IF you didn’t know it already Saturday night proved that Galal Yafai is far beyond British title level.
It took just 80 seconds for the 30-year-old to overwhelm and stop former flyweight Lonsdale Belt holder Tommy Frank in Birmingham. Yafai showed a different side to him going for the jugular immediately and scored a knockdown in the opening 30 seconds. Frank could do nothing with lefts and rights winging his way leaving little time to respond. There was a spitefulness from the 2020 Olympic Gold Medallist which will serve him well when he faces far greater challenges.
There is now a need to see the level of competition stepped up. The combined record of his opponents reads won 89, lost 24, drawn 5. Numbers you would expect given Yafai’s amateur pedigree.
With the level of flyweight competition in Britain and Europe thin on the ground Yafai must look further afield. Globally the 112lbs division has enough to test Yafai as does super-flyweight (115lbs) should his team feel the need to explore higher up for matchmaking purposes.
The question is then who should Galal Yafai face next? Boxing News presents three worthwhile options.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 52-6-1 (44)
Yafai is filled with potential that may see him become a world champion but along the way there will be a litmus test to be passed. That could come in the shape of Rungvisai. The 36-year-old Thai is as tough as they come but also much more than that. Between March 2017 and February 2018 Rungvisai banked two wins against Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, which included a stunning knockout win in the rematch, and triumphed over Juan Francisco Estrada. Jesse Rodriguez’ win over Rungvisai 14 months ago may have signalled the beginning of the end for the veteran but he could still have enough left to trouble Yafai.
Carlos Cuadras 41-5-1 (28)
The Mexican carries an appearance that belongs in the 70s or 80s but has more than played his part in a fabulous modern era at super-flyweight having faced Chocolatito, Estrada and Rungvisai. Soon to be 35 years old he may be, just like Rungvisai, on the home straight of his career but would represent a huge step up for Yafai. If the Brit is to be pushed along quicker than most others, then someone like Cuadras would represent the perfect chance to prove his credentials. Cuadras’ willingness to trade, a fondness for an uppercut and the ability to go from back foot boxing to combinations on the front foot would gel with the on-rushing Yafai.
Felix Alvarado 39-3 (34)
One day Sunny Edwards vs Galal Yafai may happen. While Edwards has a date with Jesse Rodriguez to think about Yafai could lay down a little marker by fighting the Nicaraguan and aim to do a better job than his fellow Brit. Edwards ran out a comfortable winner on points when he faced Alvarado nine months ago, but the fight wasn’t completely one-sided. Alvarado had his moments and both he and Yafai wouldn’t have to go looking for one another. An impressive win inside the distance for Yafai plants a mini-seed in a rivalry with Edwards that could grow in 2024.