The next bout of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez has been made official. Mexican boxing star is back in the ring on Saturday, February 27 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Alvarez defends his unified WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine super middleweight titles against the WBC 168-pound mandatory challenger Avni Yidirim of Turkey. Fans around the world, excluding Mexico, can watch the fight live stream on DAZN.
The contest has been initially indicated late last year. On Friday Matchroom Boxing made it official.
Canelo Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) was in action last December when he scored a unanimous decision against Callum Smith. With the win he claimed WBA Super and The Ring belts, as well as earned a vacant WBC title. Facing off Yildirim he is making his first 168-pound championship defense, ahead of his quest to become the undisputed champion at super middleweight.
“Avni Yildirim is a good boxer and I know we will put on an exciting fight,” said Canelo (via a press release sent out by Matchroom). “I’m very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained. February 27 will be a great night for the sport.”
Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) last fought in February 2019, when he suffered the defeat by split technical decision against Anthony Dirrell in then vacant WBC title fight, after the latter got cut from an accidental head clash. Going up against Canelo is his next shot to claim the belt.
“I am honored as a mandatory to fight again for the big green belt – thank you to everyone who is involved,” said Yildirim. “I always give my all – and everybody should be ready to see a war. I am coming to make my country proud – I am representing the whole of Turkey.”
The Canelo vs Yildirim bout is the first out of two-fight deal Canelo locked in with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
“It is an absolute honor to promote the pound-for-pound number one and I’m so excited to head to Miami and the home of the Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium,” said Hearn. “Even in a pandemic, Saul is looking to be more active than ever and in his plan to be undisputed he must overcome his mandatory challengers to keep his belt. Yildirim is the first of those challenges who will be attempting to dethrone the king on February 27. We look forward to a huge night of boxing on DAZN and the start of a huge year for Canelo.”
The date of the second fight is yet to be announced. Nevertheless, the unification fight against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders of the UK has been previously rumored to be staged in May 2021, assuming Canelo goes through Yildirim.