Monday, March 20, 2023  |



Kal Yafai-Sho Ishida set for October 28

Kal Yafai (left) with Anthony Joshua. Photo: Mark Robinson.

British star Kal Yafai will defend his WBA junior bantamweight title against unbeaten mandatory challenger Sho Ishida at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, on October 28.

Yafai, who is rated No. 6 by THE RING at 115 pounds, will be putting his belt on the line for the second time and Ishida, who is four inches taller than his opponent at 5-foot-8, could ask serious questions of the 28-year-old boxer-puncher from Birmingham, England.

The challenger has never fought outside of Japan, or operated at this level, but 24 straight wins with 13 knockouts is a record which has to be respected.

“It should be a great fight,” said Yafai (22-0, 14 knockouts). “We’re both undefeated and it looks an interesting one, but it’s a fight I’m 100 percent expecting to win and win in style.

“We started camp about four weeks ago, but I’ve been ticking over before that. We’ve been building up slowly but now we’re stepping up the intensity.

“I’ve found some good videos of him and I’ve watched a couple of his fights already but over the next eight weeks, I’ll be studying them in more detail with my team.

“He looks pretty tall. I think that’s his biggest attribute going for him. He’s busy with his jab and he seems comfortable on the back foot. We’ll see if he does anything else but if he plans on using just his height and jab it won’t be enough to beat someone like me.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said, “This is a great fight and the toughest of Kal’s career to date. Ishida is highly rated and looking to follow his countryman (Naoya) Inoue to the world title. It’s an incredible time for the division and these little men are becoming real stars of the sport. A win in Cardiff for Kal and its unification time in 2018.”

Yafai-Ishida is the first fight to be added to the undercard of the IBF and WBA heavyweight title fight between Anthony Joshua and challenger Kubrat Pulev.

Information courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing


Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for and a member of THE RING ratings panel.  Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


Struggling to locate a copy of THE RING Magazine? Try here or…


You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of THE RING Magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: Canelo-Golovkin