Hearn on Canelo-Saunders: ‘This fight is the biggest of 2021 so far

Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders will clash in front of over 60,000 fans in a World Super-Middleweight title unification blockbuster at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday May 8, live worldwide on DAZN. Pre-sales for the blockbuster fight will start on Tuesday March 23 with general sale beginning on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com.

Mexican superstar Canelo puts his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine titles on the line at the Home of the Dallas Cowboys on Cinco de Mayo weekend, as British favorite Saunders brings his WBO strap across the pond and looks to extend his unbeaten pro record against the pound-for-pound king in front of the biggest sporting crowd for over a year in the US.

“We are proud to host a boxing match of this magnitude as we welcome back Canelo Alvarez to AT&T Stadium to take on Billy Joe Saunders,” said Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager Jerry Jones. “AT&T Stadium was built to house the greatest sporting events on the planet, and we feel we have another incredible boxing event on the horizon with this matchup taking place in Arlington on May 8th.”

Saunders is the fourth Briton to face the Mexican star and the second to do so at AT&T Stadium, after Canelo defeated Liam Smith there in September 2016. May 8 will also be the fifth stadium show for Canelo in the Lone Star state having fought twice at the Alamodome in San Antonio and at Minute Maid Park, Home of the Houston Astros.

“It’s an absolute honor to bring this huge event to the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on May 8,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Last year Canelo missed out on his historic Cinco De Mayo fight, and to bring over 60,000 fans together at this iconic stadium this year is a dream come true.

“This fight is the biggest of 2021 so far with Canelo looking to unify the division once more against undefeated two-weight World champion Billy Joe Saunders. We want to thank Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys and AT&T Stadium for their efforts to bring this global event to their stunning facility and we look forward to giving the fans a momentous occasion and a Cinco de Mayo celebration they will never forget.”

Tickets go on pre-sale on Tuesday March 23 from 10am CT, with tickets starting from just $40 (plus fees. Pre-sale ends at 10pm CT on Thursday March 25, and tickets then go on general sale at 10am CT on Friday March 26 at SeatGeek.com

Saunders on Canelo: ‘He’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable’

Unified 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez(55-1-2, 37 KOs) did what many expected him to do on Saturday night when he easily defeated WBC mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim by TKO in three rounds at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

Now, he’s looking to get more belts at 168 when he battles WBO 168-pound champion Billy Joe Saunders, in a unification bout on May 8(DAZN).

The fight was officially announced after Canelo’s victory over Yildirim.

Saunders (30-0 14 KOs) will be putting his WBO strap on the line for the third time. The last time we saw Saunders, he defeated Martin Murray by unanimous decision back in December. 

According to Saunders, he has everything he needs to beat Canelo.

“Canelo, I’m ready to rock and roll,” said Saunders. “You have to dare to be great, and you aren’t going to be a great if you don’t beat the greats.

“I believe I am the only one with the footwork, know-how, skillset, mindset, and brain to unlock that door in Canelo.

“He’s the main man in the sport and the face of boxing. You have to give him respect; he hasn’t ducked anyone, he’s beaten good names, but nobody is unbeatable, and I believe I have got the tools to beat him if I use them properly and if the gamelan comes off that I believe works.”

Canelo’s sole focus is to get all the belts at 168, and defeating Saunders gets him one step closer to that goal.

“We want to unify the division; he’s a world champion, we want to go for it, and we need to go for it,” said Canelo. “He’s a very difficult fighter and has a championship, the WBO.

“People talk, but I’m a very mature fighter, and I know how to control myself. All I need to do is go into the ring, win and make history.

“It’s because it hasn’t been done; no one has done it in Latin America. In the world, only a few fighters have done it, the best. I want to make history and be one of the best in the world.”

Canelo: ‘I don’t just represent Mexico, I represent all Latinos’

Canelo Alvarez hopes to turn Miami into another home for his blockbuster fight nights as he prepares to defend his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim on Saturday night (February 27) at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, live worldwide on DAZN and on TV Azteca in Mexico.

The pound for pound king (54-1-2 36 KOs) is swiftly back in action after dominating Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas in December to land the titles he defends against Yildirim (21-2 12 KOs) this weekend.
 
The Mexican star must see off the challenge of the Turk if he’s to build towards becoming the first undisputed champion at 168 pounds, but the fight also sees the 30 year old four weight World ruler fight in Florida for the first time as a World champion.
 
Canelo’s only fight in the Sunshine State was in December 2008 where he put Raul Pinzon to the sword inside a round in his 24th pro fight, and he hopes that Saturday night’s blockbuster event can be the first of many in Miami.
 
