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Canelo Alvarez successfully defended his WBC and WBA super-middleweight belts Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium against Avni Yildirim. At the end of the third round, Yildirim’s corner threw in the town to end the fight.
Alvarez gave Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn confirmation of his intentions to face off next with WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders in a unification fight on May 8. The location of the bout has not been determined.
With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the stadium’s audience capacity for the fight was capped at 15,000. Alvarez speaking through an interpreter, spoke to the crowd, saying:
I wanted to have a great fight here, I needed to knock him out, and that’s what I did. That’s what I had to do.
Alvarez brought the fight to Yildirim for all three rounds. He threw over-head hooks against Yildirim’s highly held guard along with heavy body shots. Yildirim is more than just an average fighter, but Alvarez displayed a planned strategy by which he made the bout against Yildirim appear amateurish.
Yildirim has 21-wins, 3-losses, and 12 KOs made it through all three rounds, but his trainer Joel Diaz was not happy with his fighter’s lackluster performance. Diaz told Yildirim that he was going to give him one more round to show him something.
In round three, Alvarez knocked Yildirim down with a straight right hand to the face. Yildirim got back up to finish the round but his trainer Diaz threw in the towel ending the fight.
Alvarez has defended two of the four belts in the 168-pound division. His next scheduled fight will be in May against Saunders, giving him a shot at the third title. This fight with Saunders brings Alvarez a step closer to becoming the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.
Alvarez, in a post-fight interview, stated:
I want to make history, I want to be one of the best in the world.
Written by Omari Jahi
ESPN: Canelo Alvarez dominates Avni Yildirim by third-round TKO as corner throws in the towel, Ben Baby
The Guardian: Canelo Álvarez subdues Avni Yıldırım then announces Billy Joe Saunders fight,
CBS Sports: Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim fight results: Alvarez overwhelms foe for easy TKO to retain titles, Brian Campbell
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