Canelo Alvarez's goal is to become the undisputed super middleweight champion. He had the chance to continue the journey Saturday night against Avni Yildirim at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami with his WBA (super) and WBC titles at stake.
Alvarez showed why there are levels to boxing as he put on a master class, making the mandatory challenger quit on his stool in between the third and fourth round to retain his belts. DAZN News had the fight scored 30-26 for Alvarez at the time of the stoppage.
"I come here to do my job," Alvarez said in his DAZN post-fight interview through an interpreter. "I come to win, and I come to make history. I feel strong, fast, and comfortable (at 168). I'll fight anyone. I always fight the best. It doesn't matter. I had to fight against Yildirim to unify 168."
Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) let Yildirim know right away it wasn't going to be his night when he sent him back with a left hand in the first punch of the fight. From there, school was in session.
The 30-year-old did a little bit of everything. He pounded Yilidirim's body with one thunderous left hook after another. He would throw combinations, starting with a short right uppercut and punctuate the sequence with another left hook to the body or a vicious uppercut.
The end was near in the third round when Alvarez connected on a left jab followed by a laser straight right hand, which sent the Turkish challenger to the canvas. Alvarez tried to put him away, but Yildirim somehow survived. Walking back to his corner, one could sense the spirit was taken out of him.
Yildirim's head trainer Joel Diaz kept screaming at him to do something besides standing there and being a punching bag, or he would stop the fight after the fourth round if he didn't show him. Yildirim, looking dejected, didn't respond. He also didn't make it to the fourth round.
When Alvarez stood up in his corner, waiting for the round to begin, Yildirim told Diaz and his corner that he didn't want to continue.
Since losing to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013, Alvarez is 13-0-1 with seven wins via stoppage.
What's next for boxing's pound-for-pound king?
After the fight, it was announced that Alvarez would face WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 in a 168-pound title unification bout.
𝗖𝗔𝗡𝗘𝗟𝗢 𝘃𝘀. 𝗦𝗔𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗥𝗦⁰⁰𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝟴. pic.twitter.com/6wZL4FfQIW— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 28, 2021
Here is what happened at Canelo vs. Yildirim.