Last Saturday Canelo Alvarez made his return to the ring against the Turk Avni Yildirim. Alvarez was putting his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles on the line.
Most experts had Alvarez as the heavy favorite coming into this fight, and needless to say that he delivered on all the expectations. Alvarez marched Yildirim down for three rounds.
Alvarez knocked Yildirim down early in the first round and completely dominated every exchange. Yildirim had no choice but to accept Alvarez’s pressure.
Yildirim attempted to pick up some momentum in the third round and pressure Alvarez but he got caught with a lighting quick counter right hand and got knocked down for the third time.
By the end of the third round, Yildirim’s corner had seen enough and decided to pull their fighter out and save him. Alvarez completed the first title defense of his super-middleweight titles.
Immediately after the fight, Matchroom Boxing officially announced that Alvarez would be facing Billy Joe Saunders for the unified super-middleweight titles on May 8.
𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐅𝐑𝐈𝐌𝐄𝐃 👊 #CaneloSaunders
🗓 May 8
👑 WBA, WBC, WBO & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight titles pic.twitter.com/4g30iuWAtt
— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) February 28, 2021
As soon as Alvarez signed his new contract, Eddie Hearn was already confirming that they were eyeing a unified title bout in May after Alvarez vs Yildirim.
In a recent interview with Matchroom Boxing, Saunders said that he’s very confident about his ability to defeat Alvarez and make history on May 8.
“Canelo I’m ready to rock and roll” said Saunders, ” You have to dare to be great and you aren’t going to be great if you don’t beat the greats. I believe I’m the only one with the footwork, knowhow, skillset, mindset and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.”
“He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect, he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the gamelan comes off that I believe works.
“I am looking for the golden ticket to cement my legacy, and that’s how you have to go in the re to beat him. I’ve won everything from Southern Area to World Titles, I could say ‘I’ve won it all, been to the Olympics, I’m unbeaten, I’ll see you later’. But I’ve only turned 31, I’ve got no miles on the clock, haven’t taken any punishment. I believe he’s been in harder fights than me and has more miles, so I want to cement my legacy and beat him.”
Most experts think that Alvarez will be once again the favorite in this fight but Saunders is definitely Alvarez’s toughest challenge at 168lbs.