Throughout 2017, some of boxing’s biggest fights took place across the pond in England. Several world champions from Great Britain were crowned and there is a sense that it has become the premier spot for the top boxing talent and best boxing fights to find.
One such British fighter that agrees with that sentiment is Kal Yafai, the WBA super flyweight champion. In an exclusive interview with Fightful, Yafai believes Britain is the place to be for boxing.
“One-hundred percent British boxing is booming right now,” Yafai said. “We have a lot of talent coming through and some great world champions. A lot of the big names are happy to travel and fight here so it shows it is becoming the premier place for boxing.”
One thing British world champions have done extremely well is provide fans with memorable fight after memorable fight. Anthony Joshua’s win over Wladimir Klitschko brought the future of the heavyweight division to the forefront back in May. George Groves achieved a lifelong dream several weeks ago when he won his first world title against Fedor Chudinov.
But after winning a world title, the obvious question is, “what’s next?” Joshua is likely to have a rematch against Klitschko and Groves will participate in the World Boxing Super Series later this year.
As for Yafai, who won his title last December and defended it back in May against Suguru Muranaka, the next step, according to him is to try and get a unification bout. Yafai must first fight mandatory challenger Sho Ishida, but negotiations are still ongoing. Once Yafai has finished his business with Ishida, the Brit’s next opponent in mind is none other than Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, who is on his own quest to become a world champion again. Gonzalez is fighting Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in September in an effort to recapture the WBC super flyweight title. Should Gonzalez fail in beating Sor Rungvisai, Yafai said he’ll look at the other world titleholders to unify titles.
“I have to defend against mandatory challenger Sho Ishida from Japan so all my focus is on him at the moment. Once I have dealt with that I will be keeping a close eye on the other champions. I have to defend my title against my mandatory challenger first but all eyes are on Roman Gonzalez after that. If he fails to win his title back I will look at one of the other champions,” Yafai said.
The other world champions Yafai is referencing are Naoya Inoue, the WBO champion, and Jerwin Ancajas, who defended his IBF title on the Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn undercard.