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Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim possible for Showtime

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim possible for Showtime

By Sean Jones: Avni Yildirim’s manager Ahmet Oner has already contacted adviser Al Haymon about starting negotiations to stage the Canelo Alvarez fight on Showtime rather than on DAZN.

According to the German news site BILD, the WBC still wants the Canelo-Yildirim fight despite DAZN passing on it, and they’ll look to go to pure bids and then place it on Showtime.

Whoever ends up with the Alvarez vs. Yildirim fight, the plan is to have it take place at the start of 2021. Canelo is expected to face Gennady Golovkin in May 2021 in their long-awaited trilogy match.

After inking Canelo a huge 11-fight, $365 million contract in 2018, DAZN wanted Canelo to face Golovkin. Canelo has instead fought the following fighters:

  • Rocky Fielding
  • Daniel Jacobs
  • Sergey Kovalev

Canelo put his name into the hat to be the opponent for #1 ranked WBC contender Yildirim for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title. This is the belt that was stripped from former champion David Benavidez on August 14 after he came in almost three pounds the 168lb limit for his title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo.

Canelo was one of four fighters that requested to be considered by the World Boxing Council to fight for the vacant WBC 168-lb division. The other three were from this last: David Benavidez, Callum Smith, and Azizbek Abdugofurov.

Showtime could end up with Canelo’s match against Yildirim

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim possible for Showtime

“They don’t accept Avni Yildirim as an opponent. But WBC President Sulaiman continues to insist on the fight between Alvarez and Yildirim,” said Oner to the BILD. “I have now contacted the well-known promoter Al Haymon. He will negotiate for us.

“His partner in the TV sector is Showtime. If no agreement is reached by September 22, the fight will be auctioned off. We’re going to bid $40 million.”

What’s unclear is why Canelo wants to be considered for the WBC title, as he’s held the WBA ‘regular’ 168-pound title since 2018, and he’s NEVER defended it. Canelo won the belt off Rocky Fielding in December 2018, and since then, he’s beaten Daniel Jacobs to win the IBF middleweight title last year in May 2019.

After that, Alvarez moved up to 175 and defeated WBO light-heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev last November. Surprisingly, the World Boxing Association hasn’t stripped Canelo of his WBA super-middleweight title, even though he’s been sitting on it for a year and a half without defending it.

Whether Showtime would take a gamble on the Canelo vs. Yildirim fight is an important question. It’s not a fight that will bring in big numbers on Showtime pay-per-view, especially during the pandemic with so many boxing fans in the U.S being out of work.

Will fans purchase Canelo-Yildirim on PPV?

Selling Canelo-Yildirim on PPV for $75 per household or even a bargain basement discount of $40 per home, it probably won’t likely work.

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim possible for Showtime

DAZN reportedly balked at staging Canelo’s fight with Yildirim, and it’ easy to see why. Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) isn’t well known in the States, and he was coming off of a 10th round technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell in February 2019.

Before that, Yildirim had major problems defeating 46-year-old Lolenga Mock in beating him by a 12 round split decision in 2018. To top it off, Chris Eubank Jr destroyed Yildirim in three rounds in 2017. With all that, you’ve got to wonder why Canelo wants to fight Yildirim so severely?

DAZN wants Canelo to face opposition that will interest the U.S boxing fans in the States, and Yildirim isn’t someone that would do much for him. Callum Smith is reportedly a fighter that DAZN would like to see Canelo fight, but they fight hasn’t agreed on.

It’s believed that the money offered isn’t right at this time, which may be one of the reasons why Canelo is selecting Yildirim.

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With DAZN paying Canelo huge money per fight, they won’t get value for their money if he ends up facing Yildirim. Alvarez-Yildirim is a mismatch on paper, and it’s not a big enough fight to lure new subscribers to DAZN.

What we’ve seen from Yildirim is he’s painfully slow, and a sucker for an uppercut. Eubank Jr hit Yildirim at will in stopping him in three rounds in 2017.





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