Canelo Alvarez Takes On Avni Yildirim On February 27th At The Hard Rock Stadium In Miami Florida
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.
Bernard Hopkins On Canelo Alvarez: “There’s One Fighter I Want To See Him Fight, Jermall Charlo”
By: Hans Themistode
David Benavidez? Nope. Caleb Plant? Nope. Demetrius Andrade? Nope. Billy Joe Saunders? Nope? Not even a third contest with Gennadiy Golovkin would truly pique Bernard Hopkin’s interest. If it was up to the newly inducted hall of famer, only one fighter’s name should be mentioned above all others in terms of who Canelo Alvarez should face next.
“There’s one fighter I want to see him fight, Jermall Charlo,” said Hopkins during an interview with FightHype. “Nothing else matters to me right now.”
For the former multiple division belt holder, he’s still getting used to life without Alvarez. For years the pound-for-pound star was represented by Golden Boy Promotions, a company Hopkins is apart of. Although Hopkins helped Alvarez and the promotional company in its efforts in making some of the biggest fights possible for Alvarez, a showdown with WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo never came to fruition.
Now, even with both sides no longer working with one another, Hopkins would still love for both fighters to face one another in the ring.
“I wanted that fight before the Golden Boy split. I want that fight now, I want that fight in the next year and a half or earlier. The reason I say a year and a half is not because neither guy isn’t ready but it’s because of the politics. The politics have to get on the same page first and then the fight happens. Hopefully, the politics don’t take too long between both sides.”
While Alvarez has received universal praise for what he has accomplished across multiple weight classes, Hopkins views Charlo as a legitimate threat. At one point, a showdown between them simply boiled down to the negotiating table, however, with Alvarez officially stating that he will campaign solely at super middleweight, one weight class above Charlo, a showdown between them appears to be a long shot.
With that said, the Houston native has indicated that he would be willing to chase Alvarez to super middleweight or even higher if need be. If the words of the 30-year-old Charlo ring true, then Hopkins would be glued to his seat from the opening bell.
In terms of who would have the advantage in the ring, Hopkins pauses and thinks for a moment before ultimately giving his answer.
“On paper, you have to give the razor edge to Canelo. This fight is so even. The experience has to go to Canelo, the achievements up until now have to go to Canelo.”
Mikey Garcia On Errol Spence Jr. Wanting To Face Canelo: “I Think Canelo Stops Him”
By: Hans Themistode
Former four-division world champion Mikey Garcia knows good and well just how skilled Errol Spence Jr. is. After all, the 33-year-old was handed his first defeat at the hands of Spence Jr. in March of 2019.
Still, even with Garcia losing every single round of their contest, the California native believes it would be a grave mistake should he decide to move up in weight to face Canelo Alvarez.
“Canelo beats Spence,” said Garcia during an interview with Fight Hype. “He probably would even stop him.”
Recently, Spence Jr. has floated around the idea of jumping up two weight classes in order to face the pound-for-pound star. Ironically enough, Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) was told a similar fate would be awaiting him when his showdown with Spence Jr. was finalized.
While Garcia was officially a belt holder at 140 pounds, he made his name and spent several years campaigning at 135 pounds. That, however, didn’t change his ambitions of chasing a bigger man in Spence Jr. On what was a forgettable night for Garcia, the multiple-time belt holder had difficulty dealing with the power, reach and overall boxing ability of Spence Jr.
With the unified welterweight titlist currently mulling the idea of moving up two weight divisions himself, Garcia doesn’t view it as a sagacious move. In fact, he believes Spence Jr. will succumb to a brutal ending.
“Canelo is too big and too strong. Spence is a big dude but he’s still a welterweight. Canelo is a huge dude and I think he stops him.”
As for Garcia, he’s closing in on a year outside of the ring. The California resident was last seen in February of 2020 dismantling former two-division belt holder Jessie Vargas.
Recent photos of the former champion have shown him to be a bit on the plump side as if late. Regardless of the few extra pounds though, he not only believes that he’s ready to return to the ring but he knows exactly who he wants next.
