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Hearn gives Yildirim a puncher’s chance against Canelo

Image: Hearn gives Yildirim a puncher's chance against Canelo

By Jim Maltzman: Eddie Hearn says it’s “Mission Impossible” Avni Yildirim this Saturday night when he takes on WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez at the Miami Dolphins Stadium for their DAZN streamed fight.

Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) lacks the boxing skills to beat Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) by a decision, Hearn notes, so his one chance that he has of defeating the Mexican star is to knock him out.

Avni, 29, knows that he’s got to knock out Canelo, and he’s got the courage to attempt to do that. Canelo’s last opponent Callum Smith had the power and the size, but not the courage and mental IQ.

Yildirim has only faced a couple of good punchers during his career, and it didn’t turn out well for him in losses to Anthony Dirrell and Chris Eubank Jr.

If Canelo goes after Yildirim early, he could bang him out but he’ll need to put himself in a position where he gets hit. That’s going to require Canelo to stand up to Yildirim’s formidable power.

Mission Impossible for Yildirim

“I like the Tweet the other day, ‘Mission Impossible,'” said Hearn to iFL TV on Canelo’s fight against Avni Yildirim. “The only thing about Yildirim; I can’t stand here and tell you, ‘He’s got a chance in this fight.’

Image: Hearn gives Yildirim a puncher's chance against Canelo

“He’s got a chance because everybody has. There’s a couple of things I’ll say. #1, he’s got a big set of nuts. I just saw Ahmet Oner.

“If you haven’t interviewed Ahmet yet, do it. Nuts, nutcase. A great guy, though, and good heart. He came up to me and said, ‘You’re going to get a good fight on Saturday.

“I’m here telling you, we’re fighting fire with fire’ I thought, ‘That’s dangerous,’ but how else are you going to win?

“What else is the point of coming in and just surviving, fiddling around, getting backed up on the ropes, and getting beaten up? You have to let your hands go because you’re not good enough to beat Canelo Alvarez.

“So the best chance that he’s got is Canelo may have had a few weeks off after Callum Smith, and maybe didn’t have much of a camp for this fight and maybe isn’t quite as well prepared as he has been.

“If something is going to go wrong for Canelo Alvarez, that could go wrong with preparation or that could go wrong with Yildirim.

“Being aggressive is the only chance he has in the fight. Letting his hands go is the only chance that he’s got an outstanding coach in Joel Diaz, who believes in him. Joel Diaz is not an idiot,” said Hearn.

Yildirim is in the same position Callum Smith, Gennadiy Golovkin, and the majority of Canelo’s opponents have been in. He’s not going to out-box Canelo, so his only chance is to go for a knockout.

15,000 fans expected for Canelo – Yildirim

“I’m excited about it, and I’m so excited to be promoting Canelo Alvarez at the Miami Dolphins [stadium],” said Hearn. “I’m gutted that it can’t be 60,000, but it will be 15,000.

Image: Hearn gives Yildirim a puncher's chance against Canelo

“It’s hard not to be a fan-boy around Canelo because I’m his promoter. That’s because I love the sport and appreciate greatness in all walks of life, especially in sport.

“When you sit down and watch this guy fight, you just go, ‘He’s the best I’ve ever seen.’ One thing I found out about Canelo is, he’s boyish.

“He’s a joker, he likes to have fun, he’s relaxed. What we’ve tried to do in our promotion is show him as the person he is.

“He’s just a normal kid out of Guadalajara, who chased his dream and found it and smashed it. He’s a lovely guy.

“Him and AJ are probably the two easiest fighters I’ve worked with. All they want is the truth, the clear path to do your best. You provide that to them, and they do everything else. They just got to win,” said Hearn.

“He knows he’s fighting the pound-for-pound #1. But I’d much rather have a fight with the balls and heart of Yildirim than someone that just goes, ‘F**** hell, I’ll just slowly get beaten up and take my money,'” said Hearn.

15,000 is a good-sized crowd for the Canelo vs. Yildirim fight for the pandemic.

Even if things were back to normal, it’s unlikely a crowd much larger than that would attend the fight. Canelo’s fan base is located on the West Coast and in the Texas area.