“I feel very motivated to be in Miami and have this fight,” said Canelo. “And to put on a great show for the people there because I don’t just represent Mexico, I represent all Latinos.
 
“I like everything about Miami and I am very happy to be here, it is an honor to fight at Hard Rock Stadium. I feel very excited, very happy, it’s even more motivation for me. To open another door in order to have another home for my fights. I really feel very happy.
 
“They only let us put 15,000 people in because of the pandemic, but with that we are fine. Last time in San Antonio it was around 12,000 and the stadium sounded like it was full. Let’s hope that normalcy will arrive soon, and the stadium can be filled, but with 15,000 I feel very good, and if there were 1,000 it would be the same, the support of the people is incredible, and I feel very grateful.
 
“You do feel the vibe of the fans when they are yelling and that motivates you much more, but you have to get into your head that in the end you are the only one up in the ring. I always prepare 100 per cent.”
 
Canelo’s clash with Yildirim is part of huge night of action at the home of the Miami Dolphins. 
 
Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1 13 KOs) provides the chief support as he defends his WBC World Flyweight title against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo (20-4 15 KOs) while Chinese Heavyweight star Zhilei Zhang (22-0 17 KOs) faces Jerry Forrest (26-4 20 KOs) over ten rounds. 
 
A host of young talents get the chance to shine on the card in the form of Diego Pacheco. (10-0 8 KOs), Alexis Espino (6-0 4 KOs), Marc Castro (1-0 1 KO) and Aaron Aponte (1-0 1 KO).

Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
 

Canelo on short-term goal: ‘To win all the titles at 168 pounds’

Canelo Alvarez says his desire to create history is the driving force that keeps him striving for greatness as he prepares to defend his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Saturday February 27, live worldwide on DAZN (except Mexico).

Alvarez (54-1-2 36 KOs) is straight back into action following his clinical win over Callum Smith in December to claim the WBC and Ring Magazine straps and now puts his 168lb belts on the line against WBC mandatory challenger Yildirim (21-2 12 KOs) as he plots his path to becoming the first Mexican to be undisputed champion at Super-Middleweight.

Canelo believes he can set the example for other fighters to follow and look to claim all the belts and secure a legacy, something that motivates him and his trainer Eddy Reynoso to strive to break records and set new goals.

“It’s important for me and Eddy because very few people have achieved becoming undisputed champions,” said Canelo. “And that’s a short-term goal for us. To win all the titles at 168 pounds.

“Obviously, no Mexican has ever done it. So that’s our short-term goal, to keep making history. And that’s what we want. Eddy and I have always wanted the best. And we want to keep making history.

“I think it’s important, not just for me, but for all fighters. To make history in boxing is very important, I think. It’s very important to me to leave behind a legacy in this sport. And that’s why we’re doing this. To keep making history and so when people talk about boxing, they always remember me.”

Canelo’s clash with Yildirim is part of huge night of action at the home of the Miami Dolphins.

Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1 13 KOs) provides the chief support as he defends his WBC World Flyweight title against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo (20-4 15 KOs) while Chinese Heavyweight star Zhilei Zhang (22-0 17 KOs) faces Jerry Forrest (26-4 20 KOs) over ten rounds.

A host of young talents get the chance to shine on the card in the form of Diego Pacheco. (10-0 8 KOs), Alexis Espino (6-0 4 KOs), Marc Castro (1-0 1 KO) and Aaron Aponte (1-0 1 KO).

Trainer Diaz on Yildirim: ‘He’s fighting for his country, and he’s going to shock the world’

Joel Diaz says his work with new charge Avni Yildirim will shock the world when he takes on WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens in Florida on Saturday February 27, live worldwide on DAZN (except Mexico).

Star trainer Diaz teamed up with Yildirim (21-2 12 KOs) late in October 2019 but due to the COVID pandemic, the showdown with Canelo will be their first fight together after 18 months of work, with Yildirim’s last action coming in February 2019 when he faced Anthony Dirrell for the vacant WBC strap in Minnesota.
 
Inactivity might be a hindrance to many ahead of taking on the pound-for-pound number one, but Diaz is happy that they have been able to work on the Turkish man’s arsenal and rid him of his ‘Mr Robot’ style behind closed doors, and Diaz believes that fight fans and pundits will meet a new Avni Yildirim on February 27 – one that’s ready to shock the world against Canelo (54-1-2 36 KOs).
 
“Avni came to Indio and in the first week of training he fell in love with my work,” said Diaz. “He was the happiest guy I’ve ever met because this guy is not only a gym rat and a hard worker, but he’s a smart fighter, he loves learning. A lot of the things he never learned in his career, he’s learned them now, and he loves the work I put in, and it doesn’t matter how hard the work is, he never complains.
 