“I took too much time off. It’s time to get back. I got too fat so I gotta lose some weight. I want Manny Pacquiao then a rematch with Errol Spence.”
Eddy Reynoso: “Saul Has Been Fighting Better Fighters Than Terence Crawford”
By: Hans Themistode
There’s been a bit of a debate taking place amongst boxing fans, pundits and even boxers themselves. Depending on whom is asked, the question of who is the best fighter pound for pound will generate a different answer.
For the most part, there are two names at the top of the list. Canelo Alvarez would be one and the other is current WBO welterweight belt holder Terence Crawford. Although the three-division titlist has been lauded for his skills in the ring, trainer/manager of Alvarez in Eddy Reynoso believes that in terms of competition and overall accomplishments, Alvarez should be given the nod over him every single time.
“Saul has been fighting better fighters than Terence Crawford, and that’s what really counts,” said Reynoso to boxingscene.com. “Crawford has not yet accomplished what Canelo has.”
The aforementioned accomplishments of Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) took another step forward following his latest victory. Just a few short weeks ago, the Mexican native picked up another world title. This time, at the expense of previously undefeated Callum Smith. In front of a socially distanced crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas, Alvarez stripped Smith of both his WBA and Ring magazine super-middleweight titles in dominant fashion.
It’s wins such as those, coupled with his victories in three separate weight classes over the course of one calendar year, that has Reynoso scratching his head whenever Alvarez isn’t listed as the number one pound for pound fighter in the world.
If given a truth serum however, Reynoso believes that even the most devoted opposers of Alvarez would have no choice but to acknowledge him as the best fighter in the world.
“Saul is accomplishing feats that no one else has had before in boxing. He’s cemented his career and legacy. That’s why he’s the best, pound for pound. The politics of anti-Canelo people is the reason why he’s not No. 1 on some lists. If anti-Canelo people were to vote with their guts, I would acknowledge it.”
Billy Joe Saunders Wants Demetrius Andrade Before Canelo: “I Swear To God On My Kid’s Life I Am Extremely Confident Of Knocking Him Out Cold”
By: Hans Themistode
Billy Joe Saunders won’t allow Canelo Alvarez to pull a fast one on him.
While Saunders is happy as can be to be near the top of the Mexican star’s wishlist, he realizes that he won’t be first in line. That, of course, will more than likely go to WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February. Should Alvarez do what many are expecting which is to walk right through his man, then Saunders will place his WBO super middleweight title on the line against Alvarez in May.
With Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) screaming for a showdown with Alvarez for years now, he appears on his way to having his wish granted. Still, even with the biggest contest of his career staring him square in the face, he won’t allow it to distract him from the sneaky move Alvarez is attempting to pull.
“I’m not sitting around waiting until May,” explained Saunders during an interview with IFL TV. “It’s just too long. He’s fighting in February so I want to fight in February or the first week of March, something like that. I can’t just let him fight, get into a camp and then roll straight over into another camp. It’s a clever move from them but I want to be out there as well. If he thinks I’m going to be just sitting around until May twiddling my thumbs he’s got another thing coming.”
Although the 31-year-old Saunders is coming off the heels of a one-sided victory against Martin Murray in early December, he simply won’t allow any rust to pile up as he waits on the sidelines for Alvarez to take care of business in February. Choosing an opponent for the British product isn’t the most difficult thing in the world. However, facing any run of the mill fighter would do nothing to prepare him for the challenge that Alvarez presents.
Nevertheless, he does have one person in mind who would be the perfect opponent.
“(Demetrius) Andrade vacate the world 160 title. Move up and tell the WBO that you’re moving up and we can get it on. Vacate, move up and you’re mandatory. Let’s rock and roll. The winner of us fights Canelo.”
A matchup between Andrade and Saunders is one that has floated about for quite some time. In October of 2018, after coming to terms on a fight agreement, their showdown went by the wayside as Saunders failed a pre-fight drug test.
