Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo’s next opponent Yildirim

By Sean Jones: Eddy Reynoso is excited about WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez defending against mandatory Avni Yildirim on February 27th on DAZN at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Reynoso views Yildirim as a “strong fighter” and a “warrior,” which is high praise for a guy coming off a loss.

Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) signed a three-fight deal with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn. The fight against Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) is the first of three matches for Alvarez in 2021.

Canelo’s next fight after Yildirim will be against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders in May, and then IBF champ Caleb Plant in September.

That’s the working plan for Canelo, but the course could change if he’s injured or if he loses. Those aren’t the fights that the U.S fans want to see Canelo fight, but they’re the ones that he’s willing to give them.

There is almost zero demand for Canelo to fight Saunders, Yildirim, and Plant. Fans want to see Canelo fight these tough guys:

  • Jermall Charlo
  • Demetrius Andrade
  • Edgar Berlanga
  • David Benavidez
  • Bektemir ‘Bully’ Melikuziev
  • Dimitry Bivol
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Gennadiy Golovkin

Reynoso calls Yildirim a “Warrior”

“We’re negotiating to fight on February 27th. We have an obligation to defend the WBC title against the #1 contender [Avni Yildirim],” said Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso to Little Giant Boxing. “Therefore, we’re negotiating that fight to see if we can fight in Mexico or another part depending on the pandemic.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

“Yes, he’s a strong fighter, a warrior, a tall fighter that is tough with good power,” said Reynoso in sizing up Yildirim in what he brings to the table.

“He had a great fight with [Anthony] Dirrell. He’s been a little inactive because of the pandemic, but he’s a strong fighter,’ Reynoso added.

Reynoso failed to include in his description of Yildirim that he’s coming off a loss and hasn’t fought in two years.

He says Yildirim has been a “little inactive.” Being out of the ring for two years a long time for a fighter to be getting a world title shot. Also, Reynoso should have let the boxing fans know that Yildirim was knocked out by Chris Eubank Jr.

Canelo to fight in Japan soon

The biggest fighters in the history of boxing have had the pleasure of fighting all over the world,” Reynoso continued. “Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather have done it.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

“Saul is a boxing star, and that’s what we want to do. Go fight in Japan, Europe, Mexico, U.S, and basically fight in all of the continents.

“That would be very beautiful for us, to learn other countries’ cultures, and also to show Canelo’s boxing skills all over the world.

“In Japan, I would love to see Canelo fight there in the Tokyodome,” Reynoso said when asked which place he would most like to see Canelo fight. “It’s one of our projects in the works. It’s a vision we have as a team to defend a title in Japan.

“The people in Japan are very respectful. They make you feel at home, so I think taking Saul to Japan would be successful,” said Reynoso.

The way that Reynoso is talking about wanting Canelo to fight in Japan so badly can only mean one thing. He’ll soon be facing Ryota Murata.

The 2012 Olympic gold medalist Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) holds the WBA Super World 160-pound title after being elevated from the WBA ‘regular’ title.

The World Boxing Associated moved the 34-year-old Murata after Canelo recently vacated the belt.

If Reynoso has designs on matching Canelo against Murata for a clash in Japan, he’ll need to do it soon. Kalle Sauerland, the promoter for interim WBA middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr, is interested in matching him against Murata.

Eubank Jr would likely be the favorite against the twice-beaten Murata, which might be an easy fight for the talented British fighter.

With Canelo wanting to become the undisputed 168-lb champion in 2021, he won’t get a chance to fight Murata until 2021.

Of course, if Canelo puts off the fight with IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant until 2022, he can face Murata in September.

Spence, Golovkin, and Charlo options for Canelo

“It’s what used to happen when Oscar De La Hoya, [Floyd] Mayweather and [Manny] Pacquiao were in their prime,” Reynoso said about Canelo having a lot of different options for fights.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

“Why? Because we’re fighting against them at a time when they want their biggest payday, and that’s what’s happening against Canelo. Hopefully, good opponents emerge to make great fights happen.

“[Errol] Spence is coming off a good win [over Danny Garcia], [Jermall] Charlo is there, Golovkin too, who is on his way out,” said Reynoso. “There’s a ton of fighters that can make a lot of good fights,” said Reynoso.

Reynoso is downgrading Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) in a way that strongly suggests that he won’t be matching Canelo up against him for a trilogy match.

It’s already been three years since Golovkin lost a controversial decision to Canelo in 2018,  and fans think they’re aging him.

There wouldn’t have been a problem with Golovkin’s age if Canelo had fought him right away in December 201. Instead, Canelo fought Rocky Fielding.

