Long-reigning WBA World Super-Flyweight champion Kal Yafai (26-0 15KOs) will defend his belt against Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (48-2, 40KOs) on Saturday February 29 at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.
It's the Brit's sixth defence, but he faces a former four-weight world champion and pound-for-pound superstar in Gonzalez, who will provide the champion with the toughest test of his career to date.
So BBN turned to their panel of experts to see what their view is:
Head coach at Everton Red Triangle
"This is a great matchup and it’s good to see Khalid getting this type of fight. My fighters have done a lot of sparring with Kal over the years and I’ve always found him to be very well schooled. He’s extremely solid in the fundamentals, has a great jab, he’s well balanced, is a good body puncher and has good fighting judgement about what to do and when. I think he’s one of the best champions out there.
Gonzalez has been one of the most exciting fighters in boxing in recent years but following his two shock defeats, he’s only had one fight in 2018 and another in 2019, both early KO wins, so not much activity.
Yafai has also been a bit inactive with just one more fight in that time than Gonzalez, but his fights have been world title defences and he’s got good rounds which makes a difference.
They say the last thing a fighter loses is his punch and at 32 Gonzalez might be considered old for a super flyweight, so Yafai will have to be sensible in there but I think he’s at his physical and mental peak now and all things going well he’ll stop Gonzalez around the 10th."
Co-Founder of buymyfight.com
"I think it’s madness Kal Yafai isn’t as well respected as other boxers given the fact of his long reigning status at World Champ. The first ever from Birmingham too!
However, this isn’t going to be an easy defence, so I hope, at least, the respect will step up a notch after a win here.
I’ll predict Yafai via points win here by split decision, although as a betting man I’m also going to throw in a side bet on a Kal stoppage in the late rounds. His left hook could prove very valuable on the body shots."
Southern Area champion
"I once wouldn’t have given Yafai a chance but Gonzalez has seen better."
"I'm obviously backing the Brit in this one.
Kal is the longest reigning world champion in Britan but doesn't get the respect he deserves. He's been due a big name and a big fight for some time and this is perfect for him. I hope he gets the win and gets the recognition and fame afterwards.
‘Chocolatito’ was a pound-for-pound superstar up until his back to back losses to Sor. He only fought once in 2018 and once again in 2019. With that inactivity and his advanced age of 32, I believe his best days are behind him now and Kal needs to try to take advantage of that.
Since winning the world title in 2016, he has only recorded one stoppage win during his last six fights, so he will likely go the distance with Gonzalez, who will be the hardest opponent he's ever faced, so he will have the biggest challenge of his career ahead of him, one that he knows could finally propel him into stardom and lucrative fights should he win well.
Kal is disciplined and well schooled. He's got a mean left hook, which he sometimes uses to set up a straight right. He's an all round good boxer and has plenty of championship rounds under his belt.
I expect to see the best perforance from Yafai ever, but I don't know what Gonzalez will be like after his fall from the top. He's still got it, but how much of 'it' he's still got, I don't know. In his peak, his accuracy was astonishing, he could land the cleanest shots, and when his opponents showed signs of being hurt, he would throw such a volume of punches their way that there was no way they wouldn't go down.
My heart says it'll be a points win to Yafai. I know that Gonzalez has power, with 40 knockouts from 48 wins, and two consecutive stoppages in his last two fights, but Kal has a good chin and is tough. He's naturally bigger too, so although a Gonzalez stoppage is always on the cards, I would actually bet on Yafai to be the one to force a stoppage, if it happened. Yafai late stoppage in rounds 10-12 would be a decent bet, I reckon."
Unbeaten pro boxer
"There’s still fight in the old dog for me. Chocolatito gets to Yafai later on in the fights and wins a close points decision."
"What a great fight! Gonzales has been one of the best and, if at his peak, I would go for him all day, but hopefully Kal has him at the right time and we get a British win."