Since then, Andrade (29-0, 18 KOs) has attempted to rekindle their original fight agreement. Saunders, to his credit, has always expressed a willingness to face the unbeaten southpaw.
To most observers, a possible showdown between them is a virtual coin flip. The notion however, that their contest would be competitive, is laughable to Saunders.
In fact, the once smiling face of the two-division titlist appears dead serious when discussing the severity of the beating he would dish out to his possible future opponent.
“I swear to God on my kid’s life. I am extremely confident of knocking him out cold – I love boxing southpaws, I love boxing someone with his style, I have a very good track record against southpaws. Eddie Hearn, make the fight.”
Canelo Alvarez On Possible Third Showdown Against Gennadiy Golovkin: “I Could Do Some Serious Damage”
By: Hans Themistode
According to Canelo Alvarez, the timing is all wrong for Gennadiy Golovkin.
For years now, the long-standing middleweight champion has dished out beating after cruel beating. Marred faces after brutal combinations, along with bloody knockout wins are spewed across Golovkin’s career highlight reels.
Having shared the ring with him on two occasions, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) knows good and well just how dangerous Golovkin is. Or, at least was.
With back to back contests taking place in 2017 and 2018 respectively, Alvarez doesn’t view Golovkin in the same light as he once did. Pair those thoughts with the pound for pound star coming into his own, leads him to believe that only one detrimental outcome will occur should they face off one final time.
“I feel like I’m at my peak,” said Alvarez during a recent interview with Ring Magazine. ” If it happens a third time, I feel so good that I could most likely knock him out and do some serious damage.”
For the Mexican superstar, he’s seemingly put Golovkin in his rearview mirror. Immediately following his 2018 win over him, Alvarez has jumped from weight class to weight class.
In December of 2018, Alvarez bulldozed Rocky Fielding via third round stoppage in his first bout at super middleweight. From there, he made one last cameo at middleweight, defeating Daniel Jacobs before stopping Sergey Kovalev in his lone appearance at light heavyweight. Now, the 30-year-old Alvarez has settled in at super middleweight, capturing the WBA/Ring magazine titles from Callum Smith in a one-sided performance just a few weeks ago.
As for Golovkin, he’s gone on to win three straight. The Kazakhstan product took care of business against Steve Rolls mid 2019. He then followed that up with a close decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Most recently, Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) took on mandatory challenger Kamil Szeremeta. As expected, Golovkin handed him a beating of a lifetime, dropping his virtually unknown opponent four times before the referee mercifully ended the onslaught in the seventh.
With the win, rumors of the two facing each other for a third time began circulating. But while the hand of Alvarez was raised in their second contest, their first encounter ended in a controversial draw. With that said, the pound for pound star could care less what the official outcome was. To Alvarez, their rivalry was one-sided.
“I don’t have to prove anything to anyone,” said Alvarez. “I did my job already by beating him twice.”
Ryan Garcia Pays Homage To Canelo Alvarez: “I Wouldn’t Be As Good As I Am If I Didn’t Have You”
By: Hans Themistode
Long before Canelo Alvarez claimed a spot in his boxing life, lightweight contender Ryan Garcia was already making a name for himself.
The California native was followed by millions on his social media platforms for numerous reasons. His looks, of course, drew attention. But so did his boxing skills. Yet, for whatever reason, Garcia seemingly plateaued in 2018.
With a majority decision win against Carlos Morales, Garcia decided it was time to make a change, bringing in 2019 trainer of the year Eddy Reynoso. For two years the pair, along with Canelo Alvarez, worked closely together.
Results showed immediately as Garcia scored knockout after knockout win. In his latest ring appearance, Garcia pulled himself up off the deck against 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell to stop his man in the seventh. Following the win, Garcia was elated that he was able to overcome such adversity.
The praise he’s received for his monumental win has been nonstop. But while he appreciates all of the pats on the back, Garcia took the time to pay homage to the orchestrator of his career turn around.
“I wouldn’t be as good as I am if I didn’t have you,” said Garcia to Alvarez after his stoppage victory. “You inspire me.”
