Gamal Yafai says he can beat Sean Davis any way he wants to when he challenges his local rival for the WBC International Super-Bantamweight title at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday LIVE on AWE- A Wealth of Entertainment in the US.
In the main event, Kal Yafai defends the WBA Super Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka.
Yafai and Davis finally get their hands on each other after their proposed meeting for Yafai’s Commonwealth title fell through in October after the champion damaged his ankle in training.
Davis instead met Paul Economides for the crown he defends on Saturday, while Yafai returned from injury in Germany in March in a six rounder. The 25 year old now meets ‘Showtime’ on the undercard of his brother Kal’s World title defence, and Yafai plans to do a comprehensive job on Davis to show he’s ready to move to the next level.
“I can’t wait for this,” said Yafai. “Fighting in front of my home fans on big shows is something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s a bonus to be alongside my brother. To do it so early into my career is massive for me. I’m so happy to be one of the big names in Birmingham.
“I know a bit about Sean. I didn’t know him a year ago until his coach messaged me on Facebook for a bit of sparring and we done a little bit of work.
“It’s my job to answer whatever Sean brings. I’m capable of that. I am more than just a puncher, I can outbox Sean and outpunch him – I beat him in every department.“I was preparing for the Davis fight doing box jumps. I’ve got it on video, it was on CCTV where I was training. I went over on it, it’s hard to describe how I done it. The pain and rehab was unreal. I couldn’t do anything for two months solid.
“It was horrible being out of the ring so long. I couldn’t train and obviously wasn’t getting paid. It’s hard when you can’t fight but it only makes you stronger.
“I didn’t have any surgery, just had to let it rest. It was so bruised and I tore a few ligaments but it’s in the past now.
“I’m entering the next phase of my career now. I learnt a lot as an amateur so I didn’t have to have as many learning fights so to speak. I didn’t need that long like other fighters might do. I was a World class amateur so I think I’ve done alright so far and I’m ready for the next step in my career.”
Yafai’s clash with Davis is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham where Kal Yafai defends his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka.Sam Eggington challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European Welterweight title, Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper meet for the Midlands Area Middleweight Title.
GAVIN FACES DANGER MAN GARRIDO IN BIRMINGHAM
‘Funtime’ faces French challenger on Saturday night
Frankie Gavin admits he’s heading to the last chance saloon as he faces Renald Garrido.
Gavin is back in action after his loss in the same arena to Sam Eggington in a thrilling fight in October, and the former World title challenger is kicking off a new chapter in his career having switched to Eggington’s trainer Jon Pegg.
Garrido is a familiar face in the UK having beaten Bradley Saunders and gone the distance with Jack Catterall, Martin Lindsay and Robbie Davies Jr, and Gavin knows he must be at his best if he wants to bounce back with a win and move onto major title fights later in the year.
“I’m heading to the real last chance saloon now,” said Gavin. “I’m in a gym with a lot of fighters and that’s good for me – it’s keeping me on my toes and hungry.
“I want a big fight next so I need a good performance on Saturday to prove that I can still win massive titles. Garrido is a good test for me, he always comes to win and he’s dangerous, so I need to be on my guard.”
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YAFAI BROTHERS HOPING FOR WEEKEND HAT-TRICK
Kal, Gamal and Galal all box in crunch clashes this week
Kal and Gamal Yafai are aiming to complete a family hat-trick on Saturday night when they box in crunch clashes at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, live on Sky Sports.
Kal became Birmingham’s first World champion in December and defends his WBA Super-Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka while Gamal challenges WBC International Super-Bantamweight champion Sean Davis in a tasty local derby – and the duo can seal a great week for the family with the youngest of the three brothers, Galal, gunning for a fourth win in 2017 for the British Lionhearts on Thursday night in Paris.
“Kal looks great,” said Gamal. “He’s an animal. Especially at that weight. I honestly can’t see anyone beating him, that’s the truth. He’s going to do the job. He’s trained hard and I can’t see anything else apart from a convincing win.
