Boxing Expert & Columnist
Yafai vs Muranaka: Kal Yafai enjoys the game not the fame, explains Johnny Nelson
Last Updated: 13/05/17 6:49pm
Kal Yafai's work ethic after winning a world title means he is destined for further success, believes Johnny Nelson.
I saw Kal train at Sheffield's Institute of Sport during the Anthony Joshua work-out. He looked very on-point.
I arrived early and watched some sparring - I thought 'this kid isn't bad'. He had a full-face head-guard on. He was ignoring everyone, despite all the press being there. Then his eyes gave it away - it was Kal! Then I saw his brother in the corner.
He's got the formula that is missing from a lot of young sportspeople. He enjoys the game more than the fame.
I like that attitude. He knows. He's got the formula that is missing from a lot of young sportspeople. He enjoys the game more than the fame.
You can be a brilliant fighter but if there's nobody else to test your skills against, you may as well stand in the middle of nowhere. Roman Gonzalez is not beyond him - I could see that happening.
I think Kal gets the knockout this weekend because he's fast, he's annoying and he's got power. The opponent is not coming to lie down, he'll have ambition.
Sam Eggington, of course, is in the mix against Rodriguez who has 24 wins and one loss, which was seven fights ago.
In Rodriguez's last six, he's only stopped two opponents which shows he can box as well as punch. Looking at their records, they're at the gateway of a big, wide world.
Once you get the European championship, you are officially prepared to box for a world title. It's a tough ask for Eggington but he impressed us by shutting down Paulie Malignaggi last time.
Watch Kal Yafai vs Suguru Muranaka, Sam Eggington vs Ceferino Rodriguez, and Josh Kelly on this Saturday's Birmingham bill, from 7.30pm on Sky Sports 2.