Canelo Alvarez says he had COVID and trained only for one month for Avni Yildirim

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canelo-alvarez-022721-matchroom-ftr Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Canelo Alvarez only had ten weeks in between his fights with Callum Smith and Avni Yildirim. What the world didn't know is that Alvarez had less time to prepare than many thought.

In an interview with Graham Bensinger to promote his May 8 super-middleweight title unification bout against WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders that can be seen on DAZN (excluding Mexico), the unified 168-pound admits he didn't get the proper time to prepare for his Feb. 28 destruction of Avni Yildirim due to getting COVID-19 after beating Smith via unanimous decision on December 19 to win the WBA and WBC titles.

"I had COVID," Alvarez told Bensinger. "I got COVID. I started first with no sense of smell or taste. I got tested, and I had to be 15 days in isolation because my wife had it, too. But I didn't tell anyone because I didn't really feel anything. I had no other symptoms except what I said, no taste or smell."

Alvarez beat Yilidirm via third-round TKO after the latter's trainer Joel Diaz wouldn't allow his fighter to go out for the fourth round. The 30-year-old Alvarez says he has no lingering effects from the coronavirus and all systems are on track for the Saunders clash. 

"I don't want to make it sound as if nothing happened because I've known a lot of people who have gotten it much harder, or even died," Alvarez said. "The father of a friend of mine … it affected his lungs a lot. He's coughing up saliva with blood. But for me, it didn't affect me much. But it's complicated."


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