One of the biggest boxing fights of 2017 involves a UFC champion fighting a former world champion who has not fought in two years. Current WBA super flyweight Kal Yafai calls the impending Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor boxing a double-edged sword for the sport.
In an interview with Fightful, Yafai called the August 26 fight "a mismatch" in favor of the former pound-for-pound undefeated king and that such a fight is an insult to boxing, echoing similar sentiments made by Oscar De La Hoya. Yafai did say the attention boxing has received as a result of this fight does help it in some regards.
"Mayweather wins how he wants," Yafai said. "The fight is a mismatch and it is in some ways an insult to boxing but it is also getting a lot of people talking about the fight and boxing so I guess it isn't all bad."
Focusing on his own career, Yafai, as a world champion, is working to unify world titles in the super flyweight division. Yafai is following in the footsteps of former world champion Naseem Hamed, who, like Yafai, is a British Yemeni and Yafai said he is working towards becoming a good role model for other British Yemeni and young Arabs who strive for success.
"I know there is a lot of British Yemeni and young Arabs all together that look up to me," Yafai said. "Especially youngsters who hope to be champions one day. I try to be the best role model I can be."
The other unique thing about Yafai is his family. He is one of three brothers who have dedicated their lives to the sweet science. Brother Gamal turned pro in 2014 and in just 12 fights is already the WBC International super bantamweight champion. His other brother Galal is an accomplished amateur boxer, competing in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
When discussing his two younger brothers, Kal said he has a sense of pride seeing his younger brothers climb up the ladders of success within the sport.
"We all work tremendously hard to be successful. I know we all have talent but to go with that talent you need hard work and to be dedicated. That's where I know the success comes from. That's why I sense a personal pride when I see them do so well," Yafai said.
Kal Yafai is currently trying to negotiate a fight with mandatory challenger Sho Ishida in what would be Yafai's second world title defense.