For Garcia, the deleterious body shot he landed that folded Campbell may have come as a surprise to many, but for both Garcia and Alvarez, that very shot was planned and expected.
With Alvarez fresh off his own one-sided victory against Callum Smith on December 19th, Garcia was given a chance to not only watch the pound for pound star during his training camp but pick his brain as well.
Garcia proved to be a quick learner as he used those tips in the seventh to score the highlight reel finish.
For Garcia, the win over Campbell allowed him to prove he is in fact on his way to stardom. For years the 22-year-old has been accused of overhyping himself without actually earning it in the ring. Now, with the first big-name scalp on his resume, the California native believes he’s ready for them all.
“Let’s go Tank (Gervonta Davis), Let’s go. I’m ready,” said Garcia during a post fight interview with Chris Mannix. “Shout out Devin Haney, I wanna fight him too. I wanna fight everybody.”
Eddy Reynoso Adamant That Canelo Alvarez Is Staying At Super Middleweight: “This Is His Weight”
By: Hans Themistode
If Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, or any other middleweight hopeful wants to face Canelo Alvarez, they’ll have to do so eight pounds north.
After fluctuating between middleweight and light heavyweight, Alvarez has officially settled at a weight class right in between both, super middleweight.
“He is 168 now. It is his prime weight,” said Alvarez’s trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso during an interview with boxingscene.com. “This is his weight.”
To further reinforce Reynoso’s words that Alvarez will in fact stick around in the super middleweight division, the former four-division champion officially dropped his WBA middleweight championship. A title he held since ending the title reign of Gennadiy Golovkin in late 2018.
Immediately following the win, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) began experimenting with his weight. The Mexican superstar dipped his toes in the super middleweight division and by all accounts, he enjoyed it. In December of 2018, Alvarez scored a quick third-round stoppage win against Rocky Fielding, lifting his WBA world title in the process.
While he claimed that he felt great at the weight, Alvarez opted to move back down six months later, scoring a unanimous decision victory against Daniel Jacobs and adding his IBF middleweight title to his collection.
From there, Alvarez figured that if he could make the trek eight pounds north, then he could make an even bigger leap. This time, 15 pounds higher to land him in the light heavyweight division. After nabbing Sergey Kovalev’s WBO title via 11th round stoppage, he would drop down again to the super middleweight division. Just a few short weeks ago, the Mexican native would outclass former WBA/Ring magazine 168-pound titlist Callum Smith.
Alvarez, 30, may have found success competing in several weight classes, but he has also become the target of several notable names spanning across numerous divisions. The likes of WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo, WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and even unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. have called for their shot against Alvarez.
Regardless of the perpetual call outs, Reynoso has no issue with whomever Alvarez faces. The 2019 trainer of the year has only one demand for anyone who wants to take on his pound for pound star.
“Anyone who wants to fight Canelo will have to meet us (at super middleweight). He’s not giving away any more of his prime. It is where he feels strongest.”
Bernard Hopkins Backs Canelo In Possible Errol Spence Jr. Showdown: “I Don’t Think Spence Understands On That Level Yet”
By: Hans Themistode
Bernard Hopkins has a ton of respect for unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr.
However, with the Dallas product stating on several occasions that he would love a matchup with four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez, who currently resides three weight classes above him, Hopkins believes he’s lost his mind.
“I like Canelo in that fight,” said Hopkins during a recent interview with Fight Hub TV. “Spence is not a huge guy. Errol Spence can fight but he’s going to have to be a little puncher to be able to get the respect from Canelo.”
Throughout the eight-year career of Spence Jr., the powerful southpaw has faced a litany of well-established fighters. From his 11th round stoppage win over Kell Brook to his decision victory over Shawn Porter, Spence Jr. has established himself as one of the best fighters not only in the welterweight division, but pound for pound.
Most recently, Spence Jr. put to bed any questions surrounding his horrific car crash in October of 2019 with a one-sided beating against Danny Garcia just a few weeks ago. With the win, the Dallas product claimed the scalp of his sixth-former champion. Still, even with success in both the pros and as a 2012 Olympian, Hopkins doesn’t believe that he’ll have the skill or physical ability to win.
