Avni Yildirim will be looking to win this Saturday night and just come and survive against Canelo Alvarez says his trainer Joel Diaz.
Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) has improved since his last fight against Anthony Dirrell two years ago, and he’s going to be “Dangerous” for Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) when the two battle in the headliner on DAZN this Saturday at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Although Yildirim is an underdog, he’s coming to win, and he’s not just going to be looking to survive for 12 rounds. We arguably saw that from Canelo’s last opponent Callum Smith, who covered up on the ropes like a sparring partner last December.
Diaz isn’t giving away the game plan that Yildirim will be bringing to the fight, but it’s expected that he’ll be using his size on Canelo. Yidlirim is the bigger and stronger fighter of the two.
More importantly, this is Avni’s natural weight class. Canelo is more of a filled-out 154-pounder who has bulked up as he’s gotten older.
While Canelo has put on more size, he’s still essentially a junior middleweight. His hand speed and defensive skills have enabled him to beat fighters a lot bigger than himself.
Yildirim Has A Chance
“Every opponent that comes in with Canelo, nobody ever gives them a chance,” said Yildirim’s trainer Joel Diaz to Fighthub. “People never give any of Canelo’s opponents a chance.
You got to have respect because every fighter deserves a chance. If you can swing and you can punch, you deserve a chance. There was a time as a trainer where I didn’t give somebody a chance and he surprised me. Andy Ruiz.
“To us, it’s already a win-win because we’re fighting Canelo,” said Diaz about Yildirim getting a massive career-level fight. “It is a tough fight, we know.
Right now, Canelo is the best fighter pound-for-pound, he’s got angles, and he’s got power. We’re going in there to give it our all, and looking forward to give him a surprise. They’re never going to give Canelo the credit, but he deserves,” said Diaz.
"When @Canelo fought Callum Smith in December, he targeted Smith's left arm, to neutralize his check hook
By the 2nd round, Smith's arm was swollen and injured.
In the 12th round, they shared a laugh when Canelo realized the damage he had done."
If Avni can continue with the potential that he showed in the last four rounds of his fight against Anthony Dirrell, he’s got a shot at beating Canelo. It’s been three years since Canelo last fought an aggressive fighter that put pressure on him and was actively trying to win.
The last real fight that Canelo had was against Gennady Golovkin in 2018, and that was one that he arguably in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. Since that fight, Canelo has backed off from fighting aggressive guys, and he’s taken on these flawed fighters:
Callum and Kovalev looked weight drained for their fights against Canelo, which left them looking weak. Kovalev was a good fighter in his day, but that was eight years ago. He’s been fading since 2016.
Avni Is Dangerous For Canelo
“He’s the bigger guy, he’s aggressive and he has the heart,” Diaz said about Avni when asked what he has going for him against Canelo.
“He goes in there and he gives it his all. Against Anthony Dirrell, he didn’t have much skills, but he was all balls out.
“Now put that now with a little more technique and a little more boxing ability. So we have an Avni that is dangerous because he comes. He’s going to come in there and swing and not just try and survive,” said Diaz.
Being aggressive and putting constant pressure on Canelo gives Yildirim a real shot at winning this fight. If there’s anything that Canelo can’t handle, it’s pressure. He gets tired easily because he’s got that huge bodybuilder type of frame.
The short, tank-like stocky fighters tend to gas out because they’re not designed for aerobic activity, and boxing is a cardio sport that requires fighters to have the ability to fight hard for extended periods.
Yildirim’s best shot at winning this fight is to go after Canelo and force him to work three minutes of each round, which is something GGG did in his two fights against him.