“It helps piggybacking onto Kal’s success, especially at this stage of my career. The surname is becoming more and more recognised. But hopefully one day I’m going to earn the plaudits in my own right. I’ve worked hard for it and will continue to do so.
“I’ve never seen Gamal look so focused,” said Kal. “He’s in tremendous shape. He’s had real quality sparring. I’m really looking forward to his fight. I’m a bit gutted I can’t just sit there, relaxed watching him in action.
“Galal is developing at a rapid rate. He’s one of the most talented boxers on the current Team GB set up, he loves boxing in the WSB. He’s undefeated this season so hopefully it’s a good weekend for us all and we can get the treble!”
The Yafai brothers fight on a huge night of action in Birmingham, where Sam Eggington challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European Welterweight title.
Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper meet for the Midlands Area Middleweight Title, Frankie Gavin is back in action in his first fight with trainer Jon Pegg, and there’s action for Lennox Clarke, unbeaten Olympian Josh Kelly, Kieron Conway, Aaron Lovell, Jordan Clayton, Charlie Williams and Cori Gibbs.
Limited tickets are on general sale from the Barclaycard Arena with tickets priced at £40, £60 and £100 available from www.barclaycardarena.co.uk
Face value tickets for May 13 are also be available from http://www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets/ StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.
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YAFAI: I’LL TURN BIRMINGHAM INTO A FORTRESS
Super-Fly king makes first defence – and is targeting unification clashes
Kal Yafai believes he can build something special in Birmingham and wants to unify the Super-Flyweight division as he prepares to make the first defence of his WBA title against Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday night, live on Sky Sports.
Yafai became the second city’s first World champion in December with a punch-perfect display against Luis Concepcion in Manchester, and the unbeaten 27 year old wants to turn the Arena into a fortress – starting this weekend.
“It’s such an honour to be Birmingham’s first World champion. I consider myself to be the flag bearer for Midlands boxing now, I just want to make sure there’s more talent and inspire more fighters to achieve the same.
“I want to be a big role model for Birmingham and the Midlands all together. Birmingham has been craving World Championship boxing for some time, for me to be bringing the World title back and with being born and bred in Birmingham is an honour.
Yafai and Muranaka from today’s press conference in Birmingham – pics: Lawrence Lustig
“Walking out in front of my fans with the belt is a privilege and I can’t wait. I’d love to turn the Barclaycard Arena into my fortress.”
Yafai is in a talent heavy division with Muranaka’s countryman Naoya Inoue holding the WBO crown, Jerwin Ancajas the IBF and the WBC belt in the possession of Wisaksil Wangek, who edged out pound-for-pound star Roman Gonzalez in March – and Yafai wants to face the best to add more belts to his collection as soon as possible.
“Unification bouts are very much part of my plan – and sooner rather than later,” said Yafai. “Whatever my team puts in front of me, that’s what I’ll take. I’ve got the best team in the business around me who advise me what to do and when to do it, so I listen to them first and foremost but I like to take it all one fight at a time. I’ve got to concentrate on this fight solely and then we’ll go from there and see what is next.
“I haven’t really studied Inoue much. I’ve seen a couple of his fights when he’s boxed lately. Obviously, he’s massive talent and a very good fighter. If that could happen down the line then that would be great.“I thought Gonzalez nicked the fight with Wangek by a couple of rounds. In the rematch which seems to be on the cards, I think he’ll win convincingly. Before that fight Gonzalez was up there at number one on my pound for pound list and he’s still up there in my top three.
“Ancajas could be the likeliest of unifications but it depends what and when they are available. Either or, I’m not really bothered. I’d love to fight Gonzalez, obviously he’s the name in the division. If I had to hold out and wait, have another defence or two before fighting Gonzalez then I’d do that.”
Limited tickets are on general sale from the Barclaycard Arena with tickets priced at £40, £60 and £100 available from www.barclaycardarena.co.uk.
Face value tickets for May 13 are also be available from www.stubhub.co.uk/matchroom-boxing-tickets StubHub is the official ticket partner and marketplace of Matchroom Boxing and Anthony Joshua.