“I don’t think Spence understands on that level yet. He can’t keep him off him man.”
Throughout the history of boxing, size hasn’t always been the key ingredient to winning a fight. Recently elected hall of famer in Floyd Mayweather beat several fighters who were much bigger than he was. Eight division champion Manny Pacquiao made a career out of beating larger men. In 2003, Roy Jones Jr. famously moved up from the light heavyweight to take on then heavyweight champion Jon Ruiz, giving up roughly 30 pounds. But while those aforementioned names were success stories, Hopkins believes that there is a difference between what Errol Spence Jr. is attempting to do and what his predecessors did.
“Skills,” explained Hopkins. “I don’t mind fighting a big guy if he don’t got any skills. I’ll get him tired and then beat him. But if he got skills and he’s been walking around comfortable, been in that position and you just walking right into that? Man, there must be something that I’m missing.”
Tim Bradley: “I Think Spence Just Wants To Get The money And Leave The Game”
By: Hans Themistode
Errol Spence Jr. and Terence Crawford have been dancing around each other for years now. Most of the world has the pair ranked at the very top of the welterweight division. Deciding who is the better all-around fighter is a question that has yet to be answered, and by all accounts, it doesn’t seem as though we’ll find out anytime soon.
Recently, Spence Jr. has made expressed a desire to jump up two or three weight classes to take on four-division titlist Canelo Alvarez.
While many have viewed Spence Jr.’s ambitions as brazen, former two-division champion Tim Bradley views his desire to do so as money-hungry.
“Why would go up and face Canelo but you won’t face Terence Crawford in the same weight class as you?” Said Bradley during a recent discussion with Andre Ward, Mark Kriegel and Joe Tessitore. “That’s a money thing for him.”
In the case of Alvarez, the Mexican superstar is viewed by many as the number one fighter in the world. He’s also considered the sport’s number one attraction, routinely raking in tens of millions of dollars for each appearance in the ring.
In his most recent bout which took place last week against former WBA/Ring magazine super-middleweight champion Callum Smith, Alvarez reportedly pulled in north of 20 million for his one-sided victory. In September of 2018, Alvarez signed a 10 fight, 350 million dollar deal with DAZN. Although their contract has since been terminated, Alvarez continues to see lucrative offers, including a three-fight deal worth $75 million from Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) earlier this year.
With a career-high payday likely if he were to secure a showdown with Alvarez, although Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) is only 30 years of age, Bradley believes that the Dallas product simply wants to load up his duffle bag with cash and exit stage left.
“I think that Spence is at a point now and correct me if I’m wrong but I think he just wants to get the money and leave the game.”
For Bradley, a matchup between Spence Jr. and Crawford is one that he fantasizes about but doesn’t expect to happen. One constant issue that has prevented the two from fighting one another is Spence Jr.’s association with PBC and Crawford’s alignment with Top Rank. With that said, Crawford is currently under contract with Top Rank for only one more year. A possible landing spot for Crawford once his contract does expire is PBC.
Still, even if Crawford were to sign on the dotted line with the same promotional outfit as Spence Jr., Bradley still won’t get his hopes up.
“He has no intentions of fighting Terence Crawford. Even if Terence Crawford was to jump ship and go over there to PBC, I still don’t see the fight happening.”
Caleb Plant On Canelo Alvarez In The Super Middleweight Division: “It’s Not Big Enough For Both Of Us”
By: Hans Themistode
At the moment, the super middleweight division occupies over 1,500 boxers. Several of them are contenders, a handful are champions and a select few are at the very top of the weight class. No matter the rankings, each 168 pounder is given their own time to shine.
Yet, even with a wide variety of names associated with the division, IBF belt holder Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) is under the impression that there just isn’t enough room at the top of the mountain top for both himself and unified champion Canelo Alvarez.
