The top pound-for-pound fighter in the world returns to the ring on Saturday night in Miami when Saul “Canelo” Alvarez defends his WBC and WBA super middleweight world titles against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim. The fight is the first of Alvarez’s 2021 schedule and stands in the way of more compelling matchups later in the calendar year.
Alvarez is riding a 13-fight unbeaten streak since his lone career defeat, a 2013 decision loss to Floyd Mayweather. In his career, he has won championships at junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight. Looking ahead, Alvarez already plans to fight WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in May before fighting twice more in the year, with hopes of facing IBF champion Caleb Plant to unify all four 168-pound world titles.
Yildirim is a title contender only through the complicated maneuverings of boxing politics. He has not fought in two years and is coming off a technical decision loss in his most recent outing. Still, he was named mandatory challenger for the WBC title and took money to step aside and allow Alvarez to face Callum Smith in his most recent outing, with the showdown on Saturday guaranteed.
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The co-main event of this card was expected to see Julio Cesar Martinez defend his WBC flyweight title against McWilliams Arroyo, but Martinez was forced to withdraw earlier in the week after suffering a hand injury. The bout — a WBC mandatory title defense for Martinez — was originally scheduled for last August, but Martinez was forced to withdraw from that contest with a gastrointestinal issue. Now, Arroyo vs. Abraham Rodriguez for the interim WBC flyweight title will serve as the co-main event.
The fight will be available to view live for DAZN subscribers on either the DAZN website or app, or can be purchased via traditional pay-per-view methods. Cable and satellite pay-per-view purchases also come with access to DAZN through the end of April for $49.99.
Date: Feb. 27 | Location: Hard Rock Stadium — Miami Gardens, Florida
Start time: 7 p.m. ET (main event set for approximately 10 p.m. ET)
TV: Traditional PPV (check local listings)
How to watch/stream: DAZN (subscribe now)
Canelo vs. Yildirim fight card, odds
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (c) -6000 vs. Avni Yildirim +1700, WBC and WBA super middleweight title
McWilliams Arroyo vs. Abraham Rodriguez, interim WBC flyweight title
Zhang Zhilei -575 vs. Jerry Forrest +425, heavyweight
Diego Pacheco -3500 vs. Rodolfo Gomez Jr. +1400, super middleweight
Alexis Espino vs. Ashton Sykes, super middleweight
Marc Castro vs. Lester Brown, junior lightweight
Aaron Aponte vs. Harry Gigliotti, junior welterweight
Who wins Alvarez vs. Yildirim? And which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn’s best bets for Saturday, all from the fight game manager who is 32-8 on boxing picks since the sport returned, and find out.
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