WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez’s February title defense against WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim is being moved to U.S territory rather than original plans of staging it in Mexico because of the COVID-19 health situation, according to ESPN MX.
Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KO) wanted to fight ‘Mr. Robot’ Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) at home in his native Jalisco, but those plans have since been dashed this week due to the health emergency with the pandemic in that area.
An announcement will be coming in the next few days about the move for the Mexican star Canelo.
Besides the February date against Yildirim, Canelo is fighting in May against one of these three fighters: Caleb Plant, Gennady Golovkin, and Billy Joe Saunders.
Alvarez, 30, also has a fight that will be taking place in September against one of the three aforementioned fighters.
Golovkin (41-1, 36 KOs) is the longshot for getting the fight with Canelo in 2021 because the former Golden Boy Promotions superstar wants to become the undisputed 168-pound champion as quickly as possible.
To do that, Alvarez needs to use his May and September dates to unify against Plant and Saunders.
Alvarez has been fighting in the United States continually since 2012, starting with his fight against then 40-year-old Shane Mosley. The last time Alvarez fought in Mexico was against Kermit Cintron in November 2011 in Mexico City. That was a fast fifth-round knockout win for Alvarez against the over-matched Kermit.
With the pandemic going on and the fight against WBC mandatory Yildirim needing to be satisfied, this was the perfect time for Alvarez to return to his native Mexico.
He wouldn’t have been walking away from a massive amount of money from staging the Yildirim fight in the U.S because he wouldn’t be able to stage it in front of a crowd in Las Vegas, which has become one of his locations of choice for his fights.
Now the magical question is, where does Canelo take the fight with Yildirim? Texas would seem like the most logical location, as he can stage the fight in front of fans in that state in Dallas.
Boxing fans won’t mind that Canelo’s opponent Yildirim isn’t well known, hasn’t fought in two years, and is coming off a defeat against Anthony Dirrell. Those are incidental things.
What’s important is Canelo will be taking care of his WBC mandatory by facing Yildirim. He’ll then move on and battle 168-pound champions Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders in unification matches in May and September.
Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) said this week that he wants to know whether he’s got the fight with Canelo, as he doesn’t want to sit and wait until May.
He’s talking about wanting to take on Demetrius Andrade next month in February, and then the winner of that fight takes on Canelo in May.