KOs) returns to title action as he takes on China’s undefeated IBF intercontinental light heavyweight champion Fanlong Meng ( 13-0, 8 KOs).



Kazakhstan’s Rio Olympic gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov (3-0, 1 KO) will also be in action against Nicaragua’s Marcos Mojica (16-2-2, 12 KOs) as he looks to continue his march towards conquering the professional ranks.

Khalil El Hadri takes on Andrei Nurchynski and Ruslan Kupchik makes his debut against Mifodzi Pilipenak.

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