Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez wary of Avni Yildirim’s aggressive intent after final face-off at weigh-in | Boxing News


James Dielhenn

Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn

“There’s no debate that Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound No 1 and he continues to fight the best,” said promoter Eddie Hearn; Canelo defends his super-middleweight world titles against Avni Yildirim on Saturday night

Last Updated: 26/02/21 7:12pm


Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez fights Avni Yildirim on Saturday night

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez says he is ready for Avni Yildirim to try “to rip my head off” in the early exchanges of their world title fight.

Canelo will defend his WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles against his mandatory challenger Yildirim in Miami on Saturday night.

“I always want to be perfect, I want to do things right inside the ring, I don’t see this as an exception,” Canelo said.

“I always try to be patient but it depends on what Yildirim tries to do – if he tries to rip my head off.”

A business-like Canelo weighed just inside the 12st (168lbs) limit before staring intently at Yildirim during their face-off.

Yildirim has not fought in two years since a defeat to Anthony Dirrell but his manager Ahmet Oner previously warned Canelo: “He wants to be a superstar so I told him: ‘Then you must knock out a superstar’.

“You will see a real fight.

“He isn’t coming to survive 12 rounds. No. He’s coming to win.

“Mission impossible? No. He has bad intentions.”

Yildirim’s trainer Joel Diaz previously said: “We have to take risks.”

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Eddie Hearn: Canelo is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world

Eddie Hearn: Canelo is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world

Canelo ended the undefeated world title reign of Callum Smith in December and, before the end of 2021, plans to do the same to Billy Joe Saunders (WBO) and Caleb Plant (IBF) to unify the super-middleweight division.

“There’s no debate that Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound No 1 and he continues to fight the best,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.

“Anthony Joshua will always be my No 1, but AJ looks at Canelo Alvarez and said this guy is the pound-for-pound No 1.”

Zhilei Zhang, China’s undefeated heavyweight contender, will fight Jerry Forrest on Canelo’s undercard.

Zhang weighed in at 18st 4lbs (256lbs) and said: “My dream is to get the title. It’s a difficult process but I will take it.

“I need to beat high-level opponents. I need to step up. To be the best I have to beat the best.”





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