By Dan Ambrose: The WBC has rescheduled the Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim purse bid for next month on October 6. Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) and Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) will be fighting for the vacant WBC super-middleweight title.
This is the title that was stripped from champion David Benavidez when he failed to make weight last August for his title defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo.
The purse bid by the World Boxing Council will be done by an open video conference.
Canelo not expected to fight remainder of year
With Canelo in the middle of a lawsuit with DAZN, Golden Boy Promotions, and Oscar De La Hoya, it’s not the ideal time for him to take on Yildirim in November or December. The lawsuit isn’t expected to reach a fast conclusion, unfortunately, which means we might not see Canelo back inside the ring for the remainder of 2020.
It’s still unknown whether Canelo, 30, will take the fight because it’s not a match-up that DAZN would likely be interested in showing. It wouldn’t be surprising if Canelo has changed his mind about this fight, and won’t be taking it.
Even if Canelo were with Showtime, he would have a hard time getting a fight against Yildirim to be shown. It would be network poison for Showtime because the ratings would be so low for that fight.
DAZN would like to see Canelo fight Gennadiy Golovkin and they might go for Callum Smith or Billy Joe Saunders for his next fight in November. But it’s asking a lot by DAZN for them to show Canelo-Yildirim during the pandemic.
If Canelo doesn’t elect to take the fight with Yildirim, then the likely next highest-ranked contender in the World Boxing Council’s top 15 rankings will be asked to fight for the title. That person would start negotiations with Yildirim.
It would be one of these fighters:
3. David Lemieux
4. Anthony Dirrell
5. Daniel Jacobs
6. Azizbek Abdugofurov
What’s interesting is the WBC has David Benavidez ranked #1 in their rankings at 168, and he’s already asked to fight for the belt. However, if the WBC let Benavidez, 23, fight for his recently stripped title, it would defeat the purpose of stripping him in the first place.
Lemieux ranked #3 in WBC’s rankings
Yildirim is ranked #2 in the WBC’s rankings, even though he hasn’t fought in over a year since losing to Anthony Dirrell by a 10th round technical decision on February 23, 2019.
Avni Yildirim is being given another chance to fight for the WBC title because his match with Dirrell was stopped after ten rounds due to him being cut from a clash of heads in the 7th.
Yildirim was fighting well at the time of the stoppage, and it’s believable that he would have won the 11th and 12th to get the victory if the contest wasn’t stopped.
Former IBF middleweight champion David Lemieux is ranked #3, and he would be an interesting opponent for Yildirim. Lemieux (41-4, 34 KOs) has won his last three contests since losing to Billy Joe Saunders in 2017 in a one-sided defeat.
The punching power of Lemieux would make for a fun fight if he were to take on the flawed fighter Yildirim. Both guys have huge holes in their games, but they both can punch.