Yafia Suffers First Defeat
Birmingham’s first ever world champion Kal Yafai lost his WBA super Flyweight title and his unbeaten record at the Ford Center Texas (29,2,20). Yafai (30) was defending his WBA world super Flyweight for the sixth time when he took on Roman Gonzalez. This was always going to be a big task for Yafia as Gonzalez (32) is a former pound for pound king and also a 4 weight champion.
Gonzalez who’s record speaks for its self with 48 wins and only 2 defeats with 41 of his victories coming by the way of knockout had only fought 2 times in the last 2 years winning both by stoppage.
The fight was fought at a very fast pace with this seeming to suit the Challenge Gonzalez, when Yafai kept it long behind his jab he was in control but he either choice to engage in a close quarters war or Gonzalez made him. Gonzalez did not seem to let Yafia settle with his gum shield coming out twice in the first three rounds. Yafia was having his moments in every round but was just getting out worked by Gonzalez. In the fifth round there was an accidental clash of heads with Gonzalez receiving a cut on his head, this didn’t deter Chocolatito who continued to press with high pace attacks.
The sixth was Yafia’s best round as he picked up the pace and pushed Gonzalez back for a good part of the round but Gonzalez battled back hard and was back on top by the end. Yafia moved well in the seventh using the ring well, Gonzalez was still getting in on the inside and seemed to really hurt Yafia at the end of this round.
Yafia was push back for the whole round as he showed the heart and determination that had made him a world champ, Gonzalez put Yafia down with a great combinations in the final 10 seconds of the round with Yafia getting up and the bell going.
The end come with only 20 seconds of the ninth round gone with Gonzalez catching Yafia with a cracking straight one, two with the right hand doing all the damage, the ref didn’t even count and waved the fight off.
Yafia rolled the dice in this fight taking on such a dangerous opponent in Gonzalez who had only lost twice in 50 fights. The rumour was that Gonzalez had faded and was not the fighter who was once a pound 4 pound king and had won titles at 4 weights but with this win you can see he is. Yafia showed a lot of heart and determination in the fight and I could not understand why he chose to engage in a close quarters war with a fighter like Gonzalez. This was by far the hardest defence of the seven he has had and was a big gamble but Yafia who wants to be known as one of the greats took it on. This will be a hard one to take for Yafia as he lost his title, unbeaten record and suffered a heavy knock down, but if Yafia and his team can get passed that I’m sure he will learn from this and come back a better, stronger and more rounded fighter and will back fighting for world titles.