After a 13-month layoff, the longest of his career, Canelo Alvarez returned to the ring to challenge WBA (Super), Ring Magazine, and WBC Super-Middleweight Champion Callum Smith.
The bout saw Canelo batter Smith throughout, ultimately winning the unanimous decision, and the three belts. He’d already had a couple of them before, but he challenged Sergey Kovalev for, and won the WBO Light-Heavyweight Championship last year in November, forcing him to release his titles.
When former WBC Super-Middleweight Champion David Benavidez was stripped of his title this past August for not making weight, Alvarez immediately contacted the WBC and stated his case for the shot.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaimán had the following to say of Canelo’s response on the matter:
“He wants to defend against the mandatory contender in Avni Yildirim at the beginning of the year. We’ll be in communication with him soon.”
Alvarez did state to BoxingScene that he wanted to fight again in February, and Eddie Hearn said should that happen, it’s likely to be against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim.
Yildirim hasn’t fought since February of 2019, where he was defeated by Anthony Dirrell via technical decision at the end of round ten. Dirrell in turn lost his title to David Benavidez in his next fight, and Benavidez in turn lost his title for not making weight for his fight with Yildirim.
That’s where a 21-2, 29-year-old talent from Turkey that’s coming off a defeat comes into play.
Alvarez has nearly cleaned out his divisions, it’s pretty crazy to see. He doesn’t have too awfully many big fights left it seems. There’s Billy Joe Saunders (30-0), a multiple-time world champion.
That’s probably the biggest Canelo fight we’ll see for a while, unless Keith Thurman or Manny Pacquiao want to move back up to light-middleweight, and if Canelo wants to move back down to light-middleweight.
Alvarez is too big to fight at welterweight anymore, he hasn’t made 147 lbs since he was 19-years-old. We could see him face Terence Crawford or Errol Spence Jr if that were the case.
Caleb Plant (20-0) may end up being next for Canelo after Yildirim. He was being considered as Alvarez’ next opponent just before the Callum Smith fight was signed.
If Plant gets through Caleb Truax in January, he’ll be a four-time IBF Super-Middleweight Champion, and that’s another belt Canelo would love to collect.
What do we think of this potential next fight against Avni Yildirim?