Five months after routing Luis Concepcion for the WBA junior bantamweight title, England’s Kal Yafai will make his first defense in Birmingham, headlining a May 13th Matchroom card opposite Suguru Muranaka.
Yafai (21-0, 14 KO), having prepared himself with a knockout of 9-27-5 Johnson Tellez two months prior, ran roughshod over Luis Concepcion in what looked to be a competitive matchup on paper. Considering the four monsters waiting at the very top of the division, he can be forgiven for going after Muranaka first.
Muranaka (25-2-1, 8 KO) isn’t ranked by any of the sanctioning bodies, but that may because he has technically never fought at super flyweight; after an accomplished run at 112 that saw him defend the Japanese title twice, he lost the belt on the scales and has weighed in around 117 pounds for his last three bout. Interestingly, every single one of his fights thus far has taken place in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.
Elsewhere on the card, Sam Eggington (20-3, 12 KO) will look to build off of his knockout of Paulie Malignaggi against EBU welterweight champ Ceferino Rodriguez (24-1, 12 KO) and Kal’s brother Gamal Yafai (11-0, 4 KO) will face Sean Davis (12-0, 0 KO) for a WBC trinket.
Frankie Gavin (23-3, 14 KO) is also booked to fight Dave Ryan (17-10, 4 KO) in his first appearance since slugging it out with Eggington in October.