Saunders could be at ringside

“He’s not part of the event, but we’re trying to get him here as part of the media. It’s touch and go,” said Hearn about Billy Joe Saunders trying to get in the U.S to be present for the Canelo vs. Yildirim fight on Saturday.

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“One thing I do know is if Canelo beats Yildrim and comes through unscathed, there’s a very good chance that we may be getting an announcement on Saturday for May the 8th.

“There’s no venue confirmed yet. We’re in talks with Vegas, we’re in talks with the Dallas Cowboys, and we’re in talks with a couple of other countries as well. It’s a fight, isn’t it?

“For me, I actually think Canelo against Billy Joe Saunders is one of the biggest fights in boxing.

“One, because we know that Billy is always good at the build-up, and two, you got someone that generally believes he can win the fight.

“Also this. Canelo is pound-for-pound #1 in the sport, and I think if there’s anyone out there in the division that can beat him, it’s Billy.

“So what you’ve got is the King of Boxing, the pound-for-pound #1 against this rogue lunatic Billy Joe Saunders that may just have it in him to beat him.

“He believes he will. He’s completely convinced he wins the fight, and again going back, I think it’s one of the biggest fights in boxing,” said Hearn.

It sounds like Saunders is having a difficult time getting into the U.S so that he can be at ringside on Saturday.

If he’s unable to come, Hearn can set something up to where he’s on a video monitor and able to speak to Canelo in front of the fans on DAZN.

Can Billy Joe break Canelo mentally?

“If we’re on an even playing field, I don’t think anyone beats Canelo,” Hearn continued. “Against a 100% Canelo against a 100% anyone else, you back Canelo Alvarez all the time.

“So something has to go a little bit wrong. And so you have to bring that percentage down. So, is that mind games, is that make him second guess himself?

“I don’t know, but Billy will do it. That’s why it would be great for Billy to be here under better circumstances because he could get into him early, and that’s what Billy has to do in this fight.

“He’s got to unravel him. It’s the same thing with Tyson Fury. There are similarities between the two in the way that they try and goad and almost tantalize the opponent mentally.

“I think Billy has got to do that, and he’s got to get an edge. You’ve got to get an edge against Canelo Alvarez because if you don’t, how do you beat him?

“I’ve been watching boxing for 34 years, and I’ve never seen a fighter like Canelo Alvarez in the flesh up close,” said Hearn.

If Billy Joe (30-0, 14 KOs) trash talks Canelo nonstop during the build-up, he might succeed in annoying him, but it’s not likely to change the outcome.

Saunders is too light in the power department for him to take advantage of Canelo being overly aggressive against him

Julio Cesar Martinez in support bout

“When you see the support these Mexican fighters get, especially if you’re lucky enough to do shows there,” said Hearn in talking about Julio Cesar Martinez.

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“He could be massive in Mexico, Martinez. You have to keep him active. I think he’s a little bit crazy as well, so we got to work on that.

“But crazy is good in boxing because you need to be crazy to be good. This guy has a really, really tough fight against [McWilliams] Arroyo. It’s Mexico against Puerto Rico.

“Golden Boy here to upset the applecart, but I really believe he [Rey Martinez] can go up. I don’t believe he’ll be at flyweight too long, but we must get him to unify before he moves up because I feel that would be a waste.

“He’s been a little bit unlucky with a couple of injuries and, of course, with the pandemic. But after this, which is his mandatory, he must try and unify.

“Then I want to see him up. Yeah, [IBF flyweight champion Moruti] Mthalane is a good fight, and then he must move up and move into the Chocolatito, Estrada mix. Imagine him against [Juan Francisco] Estrada? F*** hell,” said Hearn.

WBC flyweight champion Julio Cesar Martinez’s fight against McWilliams Arroyo promises to have fireworks from start to finish. Martinez is a fighter that goes after his opponents from start to finish, and e’s not afraid to get hit.

Arroyo has got the boxing skills, size, and power to make this an interesting fight.

He’s only been beaten three times, and those losses came against excellent fighters in Kuzota Ioka, Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, and Amnat Ruenroeng. Arroyo defeated Carlos Cuadras in 2018, a fight that he dominated.

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