WBA World super flyweight champion Kal Yafai (22-0, 14 KO) already has his sights set on fighting fading superstar Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs). Yafai, 28, has a title defense to get out of the way against #1 WBA Sho Ishida (24-0, 13 KOs) this month on October 28 at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
Yafai is a heavy favorite to win that fight. The World Boxing Association president Gilberto Mendoza moved Gonzalez, 30, up to #2 in the WBA’s rankings at 115, which puts him in the driver’s seat to face the winner of the Yafai-Ishida fight. Gonzalez wouldn’t be the mandatory challenger yet, but it wouldn’t matter. Yafai would give him a title shot right away if he’s open to making the fight with him.
Gonzalez, a former 4 division world champ, has seen his career go up in smoke recently with him losing his last 2 fights to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. Gonzalez was knocked out in the 4th round by Rungvisai on September 9th in a fight that was televised in the U.S on HBO Championship Boxing.
Getting knocked out was a bad thing. But what was hard to ignore was how badly Gonzalez looked in the fight. He wasn’t even remotely competitive with Rungvisai. He looked like a fighter that was mentally not engaged. It came to no surprise that Rungvisai stopped Gonzalez, considering how detached he looked. Gonzalez looked like he didn’t want to be there.
“I’m a huge favorite to win and a lot of people think Ishida has no chance, but I’m always on the ball,” said Yafai to RingTV.com. ”I look at every opponent like they’re Mike Tyson. If everything goes well, I can talk to (promoter) Eddie (Hearn) and we can look to make the Gonzalez fight. Gonzalez is still a massive name and he probably brings the most money to the table. I’m not sure where the fight would happen. There’s been talk of me going over to America to fight on HBO after the Ishida fight. That’s something I would really look forward to. But if I could fight a name like Gonzalez in the U.K., that could be even bigger.”
Gonzalez is on record this week saying that he’s going to talk to his promoters about whether he should fight Yafai or WBO champion Naoya Inoue next. A fight against Inoue would be a big one in Japan, and it would give Gonzalez a nice payday. Inoue is a boxer/puncher, who is seen as the next big star in the 115-lb. division. If Gonzalez is just looking to cash out and retire from boxing, then a fight against Inoue is a good way for him to go out. Inoue is likely going to be the guy Gonzalez fights next. Yafai’s promoter Eddie Hearn, of course, could make Gonzalez an offer he can’t refuse by throwing some big money at him. If Hearn doesn’t make a huge offer, then it’s quite possible that Gonzalez will choose to face Inoue.
Gonzalez would be better to move back down to flyweight. He doesn’t match up well against the bigger fighters in the super flyweight division unfortunately. Gonzalez is stubbornly sticking it out in this weight class despite it being proven on 3 occasions that he lacks the punching power and size to dominate in this weight class like he did at 105, 108 and 112.