Canelo Alvarez plans on being a busy boxer in 2021.
The Mexican superstar Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) will return to the ring Feb. 27 for a mandatory defense of his WBC title against Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Should he get past Yildirim, Alvarez, who also owns the WBA crown, plans on immediately moving on for a super middleweight unification match against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 8. That’ll be followed by a fight in September around Mexican Independence Day weekend, presumably against 168-pound IBF titlist Caleb Plant. If Alvarez continues his winning ways and stays healthy, he’s even aiming for one more match in December.
Should everything go according to plan, that will mean Alvarez will fight five times in a 12-month span.
Alvarez’s last fight took place in December when he easily decisioned Callum Smith.
Matchroom Boxing head Eddie Hearn promoted the Smith fight, will be promoting the Yildirim and should be promoting the Saunders fight.
Hearn is bullish on Alvarez’s aspiration in being a busy boxer.
“It’s great to see Canelo so active, especially in the world we live in at the moment,” Hearn said on his company’s YouTube channel. “I think it’s a real statement from him, coming out, mixing it up, and fighting. To be promoting Canelo Alvarez at the home of the Miami Dolphins is pretty special. We’re going to have 15,000 people there.
“Great opportunity for [Yildirim], and a great opportunity for Canelo to keep active and to make a statement hopefully ahead of a Billy Joe Saunders fight.”
Although Alvarez recently acquired his promotional license in Nevada, Hearn is doing the heavy lifting on the marketing side for now.
Hearn plans on staging a showdown between Alvarez and Saunders to reveal boxing’s worst-kept secret should the Mexican fighter thwart the Turk.
“I don’t think you’re going to see any commitment from Canelo Alvarez or an announcement before Avni Yildirim,” said Hearn. “That’s the focus for him and Eddy Reynoso, but certainly, they want to unify and become undisputed. Billy Joe Saunders is a belt-holder with the WBO. So that’s where Canelo Alvarez is looking next, and we’ll get Billy there on the night to announce the fight.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com