Britain’s undefeated Kal Yafai challenges WBA super flyweight champion Luis Concepcion in a bid for world title glory at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK on 10th December.
Yafai has come through the GB amateur system and you can see that he has excellent fundamentals. He has a brilliant amateur pedigree having claimed a European Championships silver medal and competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
He’s taken to the pro game exceptionally well racking up a record of 20 wins no losses with 14 stoppage wins. His sharp combinations to head and body demonstrate how well his style suits the professional ranks.
Kal throws a mean left hook to the liver. He has more than just this punch to his attacking arsenal but this shot in particular has developed into something of a signature punch for the Birmingham super flyweight.
He has destroyed multiple opponents with this shot. It’s the same shot that ‘Irish’ Mickey Ward used to throw with great success, sinking into the body underneath the right elbow of the opponents guard. Previous opponents in 2016 include Dixon Flores and Johnson Tellez and both fell victim to this sickening left hook to the body.
On top of his skillset, physically he looks so big and strong at the weight. He has dealt with his opponents with such ease that he finds himself competing for a world title without having been tested. This you would think this could be problematic when he comes to facing the very best in the division who are many levels above the fighters on his record so far.
Fighters such as Nicaraguan, Roman ‘El Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, may lie on the horizon. Gonzalez holds the WBC version of the belt and at 46W-0L with 38 knockouts is considered the pound for pound number one boxer in the sport.
Kal also has the threat of the unbelievably talented Welshman Andrew Selby who is following fast in his footsteps as a professional. Selby is heading down the IBF route after claiming the inter-continental belt. Yafai and Selby will need no introduction when and if they finally meet in the ring as professionals.
Yafai lost to Andrew Selby in November 2011 to deny him qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games. This would be a mega- unification fight between the two in the future that has the potential to bring this division to life for British fight fans. It could well take a blockbuster fight like this to bring Kal Yafai into the limelight.
However the current champion will be out to halt him in his tracks. Hailing from Panama City, Luis Concepcion is made of tough stuff and comes to fight. He rarely takes a back foot and likes to control centre ring.
‘El Nica’ likes to use his jab as a measuring stick keeping it out in the face of his opponents for his powerful straight right hand to follow through to either head or body. He mixes the use of his right hand up well occasionally dipping down with a stabbing shot to the solar plexus.
He has shown an ability to take a good shot and represents the toughest challenge of Yafai’s career by a long stretch.
That being said he presents plenty of opportunities for his opponents to land clean counters. Yafai will probably look to invest to the body early and use his snappier, speedier jab to keep Concepcion at bay. Movement will also be a key asset for him.
Yafai has the more varied tools and sufficient power to win this fight but will need to be smart and follow and execute a good gameplan against a proven experienced champion.