“It’s not big enough for both of us,” said Plant to Brian Kenny during a recent interview. “At some point, we’re going to have to get this figured out.”
If it were up to Plant, determining who is the best in the division between the pair, is a question that would have been answered roughly one week ago. Before Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) opted to take on former WBA/Ring magazine super middleweight titlist Callum Smith on December 19th, Plant was seemingly in the driver’s seat for a showdown with Alvarez.
The former four-division champion attempted to negotiate with Plant’s representatives to bring forth a matchup between them. However, talks broke down for a variety of reasons which forced Alvarez to head towards a contest with Smith.
Despite giving up several inches in both height and reach, Alvarez handed smith a one-sided thrashing. At the moment, team Canelo is negotiating terms with promoter Eddie Hearn on a two fight deal that would see the Mexican product face-off against Avni Yildirim and WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders.
Regardless of Alvarez heading in another direction, Plant still firmly wants their contest to come to fruition. Not only does the 28-year-old view their showdown as inevitable, but the undefeated belt holder also believes that when they do matchup, a victory is predestined.
“I know that’s a fight that me and him both want. At some point me and Canelo are going to get in there and do our thing. We will have our showdown and when we do, I can promise you it’s going to be fireworks. I think Canelo is a great fighter but I feel like I have all the tools and the weapons to beat him. I will get my hand raised when we fight, I can assure you that.”
For years now, Alvarez has found himself constantly called out from fighters residing in various divisions for a multitude of reasons. For starters, Alvarez is considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world by most. Not only would a win over the former four-division titlist elevate his successor’s name value, but a showdown against him, win or lose, fattens the wallets of whomever he faces.
While the record-setting payday is something that he would thoroughly enjoy, Plant isn’t worried about how many zero’s are at the end of his paycheck.
“This isn’t about money for me. It’s about legacy and respect. I want to cement my legacy.”
A showdown with Alvarez might be what he craves most, but at the moment, Plant is focused on someone else entirely.
On January 30th, Plant will look to defend his title against former belt holder Caleb Truax. Regardless of the outside noise surrounding a potential matchup with Alvarez, Plant is looking forward to defending his title. In doing so, the Nashville Tennessee, native believes that despite how good he’s looked in past fights, come January 30th, he will look like a completely different animal.
“I just keep getting better and better. Come next fight, I can assure you this will be the best Caleb Plant that you’ve seen yet.”
Team Canelo And Eddie Hearn Are Reportedly Hammering Out A Two Fight Deal Which Would Include Bouts Against Avni Yildirim And Billy Joe Saunders
By: Hans Themistode
After spending most of 2020 without much direction, it appears Canelo Alvarez is already mapping out his 2021 campaign.
According to sources close to the situation, trainer/manager of Alvarez in Eddy Reynoso, along with promoter Eddie Hearn, are working behind the scenes on a two-fight deal. The likely opponents would be WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in late February in Guadalajara Mexico, the hometown of Alvarez. Should he win, he would then face WBO super middleweight belt holder Billy Joe Saunders.
If a deal is agreed upon, that would leave Alvarez with the opportunity to fight three times in 2021 after only stepping into the ring once in 2020.
For Alvarez, most of his year was embroiled in a messy legal battle with former promoter Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions as well as streaming company DAZN. After taking both parties to court, Alvarez was released from his Golden Boy contract. His then record-setting 365 million 11 fight deal with DAZN was also null and void.
Still, even with acrimony building, Alvarez returned to the streaming outlet in his next contest, a one-sided beating against former WBA/Ring magazine super middleweight champion Callum Smith. With team Alvarez bullish on their relationship with Hearn and ecstatic with how production took place behind the scenes with DAZN, team Alvarez is exploring ways to continue their relationship.
If the 29-year-old Yildirim is chosen to face Alvarez, it will have been two years since he was last seen inside of the ring. In February of 2019, Yildirim came up just short in his first bid to win a world title against Anthony Dirrell. After suffering a cut above his left eye in the seventh due to a clash of heads, Dirrell was deemed unable to continue in the tenth as blood spewed profusely. Unfortunately for Yildirim, he was given the short end of the stick as he was handed the second defeat of his career via split decision.
