Canelo Alvarez battles Avni Yildirim on Feb.27th on Dazn
By Matt Lieberman: Canelo Alvarez will be keeping busy making a defense of his three super-middleweight titles next month on February 27th against Avni Yildirim live on DAZN. This fight could be one potentially four for Canelo in 2021.
He’s talked of wanting to fight three times this year, but it’s possible he may return for a fourth fight if things go well for the former four-division world champ. Canelo would be following in the ‘Golden Boy’ Oscar De La Hoya’s footsteps if he fights four times this year.
Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) is taking care of his WBC mandatory commitment for his 168lb title against Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Yildirim, 29, will be looking to upset Canelo on February 27th and put himself in a position to become the undisputed champion at 168. If Yildirim catches Canelo looking past him towards a match against Billy Joe Saunders, he could take him out.
Winning a decision against the superstar Canelo obviously will be difficult for Yildirim, but anything is possible. He’s got the pop in his punches, and the hunger is there for him. This fight is Yildirim’s Super Bowl, and he’s going to be giving it his all.
Canelo predicting a great fight
“Avni Yildirim is a good boxer, and I know we will put on an exciting fight,” said Canelo. “I’m very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained. February 27 will be a great night for the sport.”
Alvarez taking care of his mandatory
“The pound-for-pound star Canelo will defend his titles against Avni Yildirim on February 27th,” said Chris Mannix to DAZN. “This will put Canelo back in the ring just ten weeks after defeating Callum Smith to become the unified super middleweight champion.
“I love it, he’s busy, he’s working, and he’s doing what he does best, and he’s staying active,” said Sergio Mora about Canelo Alvarez. ”
He’s going to be on pace to fight three times this year, which is rare for superstars these days. But Yildirim is for Canelo to what [Kamil] Szeremeta was for GGG. It was a mandatory.
“If you want to keep your belt, you want to fight your mandatory. It’s a stay busy fight; every champion has them.
“Look at what [Anthony] Joshua just did with [Kubrat] Pulev. Stay busy, stay working, stay knocking out opponents.”
“Yeah, people can criticize Yildirim, and we’re not going to sit here and say that Yildirim is a monster threat to Canelo Alvarez,” Mannix said.
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) January 21, 2021
“He’s been off for two years, and his last fight was a technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell. His other high-profile fight was a knockout loss to Chris Eubank Jr.
“So Canelo will go into this fight justifiably a massive favorite, but it is one of what is expected to be one of at least three fights in 2021.”
If not for Canelo needing to satisfy his WBC mandatory commitment, we would see him likely waiting until May to face WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.
It’s a good thing for the boxing world that Canelo will be facing Yildirim because it gives them a chance to see the superstar in action before he faces Saunders on the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
Styles make fights, and you can’t rule out a victory for Yildirim if he’s able to take the fight to Canelo and push him hard.
Canelo’s last couple of opponents Callum Smith and Sergey Kovalev gave away any chance they had to beat him by not letting their hands go. Yildirim isn’t going to respect Canelo’s power and stay away from him as those guys did.
The Turkish fighter has sparred with Canelo in the past, and he knows how to fight him, obviously.
Will Canelo fight four times in 2021?
“If you’re Canelo, you get one gimme fight in 2021, especially if the next fight is Billy Joe Saunders, which it seems more likely to be with Canelo signing a multi-fight deal with Matchroom if a September fight is against either Gennadiy Golovkin or Caleb Plant,” said Mannix.
“The latter of which would unify the 168-pound titles and perhaps make him the undisputed champion if he gets through Saunders.
“Who knows? We might see Canelo fight four times in 2021 if he wants to fight in September? I go back to Oscar De La Hoya, the all-time greats.
“In 1997, Oscar De La Hoya fought Miguel Angel Gonzalez, Pernell Whitaker, David Kamau, Hector [Macho] Camacho, and Wilfredo Rivera.
“Not all those fights were bit, but he had some good fights sprinkled in, and he wanted to stay busy. If Canelo wants to stay busy, I have no problem with that.”
“I have no problem with it either, especially with him [Canelo] coming off his almost one-year layoff,” said Mora.
“When you’re getting paid as much money as Canelo when you’re the #1 pound-for-pound fighter on the planet when you want to stay busy, and you want to keep doing what you’re doing, you’re got to have these inbetween fights.
“There’s no shame in those. You just mentioned those names. Out of those names you just mentioned, some of them were mandatories, and even Oscar De La Hoya did it.
“So I’m totally one with it, and if we’re going to see Canelo four times this year, that’s a lot of money for Canelo. Not only that, it’s staying busy and a lot of boxing for boxing fans.”
“Canelo is the biggest star in the sport,” said Mora. “The more Canelo the better for boxing,” said Mannix.
For Canelo to fight four times this year, he’ll need to breeze through Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, and Caleb Plant without taking many shots.
Yildirim has excellent power, and he’s not going to go down easy for Canelo. While Yildirim did lose to Chris Eubank Jr by a third-round knockout four years ago in 2017, that was a different situation.
Yildirim walked into the perfect storm in going up against a fighter with blazing hand speed that threw multiple uppercuts and with an incredible engine. Eubank’s fighting style was all wrong for Yildirim, which is why he didn’t last long against him.
Canelo doesn’t fight anything like Eubank Jr, and that’s going to make it easier for Yildirim to stay in there with him make it a war. The way that Canelo’s punch output has slowed as he’s gotten older, he’s not going to unload on Yildirim the way Eubank Jr did.
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