Boxing: Relaxed Cunningham ready to cause Yafai upset

Jason Cunningham
Jason Cunningham

He might be about to fight one of the world’s hottest boxing prospects – and a feared puncher to boot – but Jason Cunningham could not be more relaxed.

The Woodlands fighter travels to Birmingham on Saturday night to face hometown hero Kal Yafai for the vacant British super flyweight title.

Yafai is one of the brightest young stars on Matchroom Boxing’s Sky Sports platform and is being tipped to win comfortably.

But Cunningham is not fazed and has something to say about that.

“I’ve never been more relaxed going into a fight,” the 26-year-old told the Free Press. “People keep talking about how Yafai’s going to win and win easy. He’s making all these predictions about how it won’t go four rounds.

“I just let it all go over my head. I don’t mind going there with everyone talking about him and assuming he’s going to win. It suits me fine.

“I just know I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been. I’m ready for 12 hard rounds against a good kid.

“But I’m not going there to lie down. I’m going there to win.”

Yafai has won all 16 of his professional fights, stopping 11 opponents.

Former ABA champion Cunningham believes he will be the first fighter to truly test him.

He said: “I know he’s a very good kid and it’s right that he’s been tipped for massive things.

“But I’m the toughest test that he’ll have had.

“Physically, I’m going to have every advantage on the night, especially after the weigh in. I’ll be taller, I’ll have the bigger reach.

“No one has really gone in there and hit him back. I’ll be hitting him back on Saturday, don’t you worry.

“And then it’s about how he reacts to that. I hope he’s ready for 12 tough rounds as well.

“The Lonsdale belt being on the line is a massive incentive but it being live on Sky is huge as well.

“It announces me onto the big stage.

“It will be life-changing when I win. And I’m going to.”