Khalid Yafai

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Khalid Yafai
خالد يافعي
Khalid Yafai 2015.png
Yafai in 2015
Nickname(s) Kal
Rated at Super-flyweight
Height 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Nationality British
Born (1989-06-11) 11 June 1989 (age 27)
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 22
Wins 22
Wins by KO 14
Losses 0

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 2017, he is ranked as the world's fifth best super-flyweight by BoxRec and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and sixth by The Ring magazine.

Amateur career[edit]

Like Naseem Hamed, Yafai is the son of Yemeni parents.[1] He currently lives in the Moseley area of Birmingham.[2]

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,[2] after he became England's first ever U17 World Boxing Champion,[1] when he won the World Cadet title winning the junior flyweight title against Luis Yáñez of the United States.[3]

Fighting for Birmingham City ABC,[1] he became one of the youngest British (ABA) champions in December 2006 while still 17,[1] 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.[4] 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,[1] where he stopped team mate 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.

In 2012, Yafai was named "Young Boxer of the Year" by the British website BoxRec.[5]

Professional career[edit]

Early career[edit]

On July 7, 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 October 20, 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-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.

Super Flyweight[edit]

On May 21, 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).[6] 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.[7] 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).[8] 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 October 17, 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 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.[9]

Yafai's next opponent was former world title challenger from Nicaragua Dixon Flores (12-3-2, 4 KOs) on March 5, 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.[10] 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.[11]

On June 25, 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-Gavin card on October 22, 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.[12]

Yafai vs. Concepcion[edit]

Yafai secured a fight with WBA super flyweight champion Luis Concepcion (35-4, 24 KOs) after knocking out previous opponent Tellez. Eddie Hearn confirmed it would take place on the December 10 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.[13] 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.[14][15] 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 & 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.[16]

Yafai vs. Muranaka[edit]

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.[17][18] 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.[19] 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.[20][21]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
22 fights 22 wins 0 losses
By knockout 14 0
By decision 8 0
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
22 Win 22–0 Japan Suguru Muranaka UD 12 May 13, 2017 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England Retained WBA super-flyweight title
21 Win 21–0 Panama Luis Concepción UD 12 Dec 10, 2016 United Kingdom Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Won vacant WBA super-flyweight title
20 Win 20–0 Nicaragua Johnson Tellez TKO 3 (8), 2:48 Oct 22, 2016 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England
19 Win 19–0 Hungary Jozsef Ajtai TKO 1 (8), 1:42 Jun 25, 2016 United Kingdom The O2 Arena, London, England
18 Win 18–0 Nicaragua Dixon Flores KO 1 (12), 1:49 Mar 5, 2016 United Kingdom Genting Arena, Birmingham, England Won vacant WBA Inter-Continental super-flyweight title
17 Win 17–0 United Kingdom Jason Cunningham UD 12 Oct 17, 2015 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England Won vacant British super-flyweight title
16 Win 16–0 Nicaragua Aron Juarez KO 1 (8), 2:21 Sep 5, 2015 United Kingdom First Direct Arena, Leeds, England
15 Win 15–0 Ghana Isaac Quaye TKO 1 (8), 1:22 May 9, 2015 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, England
14 Win 14–0 Nicaragua Cristofer Rosales PTS 8 Mar 28, 2015 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England
13 Win 13–0 Nicaragua Everth Briceno UD 12 Nov 15, 2014 Republic of Ireland 3Arena, Dublin, Ireland Retained IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight title
12 Win 12–0 Nicaragua Herald Molina KO 2 (12), 1:50 Sep 20, 2014 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, London, England Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight title
11 Win 11–0 Nigeria Yaqub Kareem KO 3 (12), 0:30 May 21, 2014 United Kingdom First Direct Arena, Leeds, England Won vacant Commonwealth super-flyweight title
10 Win 10–0 United Kingdom Ashley Lane TKO 4 (6), 2:59 Dec 14, 2013 United Kingdom ExCeL Arena, London, England
9 Win 9–0 Spain Santiago Bustos PTS 6 Oct 26, 2013 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England
8 Win 8–0 South Africa Michael Ramabeletsa PTS 8 Mar 30, 2013 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
7 Win 7–0 Mexico Gonzalo Garcia RTD 4 (8), 3:00 Jan 19, 2013 United Kingdom Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, England
6 Win 6–0 Spain Jorge Perez TKO 3 (8), 2:14 Dec 8, 2012 United Kingdom London Olympia, London, England
5 Win 5–0 Italy Pio Antonio Nettuno KO 1 (8), 0:52 Nov 17, 2012 United Kingdom Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, England
4 Win 4–0 United Kingdom Scott Gladwin TKO 2 (6), 1:05 Oct 20, 2012 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England
3 Win 3–0 Mexico Victor Koh PTS 6 Sep 22, 2012 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2 Win 2–0 Hungary Richard Voros TKO 1 (4), 1:08 Sep 8, 2012 United Kingdom Alexandra Palace, London, England
1 Win 1–0 United Kingdom Delroy Spencer RTD 2 (4), 3:00 Jul 7, 2012 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, England Professional debut


