Canelo Alvarez is on a mission to fight four times this year, beginning with his February 27th defense against Avni Yildirim followed by his May 8th fight against Billy Joe Saunders, September against Caleb Plant, and then December.
Dan Rafael was told of WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo’s plan to fight four times in 2021. The first three fights for Canelo in 2021 will likely be slam dunk wins for him against Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs), his WBC mandatory, WBO 168-lb champion Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs), and IBF champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs).
Only Yildirim has any power of those fighters, but he’s limited talent-wise, coming off a loss and a two-year layoff. I think the readers can get the picture of what kind of fight Canelo has in store for him. Another mismatch in favor of Canelo.
While that sounds like a noble endeavor on Canelo’s part, it won’t be nearly impressive if his fourth fight in December doesn’t involve a trilogy match against Gennadiy Golovkin. It’s already been three years since Canelo last fought Golovkin, and he’s about to turn 39-years-old in May.
It’s a fight that DAZN would likely prefer over any of the first three matches Canelo is taking this year.
There’s nothing wrong with Saunders, Yildirim, and Plant, but they’re not in Golovkin’s league in terms of popularity, and they won’t bring in the subscribers to DAZN the way he will. Of course, they’re less dangerous for Canelo and not as much of a threat as Golovkin.
Canelo needs to get the third with Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) out of the way and put to bed the belief some boxing fans have that he’s holding a grudge against GGG because of the trash-talking he did after their first fight.
That was back when Canelo tested positive twice for the banned substance clenbuterol in March 2018. Additionally, Golovkin’s former trainer Abel Sanchez accused of Canelo having his hands wrapped in an illegal way for the first fight.
Also, there’s a lot of bad blood between Canelo and Golovkin over the results of their two fights, both of which took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and involved controversial results.
Canelo last fought in December, beating WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith by a 12 round decision. It was a poor fight from start to finish.
The match was supposed to be a competitive one, but Smith spent the entire contest with his back against the ropes, which is how he fought in his previous fight against John Ryder. Smith looked clueless and put in an awful effort.
What was incredibly disappointing was how Canelo and his trainer Eddy Reynoso said they picked Callum because they believed he was the best fighter in the 168-lb division.
The performance Smith put in against Ryder and Canelo showed otherwise. He was no better than Canelo’s previous opponent Sergey Kovalev, who Reynoso claimed was the best fighter at 175. He obviously wasn’t, and the fight turned out to be a mismatch.