Yafai bidding for world stage
Birmingham super-flyweight Kal Yafai is wasting no time wiping away the memory of his Olympic heartbreak as he targets a push towards world super-flyweight title contention in 2014.
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Former top amateur Yafai was denied a place at London 2012 after losing a box-off to Welsh rival Andrew Selby but the 24-year-old insists the experience made him all the more determined to succeed in the professional ranks.
Of all the former top amateurs switching over in the last 12 months, Yafai has arguably been the most impressive, adding power to his slick style and reeling off 10 straight wins in his first full year.
"Obviously what happened with the Olympics was a bit of a downer but I made sure I had my first professional fight before the Games, and I got over it so quickly I even went to watch," he said.
"I knew I'd take to the professional ranks easily and as soon as I made my debut I was thinking, what have I been doing all this time? I felt I should have gone pro earlier, although the amateur set-up served me well."
Yafai stopped veteran Delroy Spencer on his debut in July 2012 and followed up with a first round stoppage of Richard Voros two months later. He believes his trajectory will take him into major title fights in 2014.
Yafai added: "I'm expecting a very big and busy year next year provided I stay injury free. I feel like I've served my apprenticeship and after one more fight I will be looking at chasing down the British title.
"I don't see any reason why I can't carry on and be challenging for a world title by the end of the year. It's not the strongest weight in the world and I know if I put the good performances in I will stand every chance."