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Kal Yafai hoping successful mandatory defense leads to big fight

Yafai defends his title on Saturday against Norbelto Jimenez.

Anthony Joshua v Carlos Takam - World Heavyweight Title Fight Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

WBA super flyweight titleholder Kal Yafai returns to the ring on Saturday against mandatory challenger Norbelto Jimenez, and if successful, is hoping to finally land what could be called a big fight at 115 pounds.

Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of talk about Yafai (25-0, 15 KO) possibly facing Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez or IBF titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, but those fights haven’t come to pass. He wants that after business is taken care of in Providence, live on DAZN.

“My eyes are solely on Norbelto Jimenez and I need to do a good job on him, but then I need a massive fight,” said Yafai. “Eddie (Hearn) and I are on the same page and he delivers for his fighters. I haven’t had that big name yet but that will come.”

Jimenez (29-8-4, 16 KO) has something of a deceiving record on paper. The 28-year-old Dominican has eight losses and four draws, but hasn’t suffered a defeat since 2011, and his last draw came in 2014, when he went on the road to Japan and went even with Kohei Kono, who then held the same WBA super flyweight title.

Yafai, 30, is not underestimating his challenger.

“He boxed for the world title four years ago against Kono in Japan and he drew that fight, he looks tricky and awkward, game and tough as they all are from that part of the world,” Yafai said. “His record is deceptive with the eight losses because he hasn’t lost since 2011 so he’s going to be an interesting challenger for me.

“I think he’ll try and box on the backfoot early on but then he’ll try and have a go as well once he realizes that isn’t working, so I think the styles will gel and it will be a good fight. I just think that I’ll be too much for him.”

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage of Yafai vs Jimenez on the Andrade vs Sulecki card on Saturday, June 29, starting at 7 pm ET on DAZN

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