Hearn turns down Yafai vs. Inoue fight for SuperFly2
By Marcus Richardson: Eddie Hearn has reportedly turned down an offer for his fighter WBA super flyweight champion Khalid Yafai (23-0, 14 KOs) to face WBO champion Naoya Inoue for the SuperFly2 card on February 24 in Los Angeles. California.
The offer that Hearn received for the Yafai-Inoue fight was bigger than what he received for Yafai’s recent title defense against WBA mandatory challenger Sho Ishida on October 28th. Hearn is looking for a better deal if he’s to agree to the Yafai vs. Inoue unification fight.
The offer wasn’t good enough for Hearn to accept the Yafai vs. Inoue deal for SuperFly2. Hearn reportedly says that he did accept an offer for Yafai to face former 4 division world champion Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez (46-2, 38 KOs) on SuperFly2. However, the 30-year-old Gonzalez changed his mind about wanting to take the fight for whatever reason.
It’s too bad Gonzalez changed his mind about wanting to take the Yafai fight. That would be the perfect fight for Yafai right now. Gonzalez is at a weak point in his career after losing back to back fights to Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in March and September of this year. Before those losses, Gonzalez had looked almost invincible.
What’s unclear is whether Gonzalez has slipped a notch or if it’s a case of him fighting someone that was too powerful in Rungvisai. Yafai needs a career defining fight like Gonzalez to give him a win that can move him up and increase his popularity in the UK and on the world stage. Yafai is probably never going to be a pay-per-view fighter like some guys in boxing, but he can still increase his popularity if he can pick up a good scalp.
If Hearn can’t get Roman Gonzalez or Naoya Inoue to face Yafai for the SuperFly2 card on February 24, then he might want to think about going after former WBC 115lb. champion Carlos Cuadras. He’s supposed to be fighting on the card, and he’s popular fighter. Cuadras gave Gonzalez all he could handle last year in September in losing a close 12 round unanimous decision.
Cuadras also recently lost a narrow 12 round decision to Juan Francisco Estrada on September 9 in a WBC super flyweight title eliminator. Estrada beat Cuadras by the scores 114-113, 114-113 and 114-113. Cuadras beat Rungvisai by an 8th round technical decision in May 2014. That was the last time Rungvisai lost. I wouldn’t blame Hearn if he chooses to swerve Cuadras for Yafai, because that would be a tough fight for him.