Canelo Alvarez did what most figured he would do tonight, ripping through a vastly over-matched Avni Yildirim in three rounds to retain the WBC and WBA super middleweight titles, and setting up a May 8 fight with Billy Joe Saunders, which is now official.
Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KO) made short work of Yildirim (21-3, 12 KO), who looked well out of his depth physically and mentally in the ring with arguably boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter. The challenger from Turkey went down in the third round, and his corner stopped the fight after that round, deciding not to send him out for further punishment.
The Saunders fight in May is at least more competitive on paper, a tougher style matchup against a better fighter, but Canelo will be heavily favored there, too. There’s really nobody at 168 he won’t be heavily favored against for the moment, so that goes with the territory, but certainly there are better fights — lots of them — than this one to come.
The fight didn’t leave a lot of room for the pros watching to have a ton to say, but here’s what they had on Twitter:
Man, he realized it’s a lot different from sparring Canelo, I guess...#CaneloYildirim— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) February 28, 2021
Not mad with the outcome, I mean most expected this. Just glad we’ll get to see Canelo again in May, against a more suitable opponent.#CaneloYildirim— Jamel Herring (@JamelHerring) February 28, 2021
Canelo fought a punching bag !!! I’ll stop Yildrim in 1 round !!!!!!!! MIRA @JBALVIN I hope you on the right side— Edgar Berlanga Jr (@EdgarBerlangaJr) February 28, 2021
♂️— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) February 28, 2021
Canelo is a BAD muthafucka. He’s like a created player— Rougarou (@RPrograis) February 28, 2021
Blame the WBC, or whoever had this cat mandatory. Not Canelo— Ishé Oluwa Kamau Ali Smith (@IsheSugarShay) February 28, 2021
Avni really got caught up in the moment. #CaneloYildirim— Mykal(Michael) Fox (@ProfessorMyke) February 28, 2021
What we knew before we stayed up.— Dave Coldwell (@davidcoldwell) February 28, 2021
Canelo came to entertain that’s what he did— Franchón Crews-Dezurn (@TheHHDiva) February 28, 2021
Canelo too good— Isaac Chamberlain (@IChamberlain_) February 28, 2021