FRESNO, California – Khalid Yafai on Wednesday finally got a glimpse of two fighters who could be his next opponent.
Yafai took part in the media workout arranged by Top Rank Promotions for Filipinos Jerwin Ancajas and Jonas Sultan, four days before Saturday’s major boxing card featuring two world title fights at the Save Mart Center.
The 28-year-old Englishman of Yemeni parents will stake his World Boxing Association super-flyweight crown against two-time world title challenger David Carmona in the co-feature bout of the Ancajas-Sultan showdown for the International Boxing Federation version of the 115-pound belt.
A victory by the unbeaten Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) could set up a possible unification bout between the winner of the Ancajas-Sultan slugfest.
But Yafai, making his US debut, is not about the get ahead of the story, with Carmona (21-5-5, 9 KOs) a dangerous opponent despite having lost three of his last four bouts.
“At this moment, I don’t really care about Ancajas-Sultan because I have a job to do myself,” he said. “I’m not looking past this fight. I always concentrate on what I have in front of me.”
Yafai boxed for Great Britain in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, making it to the round of 16.
In 2010, he won a silver medal in the European Amateur Boxing Championships, before deciding to turn pro two years later.
He won the vacant WBO title – his first as a pro – in December 2016 when he beat Luis Concepcion of Panama by 12-round unanimous decision.
Yafai has since defended his belt twice in a division teeming with talented fighters, including Ancajas and Sultan.
“There are plenty of great fighters at 115. Jonas Sultan is a great fighter, and he can’t be written off on Saturday night,” Yafai said.
But he does see Ancajas retaining the championship at the expense of his fellow Filipino.
“Jerwin is a great fighter also who I expect to win on Saturday,” Yafai said.
Yafai is expected to get a big boost in his title defense should unified heavyweight champion of the world and countryman Anthony Joshua arrives here for the weekend boxing promotion.