Galal Yafai spoke to Bad Left Hook following his contentious loss to Frenchman Samuel Carmona in the World Series of Boxing amateur tournament, but the Birmingham-born fighter says he won’t let the loss affect his confidence.
“I never want to lose,” Galal said. “I didn’t think I deserved to lose, and a lot of people didn’t think I deserved to lose.
“It’s just one of those — you’ve just got to get on with it. If you complain, you’re just going to put yourself down, and that will affect performances and training.
“I am gutted, but that’s just amateur boxing. I know I won the fight, and so do my coaches. That’s all that matters to me, really.”
Galal, the youngest of three boxing brothers, cemented qualification to the Rio Olympics with a solid performance in the European Boxing Olympic qualification tournament held in Samsun, Turkey.
And the 25-year-old hopes to draw inspiration from his older brothers, especially undefeated WBA super-flyweight world champion Khalid Yafai, but is first targeting the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I went to the 2016 Olympic Games and was a bit inexperienced, but I’m looking to go to the 2020 Olympics. Obviously, it’s not a definite because you never know what can happen in boxing, but my plan is to turn pro after 2020.
“You need an Olympic medal in boxing. You look at one of my mates, Josh Buatsi, and he’s got a bronze, it’s kind of set him up. You need that Olympic medal if you want a solid start and a good backing.”
Galal competes in a stacked light-flyweight amateur scene with tight bouts against Columbian 2016 Olympic silver medallist Yuberjén Martínez and 2015 AIBA World Boxing Championship winner Joahnys Argilagos on his record.
“I fought Argilagos at the Olympics and lost on a split, it’s hard to get hold of the Cubans as they’re always moving, they’re clever and cute fighters — he’s a great fighter.
“But the Colombian [Martinez] was definitely my hardest fight, he’s an animal. I’d say he’s the strongest kid I’ve ever faced."