Canelo Destroys Yildirim, Vows to Become Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion.  Next Up Billy Joe Saunders
February 27, 2021
Anthony Saldana (128 articles)
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Canelo Destroys Yildirim, Vows to Become Undisputed Super Middleweight Champion. Next Up Billy Joe Saunders

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña

All Photos Courtesy of DAZN

Under the night sky Saturday evening in beautiful Miami, Florida the biggest star in all of boxing shined bright. With an entrance befit for a king and reggaeton star J Balvin putting on a mini concert before and during the ring walk for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) Alvarez wasted no time in taking care of business as he defended his WBA, Ring Magazine and WBC Super Middleweight Title in his victory over the mandatory challenger, Avni Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs).  A win Canelo needed to press ahead with his 2021 goal of becoming undisputed champion of the division. Leading up to tonight’s fight Alvarez was a (-5000) betting favorite and he showed us why as from the opening bell Alvarez completely dismantled Yildirim. Early on Canelo landed pinpoint uppercuts and power shots to the head and body of the stationary Yildirim. Then in the 3rd Canelo landed everything he threw including a vicious two punch combination dropping Yildirim. Yildirim beat the count and finished the round but between the 3rd and 4th rounds Yildirim’s trainer Joel Diaz had seen enough punishment his fighter had taken and called an end to the fight. After the fight Canelo stated “I felt really good, it felt good to be here in Miami and I did what I had to do, I needed the knockout and I got the knockout.” Alvarez went on to say “It doesn’t matter if they’re taller, bigger, stronger, if they have a great trainer, I’m here to do my job, get it done and to fight the best. I fought in December and here I am again making history. I had to fight Yildirim because that’s what I needed to do to keep my title.”

Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn then announced that Canelo would be returning May 8th as Alvarez will take on the undefeated WBO Champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) at a venue to be named. “It will be the biggest fight of the year as Canelo looks to become undisputed champion middleweight champion” stated Hearns. “ Billy Joe is a difficult fight and he has belt I want. I want to unify so I’m going after what I want.” Stated Canelo. When asked if the rhetoric of Billy Joe will get under his skin Canelo said “ People talk and I’m just going into that fight to win and continue to make history. No Mexican has every been undisputed at 168lbs actually no one in history has ever done that and I want to make history. I want to make my own history in the ring and when people talk about boxing I want them to say Canelo. I respect everyone but I’m going to make my own history

In the Co-main event Puerto Rico’s McWilliams Arroyo  (21-1, 16 KOs) took on Abraham “Choco” Rodriguez (27-3, 13 KOs) for the WBC interim Flyweight title. Rodriguez who took the fight on one days notice, arrived in Miami last night from Tijuana and made the flyweight limit clearing him to fight. Arroyo was initially scheduled to take on the current WBC Champion, Julio Cesar Martinez but a nagging hand injury forced Martinez to pull out of the fight. That opened the door for Rodriguez to get a crack at the interim belt. As the opening bell sounded the size difference between Arroyo and Rodriguez the WBC #5 minimum weight opponent who moved up two weight classes to fight was clearly apparent. Arroyo completely dominated the fight from the opening bell which eventually was stopped in the 5th round. Rodriguez fought valiantly but the size and power of Arroyo was too much for smaller “Choco” who was dropped in the 4th round from an accumulation of body shots. Then at 1:41 mark of the 5th round, the corner of Rodriguez had seen enough and threw in the towel calling off the one-sided fight. 

Also on the card South Central’s own Diego Pacheco (11-0, 8 KOs) came away victorious over the veteran Rodolfo Gomez Jr. ( 14-5-1, 10 KOs) in a good 8 round test for the undefeated prospect Pacheco. Early in the fight Pacheco used his reach and overall ring generalship to keep Gomez Jr. on the end of his solid jabs. Gomez however who is only one inch shorter than the 6-foot-4 Pacheco began to cut off the ring as both fighters landed several hard shots on each other. Pacheco would continue to use his timing to land the counter right and harder more effective punches and through four rounds had tripled the output of Gomez Jr in a very tough fight for the young Pacheco. After 8 rounds all three judges came back with the identical scorecards of 79-73 all in favor of and giving the unanimous decision victory to Diego Pacheco.  

In a absolute stunner Chinese Olympian and the huge undefeated heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (22-0-1, 17 KOs) drops his opponent Jerry Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) three times early in the fight only to see Forrest come back and win several of the late rounds in their 10 round fight. After hurting Zhang late and after a point was deducted from Zhang for holding the head of Forrest down, Forrest was able to pull off a majority draw. Judge Rose Lacend scored the fight (95-93) for Forrest, but she was overruled by judges Fernando Barbosa and Rocky Young who each scored the fight (93-93).

Other bouts on card include:

Alexis Espino (7-0, 5 KOs) vs. Ashton Sykes (5-4, 1 KO) 6 rounds, super middleweight; Espino comes away with a 5th round TKO

Marc Castro (2-0, 2 KOs) vs. John Moraga (1-3, 1 KO) 4 rounds, junior lightweight; Castro drops Moraga three times in route to a 2nd round TKO

Aaron Aponte (2-0, 1 KO) vs. Harry Gigliotti,(6-2, 3 KOs) 4 rounds, junior welterweight; Aponte drops Gigliotti in the 4th round and comes away with a unanimous decision victory

Keyshawn Davis (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Lester Brown (4-3-3, 1 KO) 4 rounds, lightweights; Davis wins his debut by 2nd round TKO

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Anthony Saldana