From factory ‘skivvy’ to Olympic final for British boxer Yafai

Sports Tokyo 2020

Britain's Galal Yafai used to work in a factory, but now he is in an Olympic final. AFP
Britain’s Galal Yafai used to work in a factory, but now he is in an Olympic final. AFP

Tokio, Japan | AFP

It was not that long ago that Galal Yafai was handling rubbish and picking up boxes in a car factory. He hated it.

Now the Briton is vying for gold in an Olympic boxing final.

The 28-year-old, who has two older brothers who are professional boxers, defeated Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in their flyweight semi-final in Tokyo on Thursday on split points.

Yafai now faces Carlo Paalam of the Philippines in Saturday’s title decider and said: “It’s the Olympic gold, isn’t it, man? Olympic gold is crazy. Just imagine being the Olympic champion.”

It is a far cry from his long and demoralising days at the car factory.

“I was grafting, picking up boxes, dreaming of being at an Olympic Games,” said Yafai, who made it to the Rio Games a year later, in 2016, but failed to win a medal.

“I was doing the rubbish, picking up boxes, delivering parts. Just a skivvy job really,” he added of his former life.

“But now I’m on the verge of becoming Olympic champion.

“I hated working there, I’m not going to lie. I’d wanted to be a boxer for years, as I hate being told what to do.

“Now I’m my own boss and hopefully I can be the Olympic champion.”

pst/th

© Agence France-Presse

Tokyo 2020 AFP