Ahmet Oner , manager of super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim, was shocked with his boxer's performance last Saturday night in Miami, Florida.
Yildirim was dominated and stopped in three rounds by Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, who retained the WBC, WBA world titles before a lively crowd at the Hard Rock Stadium.
Yildirim barely threw any punches in the contest and took punishment round after round. His trainer, Joel Diaz, stopped fight before the start of the fourth stanza.
“The fight is over and we have to deal with everything. People are upset, I get it. But [these kind of outcomes have] happened in the past. Michael Spinks lost to Mike Tyson in one round, Max Schmeling lost to Joe Louis in one round. Canelo is very good, he is a superstar. I had the honor of being with Canelo and his team, great professionals who are made for much more," Oner told George Ebro.
“I don't think anyone can beat him in the division. If he was bigger, he could even beat Anthony Joshua. He is a monster. He hit Avni in the third round and I saw that he wasn't reacting to his coach's questions. We made the decision to remove him. He is 29 years old. Canelo is in a different league."
Oner denies the claims that his boxer froze before the bright lights.
"Avni fought on a big stage against Chris Eubank and lost, but not like against Canelo. He fought Anthony Dirrell on PBC before 10,000 people. That night he fought as if he wanted to win and his girdle was stolen, he lost the chance due to human error. I think that the cause of what happened must be sought in those two years away, as well as his two injuries and his doubts," Oner said.
“He said he needed a tune up fight, preparation. And there was no tune up, you are the mandatory challenger. COVID-19 stopped everything. After surgery the doctor told him that he could train on November 1. He was perfect, lifting weights. There are no excuses. Canelo's problems with Golden Boy passed and the Callum Smith fight happened, but the World Council kept Avni number one because of what happened to Dirrell.
“In my opinion, the WBC did everything very fair and gave us this great opportunity. People forget very quickly, everyone has their problems in life. Perhaps it is out of ignorance. When Avni fought Dirrell he was robbed of his title. We protested, the Council accepted the protest. Then David Benavidez defeated Dirrell. Then there were date problems and then COVID-19 arrived.
“Canelo is very strong. There is only one Canelo. Put in Jermall Charlo, Dirrell, Billy Joe Saunders. All of them will be defeated by Canelo. He's better than Mike Tyson, more solid. He will never lose to minor boxers."
As far as Yildirim, Oner is going to explore the possibility of having his man compete at the middleweight limit of 160-pounds.
“He has to ask himself if he can overcome his doubts and stop what happened [last time]. If he wants to continue, he will have my support. I still think he can be world champion, but not against Canelo. Maybe he can move to 160-pounds. He lost to the best. I told him not to get depressed, to believe in himself. There is no penalty in losing to the best," Oner said.