Yafai in 2015
|Height||5 ft 4 in (163 cm)|
11 June 1989|
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
|Wins by KO||15|
Khalid "Kal" Yafai (Arabic: خالد يافعي; born 11 June 1989) is a British professional boxer who has held the WBA super-flyweight title since December 2016. As an amateur, he represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics and won a silver medal at the 2010 European Amateur Boxing Championships as a flyweight. As of May 2018, he is ranked as the world's third best active super-flyweight by BoxRec and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and fourth best by The Ring magazine.
Like Naseem Hamed, Yafai is the son of Yemeni parents. He currently lives in the Moseley area of Birmingham. Yafai has two brothers who are also boxers. Gamal Yafai is a professional boxer and Galal Yafai has represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games.
In June 2005, he won a silver medal in the European Cadet Championships in Hungary, recording 4 wins before losing in the final to Russian Farid Aleshkin. He received the BBC Midlands 2005 "Junior Sportsman of the Year" award, after he became England's first ever U17 World Boxing Champion, when he won the World Cadet title winning the junior flyweight title against Luis Yáñez of the United States.
Fighting for Birmingham City ABC, he became one of the youngest British (ABA) champions in December 2006 while still 17, at the World Junior Championships 2006 in Agadir, Morocco. He lost in the quarter final to the eventual Cuban winner Alexei Collado.
At the 20ian Misha Aloyan. As Britain's youngest team member at the 2007 Seniors World Championship, the 18-year-old beat his Armenian opponent Derenik Gizhlaryan, but later lost to Violito Payla of the Philippines.
He then qualified for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing in the 1st Olympic qualifying event in Pescara, Italy, where he stopped teammate Mo Nasir of Wales and then went on to beat the 2004 Olympian Igor Samolencko of Moldova to qualify. He then pulled out of the final due to injury.
After qualifying for the 2008 Olympic Games he participated in the 2008 European union championships in Poland where he won a silver medal beating former olympic boxer Redouane asloum of France (RSCO2) in the semi-finals but then losing a controversial 13–10 decision to home favourite and Beijing Olympian Rafal Kaczor.
At the Olympic Games, Khalid was beaten in the round of 16 by Cuban veteran Andry Laffita who went on to claim the silver medal. Khalid was absent at the 2008 European Amateur Boxing Championships in Liverpool, England but made a return in the GeeBee Championship in April 2009 in the 54 kg class (bantamweight) and claimed gold beating European silver medalist Salomo N'tuve of Sweden.
Yafai lost to Andrew Selby 26:12 on 11 November 2011 to deny him qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games after the pair both reached the last eight of the 2011 GB Amateur Boxing Championships in Baku. Yafai and Selby were scheduled to face each other three times to decide the winner, but Yafai pulled out of the second fight, thus handing a shot of the Olympics to the Welshman.
On 7 July 2012 Yafai made his professional debut, aged 23, in the bantamweight, at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield on the undercard of Kell Brook vs. Carson Jones. His opponent was veteran 43 year old Delroy Spencer (14-139-3, 1 KO). The fight was stopped after Spencer refused to come out for round 3. In his second fight, Yafai defeated Hungarian boxer Richard Voros via first-round TKO. Two weeks later, Yafai was against Mexican Victor Koh at the Odyssey Arena, Belfast. This was on the undercard off Frampton-Molitor. The fight went the full 6 rounds, as referee Paul McCullagh scored it 60-54 in favour of Yafai. On 20 October, Yafai knocked down Scott Gladwin (5-1) three times in round 1 and once in round 2 as the referee waved the fight off, giving Yafai the victory via TKO. A month later on the undercard of Froch vs. Mack at the Nottingham Arena in Nottingham, Yafai knocked out Italian boxer Pio Antonio Nettuno in round 1 in a super bantamweight bout, after a body shot. Nettuno could not make the count.
In December 2012, Yafai fought Spanish boxer Jorge Perez (11-5, 6 KOs) at the Olympia in Kensington, London. Yafai won the fight via 3rd-round TKO. In January 2013, Yafai defeated Mexican boxer Gonzalo Garcia, after Garcia did not come out of his corner for round 5. In March, Yafai fought in an 8-round super bantamweight bout against Michael Ramabeletsa (8-9, 4 KOs) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. It went the full 8 rounds as referee Alvin Finch scored it 79-73 in favour of Yafai. After a 7-month lay off, on the undercard of Brook vs. Senchenko at the Sheffield Arena in October 2013, Yafai defeatede Spanish boxer Santiago Bustos via points (59-55) after 6 rounds. Two months later in December, although being docked a point for a low blow, Yafai defeated British boxer Ashley Lane (4-3-2, 1 KO) via fourth-round TKO.
