SOME armchair observers felt Khalid Yafai was lucky to keep hold of his WBA super-flyweight title after a spirited 12-round challenge from Mexico’s Israel Gonzalez inside the Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin. In truth, the unbeaten Brummie did just enough to keep his title.
The scores that favoured Yafai (116-112 twice and 117-111) were likely too wide but, in a close fight with close rounds, such tallies are just about justifiable.
The champion struggled at times in the early going with the tenacious Gonzalez, whose work to the body was particularly impressive. Credit Yafai – who has now been WBA boss for two years – for picking up the pace and measuring his 22-year-old rival well after a taxing start.