Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Kal Yafai predicts winners for Saturday’s ‘Superfly’ card

Yafai came of age last December after defeating Luis Concepcion for the WBA 115-pound title. Photo by Lawrence Lustig
Fighters Network

Next week belongs to middleweights Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin but this week undoubtedly belongs to the junior bantamweights.

On Saturday, every fighter rated in THE RING Top 5 at 115 pounds will show off their wares on one unique fight card at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California. A rematch between Wisaksil Wangek and Roman Gonzales is supported by Juan Francisco Estrada versus Carlos Cuadras and the long-awaited U.S. debut of Japan’s Naoya Inoue.

This is a feast for fight fans and Britain’s Kal Yafai will be one very interested observer.

Last December, the unbeaten Yafai claimed the WBA junior bantamweight title by thrashing quality veteran Luis Concepcion on points. The 28-year-old boxer-puncher has defended successfully against Suguru Muranaka and just signed on to meet mandatory challenger Sho Ishida on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales.

Yafai, who is rated No. 6 by THE RING at 115 pounds, offered his thoughts on potential future foes and supplied predictions for all three fights.

Roman Gonzalez vs. Wisaksil Wangek, WBC title fight

“Gonzalez was careless in the first fight. The headbutts caused him some problems and so did the body shots. I expect him to be a lot more cautious this time and he’ll be careful of the head. (Wangek’s) size may also have been a factor last time because we saw the same thing against (Carlos) Cuadras, where Gonzalez’s face was a bit beat up afterwards. Still, I expect Gonzalez to win on points. He’ll be better technically, but I still think he’ll let his punches fly and go to war at times. If (Wangek) won I wouldn’t be surprised, but I think Gonzalez will use his feet and be a bit too clever. I want Gonzalez to win but if Wangek wins hopefully (promoter) Eddie (Hearn) can work on getting that fight made as well.”


Naoya Inoue vs. Antonio Nieves, WBO title fight

“To be honest, this just looks set up for Inoue to showcase his skills on American TV. I’m looking forward to seeing Inoue in big fights with the elite at 115 pounds. I do think Inoue has the goods and I rate him highly.”


Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Carlos Cuadras, Non-title bout

“I was at Sky (Sports studios) today and said this could be the best fight on the card. It’s got Mexican classic written all over it. The styles are going to gel and I can’t see anything other than a great fight. Both throw a lot of punches, they’re accurate, they have good variety and they set a fast pace. I’m edging towards Estrada because he looks a bit more solid but, no matter who wins, any one of these guys would make for a terrific fight with me. This is an example of how good the division is. I believe I can rule at 115 pounds, but any fight involving the top seven or eight guys will be extremely tough.”



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


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