Kal Yafai steps up to face Scott Gladwin (5-1) in Sheffield on the ‘This Is It’ bill on Saturday, October 20, and both Yafai and his promoter Eddie Hearn are convinced the Beijing Olympian is ready for the challenge.
The 24 year old super bantamweight has quickly moved to 3-0 after signing with Matchroom Sport in May and making his professional debut on the Kell Brook v Carson Jones undercard in Sheffield in June.
Most recently the Birmingham boxer saw off Mexican Victor Koh in his first six-round bout on Carl Frampton’s undercard in Belfast and is now ready to face a higher class of opponent in the shape of southpaw Gladwin, who comes into the fight less than two months after suffering a first professional defeat in a Central Area title fight against Gavin McDonnell.
“This is the first real test for Kal as he steps up against a real 'live' opponent in Scott Gladwin,” said promoter Hearn. “This is where it starts to get exciting, arriving at the arena knowing you are in a proper fight and I know Kal is right up for the challenge.”
“My last fight went really well,” added Yafai. “I got six rounds in the bank against another opponent and I got to get some shots in, so it was good. The step from four to six rounds was really comfortable. I felt really comfortable at the end of it and all the way through.
“I am stepping up again in Sheffield because I am fighting a kid who has won five and lost one, so he isn’t coming to lose, he is coming to win. I am expecting him to be tough.
“It is good to mix up the opponents because it is all about learning and getting the experience at this stage in my career, so it will be good to face a southpaw. I have sparred with a lot of southpaws. I am looking forward to boxing in Sheffield and putting on a show now that I have found my feet in the pros.
“Everything is going smoothly and going to plan, which is what I expected. Things are getting better and better each week, I am getting more and more used to the pro game and I am really enjoying things at the moment. I have a good team behind me and a good promoter. They all know what they are doing.
“Eddie has it all planned out for me. I step up again to an eight rounder in Nottingham and then I will have another one in December and that will be the year done. Then we will sit down and take a look at what the plan is for the year ahead.”
Tickets for ‘This Is It’ are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 and £100 from the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield box office on 0114 256 5656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.co.uk.