Canelo Alvarez did about what everyone honest expected tonight in Miami, thrashing Avni Yildirim in three rounds to retain his WBC and WBA super middleweight titles, and setting up a May 8 fight with WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders.
“It’s Canelo against Saunders May 8, venue announced shortly,” said Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn after the fight. “It’s going to be one of the biggest fights of the year.”
Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KO) had his way from the start, easily winning the first two rounds against the tentative Yildirim (21-3, 12 KO), while unleashing hard power shots to the body. Yildirim went down in the third round, but did finish the frame, before it was stopped in the corner after trainer Joel Diaz told the Turkish challenger he would only give him one more round. The team decided instead to go no more rounds.
Here’s the bit of highlights we had:
The moment that secured the win for Canelo pic.twitter.com/mxofve7qMj— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 28, 2021
Yildirim took a lot of post-fight heat from the DAZN team, which was arguably unfair. He was about a 15-to-1 underdog and those odds were frankly generous and designed merely to drive money. He’s not a top 10 super middleweight, and he was no match for Canelo on paper or in the ring.
Expected to be aggressive, Yildirim instead offered nothing, really, and Canelo just took him apart. The march is now on to further unification at 168 pounds.
“I come here to do my job, I come to win, and I come to make history,” Alvarez said through a translator after the fight. “I feel strong, fast, and comfortable (at 168). I’ll fight anyone. I always fight the best. It doesn’t matter. I had to fight against Yildirim (as mandatory) to (go on to) unify 168.”
So Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KO) is next as expected. That’s a much more intriguing fight than this one. Who ya got on May 8?