On 21 May 2014 Yafai fought at the First Direct Arena in Leeds for the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight title against Nigerian contender and former titleholder Yaqub Kareem (13-3-1, 8 KOs). With 30 seconds remaining in round 3, Yafai knocked down Kareem with a body shot to claim the vacant title. For the first time in his career, in September 2014, Yafai fought at the Wembley Arena in London live on Sky Sports. His opponent was 34 year old Nicaragua Herald Molina (17-8-3, 7 KOs) for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental super flyweight title. Yafai knocked Molina down once in round 1, before finishing the fight off in round 2 via KO.
Yafai defended the title two months later at 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland against 38 year old Everth Briceno (35-9-2, 26 KOs). Briceno was knocked down in round five and twice in round eight. Briceno also lost one point in round six for low blows. The fight went the full 12 rounds as Yafai retained the title via unanimous decision (119-106, 118-105,120-104). This was Yafai's 13th straight win since turning professional in 2012.
In March 2015, Yafai went the 8 round distance with 20 year old Cristofer Rosales in a non-title bout at the Sheffield Arena. Two months later, he knocked out 35 year old veteran Isaac Quaye (27-10-1, 18 KOs) in just one round following a left hook. In September 2015, Yafai fought 20 year old Nicaraguan boxer Aron Juarez (6-2-1) at the First Direct Arena. Yafai knocked Juarez down twice in round one following two left hooks to the body.
It was announced that Yafai would have a chance to claim the vacant BBBofC British super flyweight title on 17 October 2015 against Jason Cunningham (17-2, 6 KOs) at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, live on Sky Sports 1. Despite a height disadvantage, Yafai outclassed Cunningham from the opening bell winning a clear unanimous decision (119-108, 120-107, 120-107). The highlights of the fight came in round 5 when Yafai connected with a double left hook, staggering Cunningham and then knocked him down in round 6. After the fight Yafai targeted the WBA super-flyweight champion Kohei Kono as a potential next opponent.
Yafai's next opponent was former world title challenger from Nicaragua Dixon Flores (12-3-2, 4 KOs) on 5 March 2016 at the Genting Arena for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental super flyweight title, with the winner due a shot at WBA champion Kohei Kono in the summer. This was Yafai's fifth opponent from Nicaragua in less than two years. The fight lasted less than two minutes as Yafai floored Flores twice in the first round to secure a world title shot and the vacant title.
On 25 June, Yafai fought 19 year old Hungarian Jozsef Ajtai (15-3, 10 KOs) in a scheduled 8 round bantamweight bout at the O2 Arena in London on the undercard of heavyweight title fight between Joshua and Breazeale. Yafai floored Ajtai twice in round 1, with the fight stopping just under 2 minutes. Yafai winning via TKO.
Yafai was added to the Eggington vs. Gavin card on 22 October 2016 at the Barclaycard Arena in a scheduled 8 round fight after his brother Gamal was forced to pull out of his title defence. Yafai secured his world title fight after a left body shot floored Johnson Tellez in round 3.
Yafai vs. Concepción
Yafai secured a fight with WBA super flyweight champion Luis Concepción (35-4, 24 KOs) after knocking out previous opponent Tellez. Eddie Hearn confirmed it would take place on the 10 December undercard at the Manchester Arena. With a win, Yafai looked to become the first boxer from Birmingham to win a world title in over 100 years. At the official weigh in, Yafai weighed in at 8st 2lbs and Concepción weighed 8st 5lbs, which was above the limit. He was given an hour to drop the extra weight or risk not having the title at stake. Two hours after the initial weigh in, Concepción only managed to lose 0.3lbs, thus losing his WBA title on the scales. The title was only at stake for Yafai. Yafai put in a dominant performance and outscored Concepción in nearly every round to win the WBA super-flyweight title. The judges scored the bout 120-108, 117-110 and 119-108 all in favour of Yafai after 12 rounds. Yafai also became the first boxer from Birmingham to win a world title in over 100 years.
