Yafai: Next Year Will Be My Year

Kal Yafai says he will hunt down a world title shot next year – if he can pass his ‘first big test’ on Saturday with flying colours.

Yafai defends his IBF Inter-Continental title against former world title challenger Everth Briceno, and the Birmingham talent has set his sights on landing more major straps in 2015.

“I am moving in the right direction,” said Yafai. “It is still early in my career so there is no need for me to rush anything, but when I get opportunities I will grasp them with both hands.

“I would like to win a world title towards the end of next year, it would be ideal. If I can stay injury-free and get the wins then I don’t see why that can’t happen and there are some huge fights out there for me next year where I can really breakout into the big time.

“I am hopeful there will be opportunities to fight for the British title because I would like to win a British belt, it is something I am capable of winning and capable of winning well. But there is a chance it might have to be put on hold and I go the international route.

“There are big domestic fights that can be made somewhere down the road, Paul Butler for example, but they are big fights which would be for world titles.

“I am expecting a really tough fight on Saturday. I am expecting it to be my toughest yet. The guy is big and experienced and has boxed for a world title on three occasions. He went to points on two of those occasions and he got stopped in the 11th by Leo Santa Cruz, who is a brilliant fighter. So I am expecting a tough, tough night’s work.”

Yafai’s clash with Briceno is part of a huge night of action in Dublin, as Matthew Macklin challenges Jorge Sebastian Heiland for the WBC International middleweight strap in an eliminator for the world title.

Middleweight rivals Anthony Fitzgerald and Spike O’Sullivan lock horns in a bitter all-Irish battle, featherweight contenders Patrick Hyland is on the hunt for a clash with British, European and Commonwealth champion Josh Warrington after their clash, there’s a first hometown fight for amateur star John Joe Nevin, Manchester lightweight star Anthony Crolla is in action, unbeaten Dubliners Declan Geraghty and Luke Keeler both fight in their seventh fights, Belfast’s unbeaten cruiserweight Tommy McCarthy fights in his fourth pro contest and exciting Stourbridge welterweight Sam Eggington and Manchester light welterweight Kofi Yates are also in action.

Tickets for the blockbuster night are on sale now priced at €30, €50 and €80 from the 3 Arena at www.3arena.ie and on 0818 719 300 (R.O.I) and 0844 8472 455 (UK and NI). VIP tickets priced €150 are exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at www.matchroomboxing.com and on 01277 359900.

Courtesy of the Matchroom Boxing press office

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