Canelo Alvarez has his next fight 100 percent official and set, as it was announced today that he will defend his WBC and WBA super middleweight titles against WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim on Saturday, Feb. 27, streaming live on DAZN.
Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KO) won the WBC and WBA titles in December, beating Callum Smith to take the WBA and claim the vacant WBC. Yildirim (21-2, 12 KO) has been mandatory challenger for some time, and was ordered to face Canelo last year for the vacant title, but instead the WBC allowed Canelo-Smith, with Yildirim in place to face the winner.
This is a fight that has to be done, as Alvarez aims to fully unify at 168 pounds in 2021. A win here likely sets him up for a May 8 fight against Billy Joe Saunders, who holds the WBO title, and then later in the year he could target the IBF belt, currently held by Caleb Plant.
“Avni Yildirim is a good boxer and I know we will put on an exciting fight,” said Canelo. “I’m very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained.”
“I am honored as a mandatory to fight again for the big green belt – thank you to everyone who is involved,” said Yildirim. “I always give my all – and everybody should be ready to see a war. I am coming to make my country proud – I am representing the whole of Turkey.”
Canelo-Yildirim will take place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., and the event will be promoted by Matchroom Boxing, meaning some of their talent should fill out the undercard, which will be announced soon, one would figure, given we’re five weeks away from this.