Yafai vs. Muranaka
On 25 January 2017, it was announced that Yafai, as wished, would make his first word title defence in his home city of Birmingham on 13 May, live on Sky Sports. On 15 March 2017, promoter Eddie Hearn announced that Yafai would be fighting 31 year old former Japanese flyweight champion Suguru Muranaka (25-2-1, 8 KOs) at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham. After the fight was confirmed, Yafai said that he wanted the tough fights as it would help him when it comes to unification fights. In his 13-years as a professional, it was the first time Muranaka fought outside of Tokyo, where all his previous 28 bouts took place at the Korakuen Hall. Yafai retained his world title, in what was seen as a 'touger than expected' fight. The fight went the 12 round distance, with scores reading 118-108, 119-107 and 119-107, all in favour of Yafai. Muranaka was dropped in round 2, the same round that Yafai claimed to have hurt his hand in the post fight. Referee Steve Gray warned Yafai early in the fight for low blows, before docking a point in round 8. The bout was fast-paced throughout, which caused Yafai to look tired in the later rounds, due to him landed constant power shots in the earlier rounds and Muranaka connecting with his own body shots to wear down. After the fight, promoter Eddie Hearn said that he would have one more defence before taking part in a unification fight.
Yafai vs. Ishida
On 8 June 2017 the WBA's championship committee ordered Yafai to start negotiations with mandatory challenger Sho Ishida (24-0, 13 KOs), who was ranked at number 1 by the organisation. Both parties had 30 days to come to an agreement. On 12 July, Hearn confirmed that terms had been agreed for the fight. On 6 September it was confirmed that the fight would take place on the undercard of Anthony Joshua defending his world titles against Kubrat Pulev on 28 October 2017 at the Millennium Stadium on Sky Sports Box Office. Much like Yafai's previous opponent Muranaka, it would also mark the first time Ishida would be fighting outside of Japan. Towards the end of September, WBA ranked former WBC champion Roman González as their number 2. Teiken Promotions, who promote González was said to be looking to arrange a fight against Yafai. Upon hearing this, Yafai was excited at the possibility of fighting González as had made it know public that he was interested. Yafai said, "Happy days, I’ve wanted González for a long time", although he said wouldn't look past his mandatory fight first. Speaking on Ishida, Yafai said, "I’m a huge favorite to win and a lot of people think Ishida has no chance, but I’m always on the ball. I look at every opponent like they’re Mike Tyson. If everything goes well, I can talk to (promoter) Eddie (Hearn) and we can look to make the González fight." González stated he would next look to fight in February 2018.
On fight night, Yafai went the 12 round distance for the third consecutive time, winning a unanimous decision, successfully retaining his WBA title and increasing his chances of fighting in the United States in 2018. All three judges' scored the fight comfortably 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 in favour of Yafai. Yafai showed off his speed and landed good combinations. Due to Ishida's size advantage, he also landed some clean shots on Yafai. Ishida did not letting his hands go until the final two rounds. By this point, it was looking like a clear win for Yafai and Ishida was lacking the punching power to get himself back in the fight and score a knockdown. Ishida worked hard in round 11, however Yafai connected with the harder punches. In the post-fight, Yafai said, "I wasn't too impressed [with my performance]. A bit sluggish, but I got the win against an awkward opponent." He also stated that he would like to fight again in the Spring of 2018.
Yafai vs. Carmona
On 20 May 2018 it was announced by Top Rank's Carl Moretti that Yafai would make his US debut on 26 May against 26 year old Mexican boxer David Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs) on the same card as IBF belt-holder Jerwin Ancajas, who would be making a mandatory defence against Jonas Sultan. With both bouts streaming live on ESPN's new subscription app, the plan going forward was for both Yafai and Ancajas to come out of their respective bouts victorious and meet later in the year for a unification fight. Carmona was best known for going the distance but failing to capture the WBO title against Naoya Inoue in May 2016, becoming one of only two boxers to date to take Inoue the distance. Save Mart Center in Fresno, California was announced as the venue. Carmona was unable to challenge for the WBA title after coming in 118½ pounds at the weigh in. Yafai weighed 114½ pounds. Yafai had an official purse of $40,000 which did not include the extra amount he would receive for TV rights in the UK. Carmona had to pay a 20% fine from his $10,000 purse and from that fine, $1,000 was added to Yafai's purse and the remaining $1,000 was paid to the California Commission.
