Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to fight mandatory WBC challenger Avni Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Florida.
Canelo Alvarez is due for an easy fight against opponent Avni Yildirim. The Mexican champion outclasses his Turkish opponent in almost every way. He is more powerful, more skilled, more experienced, and he has fought a much higher echelon of competition than the Turk. It seems even silly to put a fighter like Yildirim against the likes of Canelo, who is coming off of a victory over Callum Smith last December, which earned Canelo the vacant WBC and Smith's WBA (super) in super-middleweight. On the other hand, Yildirim is coming off of a defeat to Anthony Dirrell in February, 2019.
"Avni Yildirim is a good boxer, and we will put on an exciting fight," said Alvarez. "I'm very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained."
Canelo has to fight against Yildirim whether he wants to or not, as the Turk is his mandatory challenger, as stated by the WBC. Why Yildirim is the mandatory challenger is another question in and of itself, but it seems that Canelo will have a relatively straightforward one-sided event on his hands. It seems easy to speculate as to whom Canelo will want to fight next as he appears to be very keen on unifying the super-middleweight division. With that goal in mind, the next obvious choice for him would be Billy Joe Saunders or Caleb Plant, the WBO and IBF champions, respectively.
This fight will be the first of two fights where Canelo will work with the ever-present British promoter Eddie Hearn.
"Even in a pandemic, Saul is looking to be more active than ever, and in his plan to be undisputed champion, he must overcome his mandatory challengers to keep his belt," said Hearn. "Yildirim is the first of those challenges which will be attempting to dethrone the king."
Seeing as this is a part of a two-fight deal with Matchroom, it seems that Canelo's fight after Yildirim would be against Billy Joe Saunders, for whom Eddie Hearn is a promoter.
The February fight will not be a pay-per-view experience, with DAZN being responsible for the fight's broadcasting outside of Mexico.