WBC president Sulaiman explains why Canelo vs. Yildirim is happening

By Boxing News - 08/19/2020 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman is saying that his organization wasn’t behind the decision for Canelo Alvarez to be considered as the opponent to face Avni Yildirim for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title.

It was the former four-division world champion Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) that asked the sanctioning body to be considered for the spot. The WBC then voted as a block in giving Canelo the shot by a 36-1 vote by their Board of Governors.

The question that fans have is, why does Canelo want to fight for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title? Alvarez already holds the WBA’ regular’ 168-lb title, and he’s NEVER defended the title once since winning the belt in 2018 in beating then-champion Rocky Fielding.

Yildirim (21-2, 10 KOs) isn’t a popular enough fighter for Canelo to get the attention of the boxing world, and he’s not going to help bring in new subscribers to DAZN.

Aside from this being just a tune-up clash to get Canelo ready to face Gennadiy Golovkin in May 2021, the Yildirim contest is a complete waste of time.

Canelo was then selected from this list to face the recently beaten Yildirim:

  • Callum Smith
  • Azizbek Abdugofurov
  • David Benavidez

Canelo requested to fight Yildirim

Image: WBC president Sulaiman explains why Canelo vs. Yildirim is happening

I know it would be a complete joke for Benavidez to have been picked by the World Boxing Council to face for his stripped WBC title, but it would be a heck of a lot more interesting than watching Canelo get the shot.

The problem with Canelo getting the fight against Avni, besides the fact that he already holds down the WBA 168-lb title, is that the WBC is giving Canelo what some boxing fans view as preferential treatment.

For example, in 2019, the WBC made Canelo their ‘Franchise champion at 160’ when Jermall Charlo was his mandatory.

Canelo was boxed in at the time by the unbeaten Charlo and had the WBC not come forward to make him a Franchise champion; he would have either had to face him or vacate the title.

Canelo already vacated the WBC 160lb belt four years ago when he had a younger Gennady Golovkin breathing down his neck in May 2016.

When the WBC tried to pressure Canelo to make the fight happen by making GGG his mandatory, he vacated the belt rather than face the Kazakhstan warrior.

Golovkin was a much different fighter back in 2016 compared to now, and Canelo wasn’t pumped up like he is now with his physique looking ripped like a bodybuilder.

Image: WBC president Sulaiman explains why Canelo vs. Yildirim is happening

“[Canelo] requested to fight Yildirim for the title and that is one of the privileges he has,” said Sulaiman said to The Athletic. “Franchise’ puts the champion above every other fighter and gives him the prerogative over any fighter to fight who he wants.”