Yafai dropped Carmona four times in the fight en route to winning the fight after round when Carmona decided to stay on his stool The first round was fast-paced with Yafai scoring an early knockdown with a left hook to the head. Carmona beat the count and later in the round managed to hurt Yafai. Yafai also hit the canvas in round 1, however it was ruled a slip. Yafa regained his composure and returned to his quick jabs in round 2. Carmona started connecting to the body. Yafai landed quick jabs in round 3 snapping Carmona's head back each time. In round 4, Yafai landed a borderline shot which floored Carmona once again. Carmona was knocked down twice in round 5. One knockdown, which again appeared to be borderline, was counted. Referee Raul Caiz Sr. ruled it a knockdown but also took a point away from Yafai for hitting Carmona when he was already down. The point was deducted after many warnings. By rounds 6 and 7, Carmona looked fatigued and Yafai dominated both rounds. Promoter Hearn stated a fight with former world champion Roman González could be next. He told Sky Sports, "He is ready for the challenge of unification but we also really like the Chocolatito fight and have already opened talks with his team." Hearn, who has promoted Yafai since he debuted highly praised him on his performance.
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|24 fights||24 wins||0 losses|
|24||Win||24–0||David Carmona||RTD||7 (12), 3:00||26 May 2018||Save Mart Center, Fresno, California, US||Retained WBA super-flyweight title|
|23||Win||23–0||Sho Ishida||UD||12||28 Oct 2017||Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales||Retained WBA super-flyweight title|
|22||Win||22–0||Suguru Muranaka||UD||12||13 May 2017||Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England||Retained WBA super-flyweight title|
|21||Win||21–0||Luis Concepción||UD||12||10 Dec 2016||Manchester Arena, Manchester, England||Won vacant WBA super-flyweight title|
|20||Win||20–0||Johnson Tellez||TKO||3 (8), 2:48||22 Oct 2016||Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England|
|19||Win||19–0||Jozsef Ajtai||TKO||1 (8), 1:42||25 Jun 2016||The O2 Arena, London, England|
|18||Win||18–0||Dixon Flores||KO||1 (12), 1:49||5 Mar 2016||Genting Arena, Birmingham, England||Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental super-flyweight title|
|17||Win||17–0||Jason Cunningham||UD||12||17 Oct 2015||Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England||Won vacant British super-flyweight title|
|16||Win||16–0||Aron Juarez||KO||1 (8), 2:21||5 Sep 2015||First Direct Arena, Leeds, England|
|15||Win||15–0||Isaac Quaye||TKO||1 (8), 1:22||9 May 2015||Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England|
|14||Win||14–0||Cristofer Rosales||PTS||8||28 Mar 2015||Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England|
|13||Win||13–0||Everth Briceno||UD||12||15 Nov 2014||3Arena, Dublin, Ireland||Retained IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight title|
|12||Win||12–0||Herald Molina||KO||2 (12), 1:50||20 Sep 2014||Wembley Arena, London, England||Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight title|
|11||Win||11–0||Yaqub Kareem||KO||3 (12), 0:30||21 May 2014||First Direct Arena, Leeds, England||Won vacant Commonwealth super-flyweight title|
|10||Win||10–0||Ashley Lane||TKO||4 (6), 2:59||14 Dec 2013||ExCeL Arena, London, England|
|9||Win||9–0||Santiago Bustos||PTS||6||26 Oct 2013||Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England|
|8||Win||8–0||Michael Ramabeletsa||PTS||8||30 Mar 2013||Echo Arena, Liverpool, England|
|7||Win||7–0||Gonzalo Garcia||RTD||4 (8), 3:00||19 Jan 2013||Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, England|
|6||Win||6–0||Jorge Perez||TKO||3 (8), 2:14||8 Dec 2012||London Olympia, London, England|
|5||Win||5–0||Pio Antonio Nettuno||KO||1 (8), 0:52||17 Nov 2012||Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, England|
|4||Win||4–0||Scott Gladwin||TKO||2 (6), 1:05||20 Oct 2012||Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England|
|3||Win||3–0||Victor Koh||PTS||6||22 Sep 2012||Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|2||Win||2–0||Richard Voros||TKO||1 (4), 1:08||8 Sep 2012||Alexandra Palace, London, England|
|1||Win||1–0||Delroy Spencer||RTD||2 (4), 3:00||7 Jul 2012||Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England|
- "Beijing Olympics: British Boxing's 2008 class". The Telegraph. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- "Sports Awards 2005". BBC. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- "4.World Cadet Championships – Liverpool, England – October 10–18, 2005". Amateur Boxing Results. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- "20.European Junior Championships – Sombor, Serbia – July 8–16, 2007". Amateur Boxing Results. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
- McNeilly, Ian (26 December 2012). "Froch and Marquez head the BoxRec News Awards for 2012". BoxRec. Archived from the original on 10 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "Yafai Vs Kareem For Vacant Title". SecondsOut Boxing News. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
- "Kal Yafai faces Herald Molina on September 20 – Boxing News". 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2016-07-30.
