Boxing - Yafai warns UK rivals

British prospect Kal Yafai has warned his bantamweight rivals ahead of the Betfair Prizefighter Welterweights III draw in Wolverhampton on Saturday.

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Boxing - Yafai to challenge for Commonwealth super fly title on May 21
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Kal Yafai

Yafai turned professional in July after a stellar amateur career and an appearance for Team GB in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 at 19 years old.

With five stoppage wins in his first six pro fights, the 23-year-old has been tipped for the top by boxing pundits.

“I knew my first year would be successful but not as successful as it was,” said Yafai, who faces Mexican Gonzalo Garcia on Saturda night. “I think I have shown people a lot of skill and a lot of power and that power showed with the knockouts.

“In 12 months I see myself being a British champion, maybe even European and then take it from there. I really think that is doable.

“This year is very important. Last year was my first six months and was my learning curve where I found my way into the pro ranks. I think this year we will be looking at titles and collecting titles and keeping them and finding my way.

“Hopefully at the end of this year I will be looking at World honours to follow in 2014. I have to keep my head down and keep doing what I do and keep training hard.”

If the wins keep coming, showdowns with the likes of Martin Ward (English champion), Stuart Hall (Commonwealth champion) and even soon-to-be world title challenger Jamie McDonnell are all mouth-watering possibilities – and Yafai believes he is ready for them.

“I think I am one of the best bantamweights in Britain, I am not going to lie about that,” said Yafai. “This year I will be getting with all of those top bantamweights and showing them what it is all about.

“A lot of people say I am a small bantamweight because I probably walk around two or three pounds over the weight. I could make super flyweight if I wanted to and if the opportunity came up I wouldn’t mind taking some of them either - whatever comes my way I will take it.”

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