Canelo vs. Yildirim early results from Miami

By Boxing News - 02/27/2021 - Comments

By Mark Eisner: In an embarrassingly one-sided mismatch, WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) stopped his one-time sparring partner Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) by a third round knockout on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

Canelo knocked Yildirim down in the third round. The fight was halted in between rounds. It was pretty clear that Yildirim wasn’t going to throw punches, so it was a good thing the fight was halted.

Yildirim, 29, fought like a sparring partner, not throwing punches and just covering up and letting Canelo unload on him at will. Frankly, it was disturbing to watch how over-matched Yildirim looked, and it was all so predictable.

Yildirim hadn’t fought in two years and was coming off a loss to Anthony Dirrell, and yet he was fighting for a world title.

“I always fought the best. I fought the best I made history,” Canelo said after the fight. “I had to fight him to keep my title.”

Yildirim didn’t look like he matched Canelo’s description of him fighting the best.

YouTube video

Early live results:

  • 2008 Olympian McWilliams Arroyo (21-3, 16 KOs) took apart replacement opponent Abraham Rodriguez (27-3, 13 KOs) in stopping him in the fifth round to win the interim WBC flyweight title. Arroyo, 35, knocked the smaller, weaker Rodriguez down in the fifth round with a body shot. In the fifth, Rodriguez’s corner had the fight stopped to him taking too much punishment from Arroyo. The time of the stoppage was at 1:41 of round five. Originally, McWilliams was supposed to be challenging WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs), but he pulled out of the fight this week due to an injured right hand. But now that McWilliams is the interim WBC champion, he’ll be challenging Martinez in his next fight. It should be interesting. The way that McWilliams fought tonight, he might beat Martinez. McWilliams is a special kind of talent.
  • Heavyweight Jerry Forrest (26-4-1, 20 KOs) and two-time Chinese Olympian Zhilei “Big Bang” Zhang (22-0-1, 17 KOs) fought to an exciting 10-round majority draw. The judges scored it 95-93 for Forrest, 93-93, and 93-93. Boxing News 24 scored it for Forrest 95-93.  The hulking 6’6″, 260-lb Zhang dropped Forrest with big shots in rounds 1, 2, and 3. However, Zhang, 37, had nothing left after the third, and Forrest was able to take the fight to the exhausted Zhang from the fourth round. The referee warned Zhang frequently about him holding Forrest and leaning on him. In the ninth, the referee docked a point from Zhang for his holding & leaning. In the 10th, Forrest badly hurt Zhang with several right hands. In the final seconds of the round, Zhang turned his back to Forrest in what looked he was giving up.  This performance from Zhang has got to be a big disappointment for Matchroom Boxing, as they have big plans for him.
  • Super featherweight prospect Marc Castro (2-0, 2 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a second-round knockout win over John Moraga (1-3, 1 KOs) in a scheduled four-round fight.
  • Super middleweight prospect Diego Pacheco (11-0, 8 KOs) was forced to go the distance in winning an eight-round unanimous decision over the tough Rodolfo Gomez Jr (14-5-1, 10 KOs). The judges scored 79-73, 79-73, and 79-73. Gomez did a good job of crowding the lanky 6’4″ Pacheco, forcing him to fight on the inside where he unable to generate a lot of power on his shots.
  • Undefeated 168-lb prospect Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KOs) defeated Ashton Sykes (5-4, 1 KO) by a fifth-round knockout.


Canelo Alvarez will be defending his super middleweight titles tonight against his mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in their headliner attraction on DAZN. This fight should be a fun one to watch despite it being perceived to be a mismatch.

Yildirim has the type of old-school style of fighting that Canelo has always enjoyed fighting, so this should be an interesting one. It’s been a while since Canelo fought a guy with a seek and destroy style of fighting that he’ll be seeing tonight across from him inside the ring.

With Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) installed as a huge favorite by the bettors, he’s going to be looking to showcase his boxing skills and power in going after his WBC challenger Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) in their match at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.

The undercard has a lot of excellent A-side fighters going up against opposition that are pretty much out of their depth. Hopefully, we get at least one good fight on the undercard.

McWilliams Arroyo vs. Abraham Rodriguez – 12 rounds

Unfortunately, this week the Canelo-Yildirim lost out on their co-feature fight between WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez vs. McWilliams Arroyo. Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs) pulled out of the fight after alerting the media that he’d suffered a broken metacarpal bone in his right hand.

Arroyo will face replacement opponent Abraham Rodriguez (27-2, 13 KOs) in a 12-round fight in the co-feature. The two will battle for the WBC interim flyweight title with the winner to face WBC champion, Julio Cesar Martinez, at a later date

Zhilei Zhang vs Jerry Forrest – 10 rounds

In heavyweight action, two-time Chinese Olympian Zhilei Zhang (22-0, 17 KOs) takes on Jerry Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) in a 10 round fight. The big 6’6″ Zhang is the favorite in this fight, but Forrest has a chance with his punching power.

Zhang is a guy that gave Anthony Joshua all he could handle in the 2012 Olympics when the two battled it out in an exciting war.