Pound-for-pound King Canelo Alvarez will return to the ring just 3 months after his last fight against his WBC Mandatory Challenger Avni Yildirim. Canelo vs Yildirim will take Place February 27 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida where a socially distanced crowd of 14,000 will be available. Texas was initially explored as the venue due to it allowing fans since October but Texas have banned fans for February.
The Hard Rock Stadium is the home of the Miami Dolphins and have hosted crowds upwards of 7,000 since September. The Miami Dolphins -Miami Hurricanes game on the 11th of January hosted 14,000+ and was the final assurance that they could get fans on February 27.
Canelo Alvarez will box Yildirim on DAZN where he has exclusively boxed for his last 4 fights (now a free agent though) and will box again on February 27 and possibly May 8 against Billy Joe Saunders. Canelo-Yildirim will mark the first of a planned very busy year for Canelo where he aims to box 3/4 times.
Canelo aims to conquer the 168-pound division in 2021 and move on to bigger and better things. He has 2 more belts to add to his collection to do that. If he comes through Yildirim in February he may go on to box Saunders on DAZN on Cinco De Mayo weekend.
After that, he may switch platform from DAZN to FOX/Showtime where a fight with IBF Champion Caleb Plant and top-5 super-middleweight David Benavidez could materialise on PPV. David Benavidez comes from Mexican heritage and would be an ideal opponent commercially for Mexican Independence Weekend, although Canelo would like to be undisputed first.
Another obstacle is that if he were to beat Saunders he would immediately be met with a WBO mandatory challenger who he would have to fight to keep his undisputed goal alive.
Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim: Complete Mismatch?
Canelo Alvarez made two huge statements in the boxing world last year. First of all, he split with broadcaster DAZN and long-time Promoter Golden Boy who he had signed an 11-fight 365m deal with. Secondly, he chose to fight number one super-middleweight Callum Smith (28-0) straight away showing his will to want to face the best.
He dominated the tough Brit to win two world titles as well as the Ring Magazine Title in front of 11,000 fans in Texas. He immediately made his intention to become undisputed champion and box regularly clear. He is happy to work with Matchroom Boxing to do so which allows for an unification with WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders.
Canelo has also stated he is willing to work with the PBC to make fights with IBF champion Caleb Plant amongst others. But before he does so, he must face the mandatory challenger for one of the two belts: Avni Yildirim.
Avni Yildirim (21-2) is not considered an elite super-middleweight fighter and is an extremely large underdog going into this. Yildirim has lost twice before. He was stopped by Eubank in just 4 rounds and lost a technical decision to Anthony Dirrell in his last fight. Despite this, he is still mandatory due to the ‘controversial circumstances surrounding the Dirrell defeat’.
Yildirim’s best wins are Ryan Ford, Derek Edwards and Lolenga Mock in Germany who are decent fringe world level contenders but far from the level of Canelo. Most Boxing critics see this as an unfathomable mismatch and predict a Canelo win inside 3 rounds similar to the Fielding win. An upset here would go down as one of if not the biggest upset of all-time.
Canelo Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim: February 27 on DAZN