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Kal Yafai focused on Ishida, but still wants Chocolatito fight

Kal Yafai says he’s not looking past Sho Ishida, but he still wants to face Roman Gonzalez.

Boxing at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

WBA super flyweight titleholder Kal Yafai (22-0, 14 KO) has a title defense coming on October 28 in Cardiff, Wales, when he’ll be facing undefeated Japanese contender Sho Ishida, and while he says he’s focused on that fight, he’s also still hoping to take on Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez.

From The RING:

“I’m a huge favorite to win and a lot of people think Ishida has no chance, but I’m always on the ball. I look at every opponent like they’re Mike Tyson. If everything goes well, I can talk to (promoter) Eddie (Hearn) and we can look to make the Gonzalez fight. ... Gonzalez is still a massive name and he probably brings the most money to the table. ... I’m not sure where the fight would happen. There’s been talk of me going over to America to fight on HBO after the Ishida fight. That’s something I would really look forward to. But if I could fight a name like Gonzalez in the U.K., that could be even bigger.”

Yafai, 28, has hoped for a showdown with Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KO) for a while now, but the Nicaraguan star has lost two straight to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, including an ugly knockout loss on September 9.

And despite saying he’s focused on the task at hand, it is enough to make you wonder if Yafai is looking past Ishida (24-0, 13 KO), a tall former Japanese champion who can fight and might present some style matchup issues.

Here’s a question, though: would you want to see Gonzalez in another big fight right away? Do you think he’s washed at 30, or was Srisaket Sor Rungvisai simply a bad style matchup for him? Would he beat Yafai if they fought in the near future?

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