Gamal Yafai says it’s time to show his class against Bobby Jenkinson on Saturday night at the Genting Arena in Birmingham. Yafai’s first regional title shot comes just shy of two years in the paid ranks, and the hard-hitting Birmingham talent has had to be patient for his first crack.
Jenkinson landed the Commonwealth belt in London in September, stopping Lewis Pettitt in the 11th round of their clash at Wembley Arena, but Yafai believes he’ll have too much in his locker for the Lincoln man to retain the title.
“This is a massive fight for me,” said Yafai. “I think I can win and I think I am better than him but it will be a tough night. I have trained hard for it and I am expecting a difficult fight and that is what I will probably get, but I have a big belief that there is only going to be one winner.
“I am not the type to go on about how good I am because I haven’t shown how good I am but the bookies don’t normally lie and I am a big, big favourite in the fight. But you can’t go off that in boxing and I am not bothered about that.
“I watched him beat Lewis Pettitt. He is a tough kid, he comes to fight, he is fit but he can be out-boxed. Pettitt was beating him but he seemed a bit weight drained and tired out and ended up getting beaten. But I am not Lewis, I am a better fighter than Lewis.
“I am at a different level to Lewis but that is easy for me to say and we will see on the night. I think I am better than Jenkinson in every department and I can only see one winner.
“I want to do it the right way – win the Commonwealth, British and European titles and then my ultimate dream is to win the World title. Whatever belt is in front of me I will give everything to try and win it.
“I am buzzing for Saturday, it will be my night. I am looking forward to a good test because he will want to keep his title.
“I am confident in every fight. I am a quiet kid, I keep myself to myself and I don’t like to disrespect anyone. He will have worked, trained hard and live the life like everybody else on the bill.”
Yafai’s older brother Kal has his own huge fight on Saturday’s bill as he closes in on a World title shot. The Commonwealth crown was the first Kal won in the paid ranks, and Gamal says they push each other on every day in Max McCracken’s gym to go on to win more and more belts.
“Kal has everything you need to reach the top in boxing,” said Yafai. “He makes me work hard and I hope I do the same for him. We both put in the work and live the life and hopefully the rewards will come. He will be World champion this year and hopefully I will be in two or three years. We want to headline shows in Birmingham and I want to be a role model to kids growing up who want to get into boxing.”
Yafai’s clash with Jenkinson is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham topped by Sam Eggington’s defence of his British and Commonwealth Welterweight titles