Reigning WBC and WBA Super Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez returns to the ring this Saturday to face mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim. This will be Alvarez’s first title defense since winning the titles in December against Callum Smith.
While most will have Canelo as the overwhelming favorite to win this fight, and rightfully so, boxing has shown to be a sport where any fighter has a puncher’s chance to pull out a win. With that in mind, we are going to take an in-depth look at this fight and what it will take for each fighter to pull out the win.
The fight will take place Saturday, February 27, live on DAZN, with the main card beginning 8 PM ET and the ring walks for the main event set to start at 11 PM ET.
How Canelo Alvarez remains dominant
Since suffering his first and only career loss to Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez has elevated himself making his mark as the pound-for-pound king of boxing. He has taken down some of boxing’s best fighters today including Gennadiy Golovkin, Daniel Jacobs, Sergey Kovalev and Callum Smith.
Ultimately, the key to Canelo winning this fight against Yildirim is sticking to the winning formula that’s lifted him to another stratosphere among boxers over the past five years.
Canelo frustrates his opponent with elite defensive technique, controls distance with jab attacks and well-timed power shots, and boasts a confident ring generalship.
As long as he sticks to doing what he does best, Canelo is arguably the most unbeatable fighter in the world. That should prove to be the case against his latest adversary, but let’s look at how Yildirim could turn the tables.
Keys to Avni Yildirim pulling off the upset
This will be Avni Yildirim’s third world title shot at the Super Middleweight division. He lost his first shot via third round knockout against Chris Eubank Jr. and to Anthony Dirrell via technical decision. His fight against Dirrell in February 2019 was also the last time he’s stepped in the ring.
Yildirim’s conditioning will be key to pulling off the upset. If he wants to close the distance and put pressure on Canelo, he will need to be able to maneuver around the ring fluidly because he is facing arguably the best technically sound defensive fighter in boxing today.
Avni Yildirim will need to gain his respect early to keep Alvarez from moving forward. As showcased in his bout with Callum Smith, Canelo allowed Smith to go on the offense to feel his power and realized he could not hurt him. This afforded him the opportunity to move forward and put pressure on him with a barrage of punches. If this happens to Yildirim, it will be academic from that point.
Also, he needs to be weary of the chance that Canelo could look to finish the fight early. In his fight with Rocky Fielding, Canelo did just that overpowering Fielding with crunching body shots sending him to the mat four times before the fight was called off in the third round.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim final prediction
Avni Yildirim has an uphill battle on his hands as he will step in the ring with boxing’s pound-for-pound king. He may have nothing to lose because people already have Canelo winning in convincing fashion.
However, should he win, Yildirim’s name will be in the history books for pulling off one of the biggest upsets in boxing history up there with Buster Douglas knocking out Mike Tyson or Vasyl Lomachenko losing to Orlando Salido.
Ultimately, this is Canelo’s bout to lose and he is too disciplined a fighter to let that happen. He will likely win by finishing off Yildirim within the first four rounds, and although anything is possible, this one should go Canelo’s way via knockout.