Despite the loss and two failed drug tests immediately after, Yildirim’s standing in the WBC was unchanged as he currently holds the second spot in the sanctioning body.
Yildirim will undoubtedly be the prohibited underdog against the pound-for-pound star. Should Alvarez do what many are expecting, WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders will also walk into a contest against Alvarez with the oddsmakers against him.
Before reports of Saunders entering the Canelo Alvarez sweepstakes, the British native appeared to be eyeing a showdown with middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade. That of course, will take a backseat should team Alvarez agree to terms with Hearn.
Abel Sanchez: “The Only Guy I Think Can Give Canelo Fits Is David Benavidez, Probably The Best Sparring I Ever Had For Golovkin”
By: Hans Themistode
After fighting at middleweight for several years and outside of making a brief, yet successful cameo at light heavyweight, Canelo Alvarez has officially found a home at 168 pounds.
The four-division titlist made his latest ring appearance this past weekend as he handed previously undefeated Callum Smith a one-sided beating. The win for Alvarez not only netted him the WBC/Ring magazine titles, but it also reinforced the belief of trainer Abel Sanchez that Canelo Alvarez will go virtually unmatched in his new division.
Whether it’s a possible showdown with IBF titlist Caleb Plant or a contest against WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders, Sanchez will consistently back Alvarez. However, there is someone out there who he does believe could and would give the pound for pound star all that he could handle.
“There’s only one guy at that weight that can get an upset against Canelo,” said Sanchez on Fight Hub TV. “That’s a young man named David Benavidez. That is the cream of the crop at that weight right there other than Canelo. The only guy that I think can give Canelo fits is David Benavidez.”
The thoughts of Sanchez don’t simply come from an outsider’s perspective. As the former trainer of IBF middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin, Sanchez was given a close look at what the now 24-year-old was capable of. While Golovkin is best known for destroying his competition, his preparation in large part was aided by a young Benavidez.
“I had him in camp sparring with Golovkin at a very young age. Probably the best sparring I ever had for Golovkin and this young man was still an amateur. Was three or four years from turning pro. I’ve seen him spar with guys at the Wild Card Gym, seasoned guys and it was easy for him. If he was doing that back then, imagine now. He’s a much better fighter today.”
Sanchez, of course, cornered Golovkin in back to back fights against Alvarez. A controversial draw in 2017 and a more definitive split decision loss, the first of Golovkin’s career. While Sanchez was once hesitant to name Alvarez as the best fighter in the world several years ago, now however, he has no issue stating that the Mexican product is in fact on top of his pound-for-pound charts.
Still, his high placement in the mind of Sanchez doesn’t mean he’s unbeatable. It would simply take a special fighter to do so. A description he believes Benavidez fits perfectly.
“I think Benavidez gives anybody that he fights fits. Not just because of his defensive ability but he’s able to switch gears so easily. He’ll lay on the ropes and mess around. All of a sudden he’ll put it in another gear and he’ll become a different fighter. He’s the only fighter I believe could give Canelo real problems.”
David Benavidez: “Callum Looked Gassed, I Will Get Through Anybody To Get To Canelo”
By: Hans Themistode
While he tried his best, former WBA/Ring magazine titlist Callum Smith was simply no match for Canelo Alvarez this past weekend at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Through 12 one-sided rounds, Smith fell flat as he forfeited his titles to the Mexican superstar.
For the most, Smith was praised for withstanding the beating Alvarez dished out for the entirety of their contest. In the case of former WBC belt holder David Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) however, nothing Smith did impressed him.
“Callum looked gassed in the third round,” said Benavidez on his social media account. “He looked weak as fuck the whole fight.”
The game plan which Smith deployed on the night, was a stark difference from the one he detailed before their showdown. Smith, 30, was under the impression that he could hold his ground with the much smaller Alvarez and dictate the pace. Regardless of Smith believing he would be the stronger man, the Mexican native proved to be far too much in virtually every category.
