Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez overpowered Avni Yildirim to retain his WBC and WBA super-middleweight titles as the Mexican star forced the Turkish mandatory challenger to quit on his stool after the third round out their contest Florida.
In a heavily one-sided contest, Alvarez bludgeoned Yildirim with some brutal body shots, also dropping him in the third round with a straight right hand.
The challenger recovered to see out the round, but rather than see their man take more punishment, Yildirim’s corner stepped in to wave off the fight despite the Turk appearing to signal he would be willing to continue.
Such was Alvarez’s dominance, that seemed like a kind decision as the Mexican picked apart a mostly static target in a routine night’s work for a man who recorded the 55th win of his 58-fight professional career.
Alvarez threw 67 punches to Yildirim’s 11 during the three rounds, with observers claiming the Turkish fighter was nothing more than a punchbag.
Just caught up with the Canelo v Yildirim fight, all about levels, Yildirim shouldn’t of been in there, had been out of the ring for two years and it showed, was nothing more than a punch bag for Canelo. Looking forward to Canelo v Saunders May 8th 🥊🔥
— Spencer Oliver (@SpencerOliver) February 28, 2021
The promoters clearly knew how the fight would pan out.
The dust had barely settled at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens before they announced that British WBO super-middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders would be next up for Alvarez in May.
“No one has done it, I want to make history,” said Alvarez, 30, of his unification fight with Saunders, which could see him move closer to being crowned the first-ever undisputed champion at 168lbs in boxing history.
The fourth major belt at 168lbs is held by Caleb Plant, an unbeaten American.
Alvarez added: “I don’t want to be equal to anyone. I want to make my own history and when they talk about boxing that they always remember: Canelo. I respect everyone in history, but I want to make my own history and I respect everyone.”
Brit boxer Saunders, 31, is unbeaten in 30 fights and has held the WBO super-middleweight title since beating Shefat Isufi in May 2019.
Four-division world champion Alvarez is widely regarded as boxing’s pound-for-pound king.
The only blemishes on his remarkable record came in a majority decision defeat to Floyd Mayweather in 2013 and two draws – one against fellow Mexican Jorge Juarez early in his career, and another against Kazakh rival Gennady Golovkin in 2018.
In the latter case, Alvarez would rectify that with a decision victory 12 months later.