Highlight 5 | Issue | Premium | Preview | Jun 25 2019

Kal Yafai steps forward

Kal Yafai has his first fight as the longest-reigning current British world champion, writes Paul Wheeler
Kal Yafai
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

WHEN Anthony Joshua was shockingly stopped by Andy Ruiz Jnr earlier this month, he lost his status as the longest-reigning current British world champion. That distinction now belongs to Kal Yafai, 25-0 (15). The Birmingham boxer has been the WBA super-flyweight king ever since his comprehensive unanimous points victory over former two-weight world titlist Luis Concepcion in December 2016.

This Saturday (June 29), Yafai makes the fifth defence of his belt against mandatory challenger Norbelto Jimenez, 29-8-4 (16), of the Dominican Republic. The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island is the venue for this Matchroom Boxing promotion, which will be televised live on Sky Sports Action/Main Event (UK) and DAZN (US).

After defeating Concepcion for the title, Yafai retained it twice the following year, both times via unanimous verdict. Suguru Muranaka was beaten in May, before another tough Japanese fighter, Sho Ishida, was conquered in October. In 2018, Kal successfully defended his crown on two more occasions. In what was David Carmona’s third crack at world honours, the tenacious Mexican was forced to retire after the seventh round in May.


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