Canelo Alvarez stops Avni Yildirim via third-round TKO

By Mark Elezaj

MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – Canelo Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) was dominant last night (Sat., Feb. 27, 2021) live on DAZN from inside the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida defending his WBA, WBC and The Ring super middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs).

From the opening bell, Canelo controlled the pace, outclassing his opponent and walking through him rather easily, working Yildirim’s body, put together combinations and dropping him in the third round.

Round One- Both fighters were cautious in the first. Alvarez was the aggressor however, landing a few body shots to no answer from Yildirim. Referee Telis Assimenios warned Alvarez a minute into their fight for hitting Yildirim low with a left hook to the body.

Round Two- Alvarez picked up the pace, landing a perfect right uppercut 23 seconds into the round. A straight right hand by Alvarez found its way through Yildirim’s guard. Canelo landed a vicious left hook to the body followed by a hard right hand with just under a minute remaining in the round.

Round Three- Canelo landed a strong left hook to the body early into the round. He continued to push the action, landing a picture-perfect, straight right that sent Yildirim crashing to the canvas.

Yildirim got up and tried to fight back, but Alvarez continued landing power shots, hurting his opponent.

Yildirim was able to survive the round, but his trainer Joel Diaz felt that he took enough punishment and stopped the fight.

According to CompuBox stats, the fight was as lopsided as it looked. Alvarez outlanded Yildirim 67-11, including a 58-4 edge in power punches.

With his victory, Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) successfully defended his World Boxing Council and World Boxing Association belts.

“It’s great to be active,” Alvarez told DAZN’s Chris Mannix in the ring after his victory. “It’s wonderful to be here in Miami. And I wanted to have a great fight here. [This was a guy] I needed to knock out, and that’s what I did. I did what I had to do.”

“I want to make history,” Alvarez said in the postfight interview. “I want to be one of the best in the world.”

“I came and did what I had to do,” Alvarez said. “I had to win by knockout and I accomplished it.”

“I’ll fight anyone,” Alvarez said.

“I fight the best. I always fight the best. I’ll fight the best at 168. It doesn’t matter, and here I am, making history. I had to fight against Yildirim to have the opportunity to unify at 168. … I had to do it to maintain and keep my title.”

This was Alvarez’s second victory in three months. The champion will not have to wait much longer for his third fight this year, and a shot at another title. Alvarez has his sights set on the WBO title, which is currently held by Billy Joe Saunders.

Alvarez and Saunders are set to meet on May 8th, 2021 – Cinco de Mayo weekend – at a location to be determined, Matchroom Boxing announced after Alvarez’s win.

“[Saunders] is a very difficult fighter and he has the championship, the WBO. We want to unify,” Alvarez said before being asked about Saunders’ ability to trash talk his opponents on Saturday. “People talk but I’m a mature fighter. I know how to control myself. All I have to do is get into the ring, win and make history. Words are just that.”

The fight against Saunders gives Alvarez a chance to move one step closer to being an undisputed champion and bolster his case to be the greatest Mexican fighter of all time.

Saunders, 31, (31-0, 14 KO’s) has held the WBO title on two separate occasions. He has defended the title twice since reclaiming it in 2019.

~ The Fighting Voice ~

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