Reynoso mentioning Errol Spence is also an indication that we’ll be seeing Canelo face him soon, possibly 2022. Canelo’s decision to capture the four belts at 168 is getting in the way of much bigger fights for him.

It’s hard not to believe that Canelo is carefully picking his opponents to ensure that he’s not beaten. Trying to unify the 168-lb means that Canelo only needs to beat these guys: Billy Joe Saunders and Caleb Plant.

Those are arguably easier fights for Canelo than if he were to face David Benavidez, Bektemir Melikuziev, or Edgar Berlanga. 

Reynoso: Golovkin is on the decline, Canelo KOs him

“Well, Canelo has gotten better,” said Reynoso in commenting on the interviewer opining that Alvarez would knockout Golovkin if they fight now. “Golovkin is now deteriorating, also because of his age.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

“There’s a difference when you’re 30 as opposed to when you’re 38, a fighter who has been through wars and taken damage,” continued Reynoso about Golovkin getting older.

“We’re in our prime and I think Canelo’s best years are yet to come. I agree with Chavez, and I think in the third [Alvarez vs. Golovkin] fight, there’s a good chance of a KO,” said Reynoso.

Canelo never came close to knocking out Golovkin in their two fights, so you have to take what Reynoso says with a grain of salt.

The way that Golovkin was punching in his last fight against Kamil Szeremeta, Canelo would be the one at risk of getting stopped.

But if Reynoso and Canelo continue to freeze Golovkin out, making him wait years, yeah, the Mexican star might KO him. It makes Canelo look bad if he makes Golovkin much longer, as it’s already obvious what he’s doing.

Fans want Canelo to fight Bivol at 175

“Yes, and we’ve beaten champions, champions like Daniel Jacobs,” said Reynoso when reminded that Canelo has beaten world champions in three different weight classes in his last five fights.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

Ironically, now the fighters that aren’t champions are better than the champions,” said Reynoso. “Now they’re saying Benavidez [is the best at super middleweight]. David Benavidez is no longer a champion [after failing to make weight in 2020].

“In the beginning, they used to say Callum Smith [was the #1 guy at 168]. We took the fight, and Canelo made him look like a four-round fighter.

“We won three titles [WBA, WBC, and Ring Magazine 168-lb belt]. Now they’re saying fight [Dimitry] Bivol at 175 lbs. They’re trying to find someone to beat Canelo, but I think it’s a part of boxing.

“We’re happy, we’re making interesting fights from one weight class to another, and the proof is there. Canelo has won four world titles in four different weight classes,” Reynoso said.

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Reynoso failed to add IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev as a fighter that fans want to see Canelo fight in addition to Beterbiev.

The fans didn’t just start talking about wanting to see Canelo fight Bivol and Beterbiev recently.

When Canelo moved up to 175 to capture a fouth-division world title against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev, fans ALREADY wanted Alvarez to fight Beterbiev, and Bivol. The fans didn’t understand why Alvarez picked Kovalev, who was coming off a poor performance against Anthony Yarde.

Canelo & Reynoso chose the weakest of the champions at 175 in picking Kovalev.  Reynoso said that the reason they picked Kovalev is he saw him as the best fighter at light heavyweight.

The fans obviously didn’t agree with Reynoso. Hence, they wanted and still want Canelo to fight Bivol and Beterbiev.

Canelo is continuing to get better – Reynoso

“Right now, he’s in his prime,” Reynoso said of Canelo. “At 168 pounds, he’s very strong, and he’s a more mature fighter who hasn’t lost his focus. He is working with the same passion, and he’s continuing to get better, which is extremely important.

Image: Eddy Reynoso praises Canelo's next opponent Yildirim

“Yes, we enjoyed the [Callum Smith] fight more,” said Reynoso when asked if Canelo was more motivated coming back after a year layoff. ”

The day of the fight, the day it was announced, everything. He [Canelo] took it all in. The second chapter of his career is coming, and I think the best is yet to come,” said Reynoso in assuming Canelo will keep winning.

You can’t say that Canelo is getting better because his opposition is getting worse, and he’s not taking the toughest.  Reynoso goes out of his way to say that Callum Smith was viewed as the #1 super middleweight by some boxing fans.

That perception of Smith being the best at 168 resulted from him winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament in 2018.

But Smith’s best win in that tourney came against an injured George Groves. He had shoulder surgery before taking on Smith, and he wasn’t the same guy. That was Smith’s best career win when Callum Smith struggled to beat John Ryder in 2019.