Khalid Yafai

Khalid Yafai
خالد يافعي

Yafai in 2015
Nickname(s) Kal
Rated at Flyweight
Height 5 ft 4 in (163 cm)
Nationality British
Born (1989-06-11) 11 June 1989
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 20
Wins 20
Wins by KO 14
Losses 0

Khalid "Kal" Yafai (Arabic: خالد يافعي; born 11 June 1989) is a British professional boxer. He is a former Commonwealth Super flyweight and current British, IBF and World Boxing Association (WBA) Inter-Continental super-flyweight champion.

Amateur career

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

Early career

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

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.

Yafai vs. Cunningham

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 vs. Flores

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]

Yafai vs. Ajtai

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

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 looks to become the first boxer from Birmingham to win a world title in over 100 years.[13]

Professional boxing record

20 Wins (14 knockouts, 6 decisions), 0 Losses, 0 Draws
No. Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
21 N/A N/A Panama Luis Concepción N/A – (12) 2016-12-10 United Kingdom Manchester Arena, Manchester For WBA Super Flyweight title.
20 Win 20–0 Nicaragua Johnson Tellez TKO 3 (8), 2:48 2016-10-22 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
19 Win 19–0 Hungary Jozsef Ajtai TKO 1 (8), 1:42 2016-06-25 United Kingdom The O2 Arena, Greenwich, London
18 Win 18–0 Nicaragua Dixon Flores KO 1 (12), 1:49 2016-03-05 United Kingdom Genting Arena, Birmingham, West Midlands Won WBA Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title.
17 Win 17–0 United Kingdom Jason Cunningham UD 12 2015-10-17 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, West Midlands Won vacant British Super Flyweight title.
16 Win 16–0 Nicaragua Aron Juarez KO 1 (8), 2:21 2015-09-05 United Kingdom First Direct Arena, Leeds, Yorkshire
15 Win 15–0 Ghana Isaac Quaye TKO 1 (8), 1:22 2015-05-09 United Kingdom Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham, West Midlands
14 Win 14–0 Nicaragua Cristofer Rosales PTS 8 2015-03-28 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire
13 Win 13–0 Nicaragua Everth Briceno UD 12 2014-11-15 Republic of Ireland 3Arena, Dublin, Leinster Retained IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title.
12 Win 12–0 Nicaragua Herald Molina KO 2 (12), 1:50 2014-09-20 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, Wembley, London Won vacant IBF Inter-Continental Super Flyweight title.
11 Win 11–0 Nigeria Yaqub Kareem KO 3 (12), 0:30 2014-05-21 United Kingdom First Direct Arena, Leeds, Yorkshire Won vacant Commonwealth Super Flyweight title.
10 Win 10–0 United Kingdom Ashley Lane TKO 4 (6), 2:59 2013-12-14 United Kingdom ExCeL Arena, Docklands, London
9 Win 9–0 Spain Santiago Bustos PTS 6 2013-10-26 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire
8 Win 8–0 South Africa Michael Ramabeletsa PTS 8 2013-03-30 United Kingdom Echo Arena, Liverpool, Merseyside
7 Win 7–0 Mexico Gonzalo Garcia RTD 4 (8), 3:00 2013-01-19 United Kingdom Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton, West Midlands
6 Win 6–0 Spain Jorge Perez TKO 3 (8), 2:14 2012-12-08 United Kingdom London Olympia, Kensington, London
5 Win 5–0 Italy Pio Antonio Nettuno KO 1 (8), 0:52 2012-11-17 United Kingdom Capital FM Arena, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
4 Win 4–0 United Kingdom Scott Gladwin TKO 2 (6), 1:05 2012-10-20 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire
3 Win 3–0 Mexico Victor Koh PTS 6 2012-09-22 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
2 Win 2–0 Hungary Richard Voros TKO 1 (4), 1:08 2012-09-08 United Kingdom Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, London
1 Win 1–0 United Kingdom Delroy Spencer RTD 2 (4), 3:00 2012-07-07 United Kingdom Motorpoint Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire Professional debut.

Professional boxing record for Khalid Yafai from BoxRec


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Beijing Olympics: British Boxing's 2008 class". The Telegraph. 7 August 2008. Retrieved 7 August 2008.
  2. 1 2 "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. 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.
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