WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez has agreed to major points in negotiations with Eddie Hearn to see him defend against his WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim on DAZN on February 27th and then fight on May 8th.
The fight on May 8th will possibly be against WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders or IBF champion Caleb Plant. That part of the deal is iffy, though, as it’ll require many tough negotiations with those champions.
It won’t be a shock if Hearn is unable to negotiate a fight with either of those guys for Canelo to fight on May 8th.
Canelo has to be happy that he’ll be able to face Yildirim on DAZN because that’s a no-risk opponent that he’s guaranteed to look good against.
Boxing fans might be surprised when Yildirim makes it an exciting fight against Canelo than what they saw in his last two contests against Callum Smith and Sergey Kovalev.
Those two guys fought like they were afraid of Canelo, and they didn’t even try to go on the attack. Yildirim will attack Canelo nonstop until the bitter end, which is why he could wind up as his best fight of 2021.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s going to be a mismatch with Canelo stopping Yildirim within six rounds, but it’ll be entertaining while it lasts.
Yildirim is a MUCH more entertaining fighter to watch than Saunders. U.S fans accustomed to seeing a lot of action won’t be pleased with the spoiling that Saunders will be doing against Canelo.
Hearn sounded somewhat confident when discussing his belief that he could get Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) to agree to face Canelo on Cinco de Mayo.
He wasn’t sure, though, and he kept repeating how Saunders would need to be “happy” with the financial situation to agree to the Canelo fight.
At the end of the interview, one got the sense that Hearn had no clue if Billy Joe would agree to take the fight.
With Saunders, it’s not just the money. He needs a lot of time to train because he gains a lot of weight in between fights. So if Canelo is interested in facing him next, he needs to make sure he gives him at least 12 weeks’ notice and hope that’s all he wants.
Hearn needs a back-up plan for Canelo’s May 8th fight
It’s unclear if Hearn has a good back-up plan for Canelo if he’s unable to negotiate a fight with Saunders or Plant for May 8th. DAZN likely wouldn’t be enthusiastic about Canelo facing another Yildirim-like fighter in May.
Good backup options for Canelo’s Cinco de Mayo fight:
- Jermall Charlo
- Gennadiy Golovkin
- Demetrius Andrade
- David Benavidez
- Bektemir Melikuziev
- Edgar Berlanga
This group of fighters would be far better choices for Canelo to fight rather than taking on Saunders or Yildirim. Those two fighters won’t resonate with the American boxing fans, and DAZN will get very little return for the money that they’re paying Alvarez to fight on their platform.
For DAZN to get anything out of having Canelo back with them, they need to have him fighting elite-level opposition that the U.S fans want to see him fighting.
Yildirim won’t do much for DAZN, and that’s easily the worst opponent Canelo will have faced since his mismatch against Rocky Fielding in 2018.
If Canelo accomplishes his goal of becoming the undisputed super middleweight champion in 2021, it would be great if he started to take on fighters that fans want to see him fighting.
Fans don’t want to see Canelo fighting Yildirim or Saunders. Canelo needs to take some risks with his career by facing Charlo, Benavidez, Golovkin, Andrade, Berlanga, Beterbiev, and Bivol.
Canelo is starting to look like a calculated fighter with how he’s picking guys that he clearly beats. The last time Canelo fought someone, he wasn’t a heavy favorite against was Golovkin, which was in 2018. Ever since that fight, Canelo has wanted nothing to do with the Kazah. Why is that?
What good is being a pound-for-pound fighter when you’re not facing the best?
If Canelo is as good as his fans and the nerds that make up the pound-for-pound lists think he is, he needs to start fighting the best guys instead of the Yildirims Saunders and Kovalev easy marks.