England’s Flyweight Star Galal Yafai Makes Quick Work of Tommy Frank


By David A. Avila

On the two-year anniversary of winning the Olympic gold medal, an animated Galal Yafai blasted past former British champion Tommy Frank by technical knockout in less than one round on Saturday.

“He got me up for it,” said Yafai.

Angered by earlier comments, Yafai (5-0, 4 KOs) bolted out of his corner and pummeled Frank (15-4-1) immediately in front of a large crowd at Utilita Arena in Birmingham, England to retain the WBC International Flyweight title by stoppage.

It was one-sided.

Only two years ago exactly, Yafai captured the Olympic title in Tokyo to the joy of British fans. But despite that glory, some critics including Frank devalued the Olympic medal win claiming amateurs and pros are not the same sport.

In this case Yafai, 30, proved correct.

The southpaw flyweight from Birmingham, England, seemed bent on obliterating Frank in the opening round. He rushed in with punches blazing and moving side to side to create angles on his shots.

Frank seemed overwhelmed by the movement and the punches and was dropped by a right hook. He survived.

But once the fight resumed Yafai did not let up and kept firing and not allowing Frank to gather any kind of stability. The fight was stopped by Frank’s corner at 1:40 of the first round.

“I’m not an Olympic gold medalist for nothing,” said Yafai. “There’s levels in it.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said he fast-tracked Yafai for world title competition within three fights. Hearn previously guided Galal’s older brother Kal to a world title at super lightweight.

“I saw a superstar,” said Hearn about Yafai.

Yafai agreed he could be ready for a world title soon.

“I want to fight the top boys,” Yafai said.

Welterweight Upset

In in scintillating welterweight match, Conah Walker (12-2-1, 4 KOs) floored Cyrus Pattinson (6-1, 4 KOs) three times to force the loser’s corner to toss in the towel in surrender in the eighth round to win by knockout.

It was an upset but not for Walker.

“I worked hard for this,” Walker said. “I had so many close fights, I learned from them.”

Both fighters immediately targeted the body with heavy shots in the first round. In the third round Walker caught southpaw Pattinson with a perfect counter right and dropped him for a knockdown.

It was the only true knockdown in the fight.

As Pattinson tried to rally from behind, he was sent to the floor during exchanges two more times. But in those two instances the referee incorrectly ruled them knockdowns. One was a slip on the wet surface and another came from a push.

No matter, Pattinson was told to go for the knockout and that proved beneficial for Walker who could not miss with the counter right.

Walker battered Pattinson and forced that fighter’s corner to stop the incredible action fight at the end of the eighth round for a technical knockout win for Walker.

Pattinson hopes for a rematch and applauded the victor.

“I live by the sword and die by the sword,” said Pattinson adding that the erroneously ruled knockdowns forced the aggressive tactics. “I felt like I couldn’t get back.”

Other Bouts

Solomon Dacres (7-0, 2 KOs) defeated South Africa’s Chris Thompson (12-5-1) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a heavyweight match.

Super featherweights Jordan Flynn (9-0-1) and Kane Baker (19-10-1) fought to a draw after the referee and only official judge deducted a point from Flynn in the last round that forced the fight to culminate in a 94-94 score.

A referee also scored in favor of super lightweight Khaleel Majid (11-0, 3 KOs) who scored a first-round knockdown of Italy’s Alessandro Fersula (9-5) to win by decision 78-73.