Canelo Alvarez could have many more problems next month than people think for his title defense against Avni Yildirim on February 27th. In a video clip of Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) working out on Tuesday, he showed the kind of power that Canelo could issue for their main event fight on DAZN at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Granted, Yildirim’s hand speed isn’t near the same level as Canelo, but it’s comparable to the other top 168-pounders like David Benavidez, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant.
Yildirim’s hand speed and power are close to that of Gennadiy Golovkin, and we saw what he was able to do in his two fights against Alvarez.
Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs)is a big 20 to 1 favorite to defeat the 29-year-old Yildirim, but styles make fights, and you can’t rule out an upset win for the Turkish fighter if he’s able to land his power shots.
“Thank god for another day and another opportunity,” said Yildirim’s trainer Joel Diaz. “I am honored to be part of this fight. I have been part of great fights in the past, but facing Canelo is a tough task.
“I believe nothing is impossible, work hard and get good results, I love hard work, we are entertainers and we will prepare Avni Yildirim for a great fight for the fans.”
Yildirim has a KO percentage of 52.17%, which is that of a fighter with average punching power. However, he’s faced a long of strong-chinned veterans that knew how to survive and weren’t going to be knocked out.
Against Canelo, Yildirim’s best shot at winning is by knockout, and he would be wasting his time if he believes he’s going to be able to outbox the popular superstar. That’s not going to happen.
Yildirim will need to press Canelo the entire fight, not let him catch his breath, and keep throwing punches to try and wear him down.
It wouldn’t hurt Yildirim to target Canelo’s body because he’s hard to hit with headshots. His ability to both dodge and ride the punches to the head make it difficult to hurt him.
Golovkin could hurt Canelo with his uppercuts, but his other shots didn’t damage because he rode with them.
WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine super-middleweight champion Canelo’s decision to squeeze in a fight against Yildirim on February 27th before his May 8th unification match against WBO champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) shows how confident he is of winning.
If Canelo thought Yildirim had any chance of beating him, there’s no way he would be fighting him just three months before his May 8th fight.
If you’re Yildirim, you have to use that as motivation to train harder to show Canelo and his manager/trainer, Eddy Reynoso, that they made a mistake in fighting him so close to the May date.