P4P king Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will defend his world super-middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim in Miami on Saturday February 27.
The Mexican megastar (54-1-2) will meet WBC mandatory challenger Yildirim (21-2) at Hard Rock Stadium in a fight to be televised live on DAZN in around 200 markets globally.
Alvarez proved his superiority at 168lbs with a dominant points victory over Britain’s Callum Smith in Texas in December. And now he swiftly puts his WBC, WBA and Ring magazine straps on the line.
“On February 27, we take the next step in our journey to unify the Super-Middleweight division,” said Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso.
“We will be facing our WBC mandatory opponent, Avni YildirIm. We are very happy with the alliance we have with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom to put on this bout together, especially in a new venue for us.”
The 29-year-old Yildirim has not fought since February 2019, when his bid for the vacant crown against Anthony Dirrell ended in a technical decision win for Dirrell after he suffered a cut over his eye.
He said: “I am honoured as a mandatory to fight again for the big green belt - thank you to everyone who is involved.
“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.”
For Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn, the news is another major coup as he once again entices ‘Canelo’ back to DAZN.
“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,” he said.
“Even in a pandemic, Saúl 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.”
Assuming he comes through the Yildirim test safely, ‘Canelo’ is expected to fight again in early May. Britain’s Billy Joe Saunders is reportedly among the potential opponents.