  1. ^ a b c d e "Beijing Olympics: British Boxing's 2008 class". The Telegraph. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "Sports Awards 2005". BBC. 5 December 2005. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  3. ^ "4.World Cadet Championships – Liverpool, England – October 10–18, 2005". Amateur Boxing Results. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "20.European Junior Championships – Sombor, Serbia – July 8–16, 2007". Amateur Boxing Results. Retrieved 7 August 2008. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Yafai Vs Kareem For Vacant Title". SecondsOut Boxing News. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  7. ^ "Kal Yafai faces Herald Molina on September 20 - Boxing News". 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Kal Yafai to fight Briceno". Sky Sports. Retrieved July 30, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Yafai outclasses Cunningham and targets world champion next". Sky Sports. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Yafai to fight Dixon Flores before taking on world champion". Sky Sports. March 1, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Yafai finishes Flores in less than 2 mins". Sky Sports. March 6, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Kal Yafai gets world title shot - Boxing News". Boxing News. 2016-10-23. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  13. ^ "Kal Yafai to fight WBA holder Lewis Concepcion on December 10". British Boxing News. 2016-10-22. Retrieved 2016-10-23. 
  14. ^ "CONCEPCION GIVEN EXTRA TIME TO MAKE WEIGHT". December 9, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Luis Concepcion loses WBA title on the scales". December 9, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 
  16. ^ Ltd, Vitalnetwork. "Vital Boxing | Yafai Becomes WBA Super Flyweight Champion". Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  17. ^ "Kal Yafai will return in May 13 homecoming bout - The Ring". The Ring. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  18. ^ "Kal Yafai To Defend World Title, May 13 In Birmingham - Boxing News". Retrieved 2017-01-29. 
  19. ^ "Yafai-Muranaka title match set for May 13". Retrieved 2017-03-16. 
  20. ^ "Yafai makes successful first world title defence". Retrieved 2017-05-14. 
  21. ^ "Kal Yafai: WBA super-flyweight champion beats Suguru Muranaka on points". BBC Sport. 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-14. 

External links[edit]

Professional boxing record for Khalid Yafai from BoxRec

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Title last held by
Paul Butler
Commonwealth super-flyweight champion
May 21, 2014 – December 2014
Title next held by
Anthony Nelson
Title last held by
Z Gorres
IBF Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion
September 20, 2014 – February 2015
Title next held by
Makazole Tete
Title last held by
Paul Butler
British super-flyweight champion
October 17, 2015 – December 10, 2016
Won WBA title
WBA Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion
March 5, 2016 – December 10, 2016
Won world title
World boxing titles
Title last held by
Luis Concepción
WBA super flyweight champion
December 10, 2016 – present