By: Hans Themistode
As expected, WBA, WBC and Ring magazine super middleweight belt holder Canelo Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) has agreed to terms with Matchroom Boxing for a February 27th, mandated title defense against Avni Yildirim at The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Florida.
Reports of the deal began to surface several weeks ago as promoter Eddie Hearn attempted desperately to keep the pound for pound star on the DAZN platform after the pairs recent publicized split. While the entirety of the deal has not yet been revealed, there is a belief that should Alvarez win his showdown against Yildirim, that he would then move on to a unification bout against WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders in May.
For Alvarez, the quick turnaround will serve as a makeup for lost time. During a 2020 that was filled with a global pandemic, postponed events and a messy legal battle with former promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions as well as DAZN, Alvarez stepped into the ring just once. While his appearances were few and far between, the Mexican native made the most of it as he dismantled former super middleweight belt holder Callum Smith.
As for Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs), his bout with Alvarez will be his first in two years. The Turkish contender was last seen on February 23rd, 2019 against former titlist Anthony Dirrell. The 29-year-old would see his first bid at a world title dashed away from him as he suffered a close technical decision loss on the night.