It’s not a big surprise (nor is it a great fight), but Canelo Alvarez will next fight WBC mandatory Avni Yildrim, this on February 27th. The fight was expected, if not massively enthused over, and now Mike Coppinger writes how the fight is headed to The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Yildrim, the WBC super-middleweight mandatory since February of 2019, will be an enormous underdog going into the ring. Indeed, will any fans pick him to win?
Yildrim is actually coming off a loss – a technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell in what was a fight for the vacant WBC 168 pound belt. Yildrim is 21-2(12), his other loss coming against Chris Eubank Jr, who stopped him quick back in 2017. Canelo is aiming to have an active and busy 2021, this to make up for last year, when he was able to box just once; winning the WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles with an impressive and commanding decision win over Callum Smith in December.
The hope is that Canelo, after he’s done away with 29-year-old Yildrim, will take a far more testing and meaningful fight in May, over the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Billy Joe Saunders has of course been calling for a fight with the Mexican superstar for some time. Maybe this is the year Saunders will get his chance.
No disrespect to Turkey’s Yildrim – he simply seems to be in way over his head; a fighter who is benefitting from the crazy mandatory match-ups this sport seems to hurl at us far too often. When the fight rolls around, look for Canelo to do as he pleases in Miami before getting Yildrim out of there, most likely in around six rounds or less. Maybe much less. Then, hopefully, Alvarez will be made to work much harder in his May bout – be his foe Saunders or someone else.
And as for the remainder of 2021, if he wins his first two fights of the year, maybe Canelo, 54-1-2(36) will give us that third and final fight with Gennady Golovkin. Maybe.