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Canelo Alvarez working on two-fight deal for Yildirim and Saunders on DAZN

Canelo’s team and Eddie Hearn are trying to hammer out the details.

Canelo Alvarez v Daniel Jacobs Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Though Canelo Alvarez would remain a promotional and broadcast free agent otherwise, his team and Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn are working on a two-fight deal for the Mexican superstar, which would include bouts on DAZN in February and May, The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger reported on the weekend.

The first bout, as previously mentioned, would be a fight against WBC super middleweight mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim, likely on Feb. 27 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KO) hasn’t fought in his home country since beating Kermit Cintron in Mexico City in 2011, and hasn’t fought in his hometown since beating Luciano Cuello in 2010. It’s the type of fight that makes sense as a homecoming for Alvarez, 30, and also has to happen because Canelo has no intention of giving up the WBC belt he just won by beating Callum Smith. (The WBC was vacant going into that fight, and Canelo also won the WBA title from Smith.)

The second fight, should Canelo beat Yildirim as would be expected without any trouble, would be a unification in May with WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders, a Matchroom fighter. Saunders (30-0, 14 KO) is coming off of a Dec. 4 win over Martin Murray, and Hearn stressed immediately after the fight that he wanted to keep the 31-year-old active and get him into a major fight. Fights don’t come any more “major” than Canelo.

This would also seemingly scuttle any immediate plans to do Canelo-GGG 3, meaning Gennadiy Golovkin would once again need to find a dance partner. He’s free of mandatories at the moment, having just destroyed Kamil Szeremeta on Dec. 18, and there are good fights for him at 160, possibly a unification with WBO titlist Demetrius Andrade if the sides can come to terms.

This is not a done deal yet, but if it’s going to be one, you could probably expect something pretty soon. The February date for Yildirim is just two months away, so at longest we should know in the next two or three weeks.

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