Canelo Alvarez runs through Avni Yildirim like a knife through butter!
As most expected WBA super and WBC super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KO’s) won his latest contest in leisurely fashion. Following three rounds of one-sided domination, he forced Avni “Mr. Robot” Yildirim (21-3, 12 KO’s) to retire on the stool. Not surprisingly the build-up for this prizefight was remarkably bland.
That is largely due to Yildirim being the WBC mandatory challenger even though he lost his previous fight to former champion Anthony Dirrell in February 2019. Furthermore, he was on a more than a two-year layoff!
Mr. Robot is far from one of the leading names in the sport or even the division. Rather than face the Turkish pugilist fans and most in the media would have preferred the redhead dance with a fellow a champion or at least another marque name. Instead the boxing world was presented this far less appealing dust-up.
To Yildirim’s credit, the loss to Dirrell, was mired in controversy as the fight was prematurely halted due to a cut in the tenth round. Since the cut came from an accidental hit and the fight was beyond the fourth round, a decision was made based on the judges scorecards. Some fans thought the Turkish fighter was on his way to victory but two of the judges felt otherwise.
The result was a technical decision in Dirrell’s favor.
Meanwhile, WBC felt Yildirim was short changed and awarded him the mandatory challenger designation for an indefinite period of time. Sadly, the strategic positioning did little else than get the “C-level” fighter beat down on a grand stage.
Canelo entered the bout just three months after trouncing Callum “Mundo” Smith in the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. With the brutal win he commandeered Smith’s WBA super title and declared that he would unify all the belts at super middleweight.
ANNIHILATION IN MIAMI
Normally an aggressive fighter, Yildirim bucked the assumption of most by beginning the bout in very laidback fashion. Instead of going after Canelo with ferocity he shelled up and followed the champ around the ring. Left with few options, Alvarez was forced to thread shots around his elbows and through his guard. The champion enjoyed greater success in the second round, especially in regards to his compact uppercut.
Things rapidly went from bad to worse for Yildirim in the third period. Sticking to his high guard defense and little else, Mr. Robot gave Canelo free reign to land bombs at will. In particular the Mexican exercised laser-like accuracy with his body and head hooks as well as the uppercut. Even worse for the Turkish fighter, the champ was equally powerful and pinpoint with both hands.
While sucking up punches in the middle of the ring, Alvarez dropped his overmatched opponent with a short combination punctuated with a straight right to the chin. Upon impact, Mr. Robot’s leg turned to water and he crumbled drunkenly to the canvas. To his credit, he got back to his feet and managed to survive to the end of the round. On the stool new trainer Joel Diaz chewed him out, imploring him to show some life in the fight.
Diaz went on to threaten his charge with stopping the fight if nothing changed. Ultimately, Yildirim would not get that final opportunity as Diaz halted the fight before the start of the fourth period. Probably one of Canelo’s easiest victories within the last few years along side beating Rocky Fielding in December 2018!
BILLY JOE SAUNDERS IS NEXT
Now the stage is set for the unified champion to take on WBO champ, “Superb” Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KO’s) on Cinco De Mayo weekend in May. The two had been negotiating a deal dating back to early 2019 with a fight nearly being signed in late 2020. Saunders had to pull out of negotiations due to his inability to be prepared in time for the big fight last December.
Now with plenty of time to prepare, including the fact that an agreement was reached at the beginning of the year that the two would lock horns if Canelo got passed Yildirim, both men should be 100% going into the unification!
By: Bakari Simpson