- "Kal Yafai to fight Briceno". Sky Sports. Retrieved 30 July 2016.
- "Yafai outclasses Cunningham and targets world champion next". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Yafai to fight Dixon Flores before taking on world champion". Sky Sports. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Yafai finishes Flores in less than 2 mins". Sky Sports. 6 March 2016. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
- "Kal Yafai gets world title shot – Boxing News". Boxing News. 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
- "Kal Yafai to fight WBA holder Lewis Concepcion on December 10". British Boxing News. 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
- "CONCEPCION GIVEN EXTRA TIME TO MAKE WEIGHT". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- "Luis Concepcion loses WBA title on the scales". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
- Ltd, Vitalnetwork. "Vital Boxing | Yafai Becomes WBA Super Flyweight Champion". www.vitalboxing.com. Retrieved 2016-12-11.
- "Kal Yafai will return in May 13 homecoming bout". The Ring. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "Kal Yafai To Defend World Title, May 13 In Birmingham – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "Yafai-Muranaka title match set for May 13". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-03-16.
- "Yafai makes successful first world title defence". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- "Kal Yafai: WBA super-flyweight champion beats Suguru Muranaka on points". BBC Sport. 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-14.
- "Kal Yafai vs. Sho Ishida – Mandatory Clash Ordered By The WBA – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
- "Hearn announces world title bouts – Boxing.com". www.boxing.com. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
- "Joshua vs Pulev: Kal Yafai to defend world super-flyweight title against Sho Ishida on Sky Sports Box Office". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
- "Yafai to make defense on Joshua undercard". ESPN. Retrieved 2017-09-06.
- "Roman Gonzalez To Continue Career, Eyes Kal Yafai's WBA Title – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
- "Kal Yafai responds to Chocolatito challenge: 'I've wanted Gonzalez for a long time' – The Ring". The Ring. 2017-10-01. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
- "Chocolatito: I Want To Fight Yafai, Not Ruling Out Inoue Clash – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
- "Kal Yafai Could Be Set For United States Outing After Ishida Win – Boxing News". www.boxingscene.com. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Joshua vs Takam: Kal Yafai defeated Sho Ishida via unanimous decision". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "Kal Yafai defends WBA super-flyweight title with win over Sho Ishida". BBC Sport. 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "115-pound titlist Yafai to face Carmona May 26". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-04-21.
- "Ancajas vs. Sultan, Yafai vs. Carmona - ESPN Double on May 26". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- "Ancajas, Yafai defenses set before eyed unifier". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
- "Yafai: 'Absolute Joke' How Heavy Carmona Came in for Our Fight". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Purses: Ancajas $75K, Sultan $20K, Yafai $40K, Carmona $10K » Boxing News". Boxing News 24. 2018-05-26. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Kal Yafai Drops, Stops David Carmona in Seven Rounds". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Kal Yafai stops David Carmona to retain WBA super-flyweight world title in America". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Kal Yafai: WBA world super-flyweight champion wins on US debut". BBC Sport. 2018-05-27. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "Eddie Hearn says Kal Yafai could face Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez next". Sky Sports. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
|Regional boxing titles|
Title last held byPaul Butler
| Commonwealth super-flyweight champion
21 May 2014 – December 2014
Title next held byAnthony Nelson
Title last held byZ Gorres
| IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion
20 September 2014 – February 2015
Title next held byMakazole Tete
Title last held byPaul Butler
| British super-flyweight champion
17 October 2015 – 10 December 2016
Won WBA title
| WBA Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion|
5 March 2016 – 10 December 2016
Won world title
|World boxing titles|
Title last held byLuis Concepción
| WBA super flyweight champion
10 December 2016 – present