Kal Yafai inspired by Anthony Joshua ahead of world title defence against Suguru Muranaka

Matchroom's  Kal Yafai
Image: Kal Yafai will make the first defence of his WBA world super-flyweight title on Saturday night

Kal Yafai will be taking inspiration from Anthony Joshua's victory over Wladimir Klitschko as he prepares to make the first defence of his WBA world super-flyweight title.

Yafai will put his WBA strap on the line for the first time when he takes on Japan's Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday, live on Sky Sports.

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The 27-year-old and Joshua are former Team GB team-mates and remain close friends, with Yafai having claimed the WBA title on the undercard of Joshua's win over Eric Molina in Manchester in December.

Yafai was unable to attend Joshua's thrilling 11th round knockout victory over Klitschko at Wembley, but watched on from home as the unbeaten British heavyweight retained his IBF title and claimed the WBA strap.

Image: Yafai defeated Luis Concepcion in December to win the first world title of his career

"I was unbelievably proud and happy for Anthony Joshua," Yafai said. "When he got put down I was very nervous, I was praying for him to get up and recover and that's what he did. It showed what a world champion needs to do when it gets tough in there.

"He has completely smashed it now, onto bigger and better things for him. The world is his oyster. It was such a hard and big fight. I'd like to see him fight Tyson Fury but it doesn't sound like that's possible to happen next.

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"If he can get a defence for one of his titles against a contender then move onto one of the other heavyweights like Wilder would be great. He's raised the bar now - beating Klitschko at Wembley is just massive, and it's something that we've all got to aspire to.

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Tale of the Tape - Kal Yafai v Suguru Muranaka
Image: Tale of the Tape - Kal Yafai v Suguru Muranaka

"Winning the world title on his undercard was great. It took me four and a half years going from amateur into the pro game and winning a world title. Doing it on a massive show headlined by AJ was special. We are Eddie Hearn's only two world champions who he's had from their debuts.

"I was very pleased with my performance that night. I had to do what I had to do. I stayed focused on my own game plan, even after he failed to make the weight. I got in there and done the business. I outboxed him for 12 rounds. I made it as easy as possible."

Watch Kal Yafai vs Suguru Muranaka, Sam Eggington vs Ceferino Rodriguez, and Josh Kelly on this Saturday's Birmingham bill from 7.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2.

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