The first details of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s next challenge are already starting to emerge. The Mexican super-champion returned to the ring, after more than a year of absence and the divorce with Golden Boy Promotions, last December 19th against the Callum Smith. In that occasion, Canelo Alvarez, after a flawless performance, added to his impressive collection two more world belts: the WBA “super” super-middleweight belt snatched from the 30-year-old British boxer from Liverpool and the WBC belt which was left vacant.
Only one week has passed since the match at the Alamodome of San Antonio in Texas and Canelo Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) is already planning his new fight to be organized in the first quarter of 2021. As we knew it already, after winning the WBC super-middleweight belt against Callum Smith (27-1-0, 19 KOs), Canelo Alvarez is forced to defend that belt within ninety days against the number two ranked Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs), the Turkish mandatory challenger. This is because the Turkish boxer Yildirim already step aside last August allowing Canelo Alvarez to fight Callum Smith. So now the Mexican super-champion has to honor this gentlemen agreement and fight in February/March Avni Yildirim for the WBC belt.
According to unconfirmed rumors, Canelo Alvarez is planning to defend the WBC belt against Avni Yildirim on February 27, 2021 and to do so in or around his hometown of Guadalajara in Mexico. This detail has been revealed by Eddy Reynoso, trainer and now also manager of Canelo Alvarez, to the website boxingscene.com. Reynoso confirmed that Avni Yildirim will be the next opponent of Canelo Alvarez and the fight, most likely, will take place in Mexico. Currently, two venues are considered: the Jalisco Stadium and the Charros’ team ballpark.
Alvarez’s last fight in his home country was back in 2011, when in his third WBC super-welter title defense, at Mexico City’s Monumental Plaza de Toros, Canelo defeated his Puerto Rican opponent Kermit Cintron (39-6-3, 30 KOs) before the limit. In this regard, Mauricio Sulaiman, president of the WBC, confirmed that Canelo Alvarez wants to fight once again in his country. According to Sulaiman, Canelo Alvarez wants to thank all Mexicans for the love they gave him over the last here arranging a title defense in his hometown. In addition, given the difficulties experiences by Mexicans in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, fighting in Mexico would also mean bringing a moment of happiness for his compatriots. The response of Avni Yildirim has been very straightforward and direct since for the Turkish boxer is irrelevant where they fight. “Mexico, the United States, Turkey or the moon”, any place is fine by Yildirim since the only thing he wants is the WBC belt and the title of world champion.
However, it seems that Canelo Alvarez is also planning in the long term given the fact that Eddie Reynoso is already considering further fights on the Cinco De Mayo weekend, in May, and in the Mexican Independence Day weekend in September, both dates very dear to Mexicans. The names of the possible opponents are the usual suspects: Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs), Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) and Gennady Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs). Most likely, based on what we have seen recently against Callum Smith, Canelo Alvarez has not real opponents who can stop him. Arguably, all the listed names will not stand a chance against Canelo Alvarez in our opinion and most likely 2021 could be the year of a full reunification of the super-middleweight belts if the plan is confirmed.