Throwing salt on his fresh wound isn’t something that Benavidez enjoy’s. But he did make it clear that the constant retreating by Smith is something that would be the complete opposite if and when he gets his opportunity.
“I guarantee to make it a war and not run around the ring for 12 rounds like Callum.”
For Benavidez, a showdown with Alvarez is exactly what he is hoping for. With that being said, so is the rest of the super middleweight division. And the middleweight division. And, although he has only fought there once, several champions in the light heavyweight division want their crack at him as well.
Still, even with the seemingly endless names ahead of him awaiting their turn for a shot at Alvarez, the 24-year-old Benavidez has no issue waiting. Whether it’s a showdown with Caleb Plant, Callum Smith or even Jermall Charlo – Benavidez is steadfast in his belief that he will bulldoze the competition in order to get to the front of the line.
“I will get through anybody to get to Canelo if that’s what needs to be done. I’ll be ready when my opportunity comes. It don’t matter who in front of me. I will make them all bend the knee.”
Who Should Canelo Alvarez Face Next?
By: Hans Themistode
Before Canelo Alvarez is given the opportunity to sit back and enjoy the fruits of labor, he is immediately bombarded with the same tiresome questions.
After ripping away both the WBA and Ring magazine super middleweight titles from British native Callum Smith, Canelo Alvarez has a long line of competitors claiming to be the only one suitable to knock the Mexican product off his high horse. While Alvarez has spent the past two years campaigning in three separate weight classes, there simply isn’t a clear cut choice in terms of someone who would be favored to take him down.
With that being said, we’ve done our best to put together the three best options for the four division titlist to mull over for his next ring appearance.
Squeezing back down to the middleweight division seems a bit unlikely for Alvarez at this point in time. But that doesn’t mean he can’t or won’t look to head eight pounds south in the near future. If he does, the obvious name for him to face would be long time rival Gennadiy Golovkin. With two unbelievably close contests already in the books, a third would close the chapter between the two once and for all.
With that being said, at the age of 38, while he’s still great, Golovkin simply isn’t what he used to be. A matchup between the pair would more than likely result in one way traffic in favor of Alvarez. Should he take on WBC titlist Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) however, the results would be something else entirely. For Houston’s Charlo, he dwarfs Alvarez and has the sort of punching power that may deter him from bulldozing right in.
It’s a matchup that Alvarez would still be favored in, but still, Charlo would give him one helluva fight.
Just a few weeks ago, this wouldn’t have been on this list as the two were close to finalizing an agreement to face off. Yet, things fell through due to various reasons. Sure Alvarez just made easy work of the much bigger Callum Smith, but in facing Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) he would present the pound for pound star with different problems entirely.
When it comes to the 168-pound landscape, former two time world champion David Benavidez is thought to be the biggest threat to Alvarez. Yet, that just isn’t the case. The 24 year old undoubtedly has fast hands and huge power but he’s slow on his feet and comes straight ahead. Stylistically, those sorts of fighters have been easy pickings for Alvarez.
In the case of Plant, he’s much more in the mold of an Erislandy Lara, a pure boxer who gave Alvarez all sorts of trouble when the two met in 2014. Granted, Alvarez is a much different fighter now, but still, coming straight ahead against a counter puncher as good as Alvarez just doesn’t seem like the way to beat him.
Canelo Alvarez has never had an issue facing men who were bigger and stronger than he was. But, when it comes to unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev – he’s much bigger and much stronger then anyone Alvarez has ever faced.
In short, Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs) has frightening power. When previously discussing David Benavidez and his tailor-made game for Alvarez, Beterbiev would fight him in the same manor. The difference however, is that Beterbiev isn’t the sort of fighter you want to sit in the pocket with and exchange punches with.
While this would quite possibly be the toughest fight of his career, Alvarez has already reiterated that the super middleweight division is where he feels the most comfortable. With that being said, team Canelo has also expressed a desire to face the best, and in terms of Artur Beterbiev, there gets no better than him.