“That’s the reason I like Avni, any trainer would like to have him, he just does what you tell him to do. He’s a true soldier – you tell him to do something, he just does it.
 
“Avni may be an underdog but he doesn’t care what anybody says, he’s fighting for his country, and he’s going to shock the world.
 
“He’s a completely different fighter from when he fought Dirrell and Chris Eubank Jr. I said to him, you are a physically stronger guy than Dirrell but you had no defense. That’s why they called him ‘Mr Robot’, but there’s no robot in him now, I can tell you. I made a complete transformation because I dedicated time to him. The COVID situation helped him in a way because there was nothing to do, there were no fights, so just to keep him busy we would go to the gym and work on technique and making him a better fighter.”
 
Yildirim’s clash with Canelo is part of a huge night of action in Miami, as Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1 13 KOs) defends his WBC World Flyweight title against mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo (20-4 15 KOs).

Chinese Heavyweight star Zhilei Zhang (22-0 17 KOs) makes a quick return to action over ten rounds against Jerry Forrest (26-4 20 KOs), and a host of young talents get the chance to shine on the card in the form of Diego Pacheco. (10-0 8 KOs), Alexis Espino (6-0 4 KOs), Marc Castro (1-0 1 KO) and Aaron Aponte (1-0 1 KO.

Canelo on fight with Yidirim: ‘I know we will put on an exciting fight’

Saúl ‘Canelo’ Álvarez will defend his WBC, WBA Super and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles against Avni Yidirim on Saturday February 27 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, live on DAZN in over 200 countries and territories (excluding Mexico) or on cable/satellite pay-per-view in the U.S. and Canada.

Canelo (54-1-2 36 KOs) cemented himself as one of the pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the top dog in the 168-pound division with a dominant win over previously unbeaten Briton Callum Smith in San Antonio, Texas in December with the WBA, vacant WBC and Ring Magazine belts on the line in front of a sold-out socially distanced crowd in the Lone Star state.

The Mexican star declared after the fight his desire to become the undisputed champion at Super-Middleweight, but before targeting the remaining belts, the four weight World ruler must deal with his dangerous WBC mandatory Yildirim at the home of the Miami Dolphins and Miami Hurricanes.

“Avni Yildirim is a good boxer and I know we will put on an exciting fight,” said Canelo. “I’m very glad that we are able to bring this event to Miami, a short distance from where my hero, Muhammad Ali, trained. February 27 will be a great night for the sport.”

Yildirim (21-2 12 KOs) has been biding his time to fight for the WBC title once again, having been frustrated in his last outing when his clash for the vacant crown with Anthony Dirrell in Minnesota in February 2019, with the clash ending in a technical decision win for Dirrell after he suffered a cut over his eye.

The 29 year old challenger will be aiming to shock the world two years on from that disappointment and does so in his third fight in the States and second in Miami, having beaten the ‘Road Warrior’ Glen Johnson in August 2015, and the Turkish star returns to the Sunshine State for the biggest night of his career.

“I am honored as a mandatory to fight again for the big green belt – thank you to everyone who is involved,” said Yildirim. “I always give my all – and everybody should be ready to see a war. I am coming to make my country proud – I am representing the whole of Turkey.”

Following a great night in San Antonio, Canelo teams up with Matchroom and Eddie Hearn for a two-fight deal starting with the clash with Yildirim, and Hearn is excited to develop the relationship with Canelo and his Ring Magazine trainer of the year and manager Eddy Reynoso.

“It is an absolute honor to promote the pound-for-pound number one and I’m so excited to head to Miami and the home of the Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium,” said Hearn. “Even in a pandemic, Saúl is looking to be more active than ever and in his plan to be undisputed he must overcome his mandatory challengers to keep his belt. Yildirim is the first of those challenges who will be attempting to dethrone the king on February 27. We look forward to a huge night of boxing on DAZN and the start of a huge year for Canelo.”

WBC belt will be on the line for Alvarez-Smith

The WBC World Super-Middleweight title will be on the line when Canelo Alvarez and Callum Smith clash at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday, December 19(DAZN)

Former WBC 168-pound champion David Benavidez lost the belt on the scale before his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo. Ultimately, Benavidez would get the win but lose the title.

Canelo (53-1-2 36 KOs) once again reaches for greatness as he challenges the WBA Super, Ring Magazine, and world number one rated Super-Middleweight Smith (27-0 19 KOs) in Texas. The addition of the WBC title adds more greatness and glamour to an already monstrous fight.

Both men have won WBC straps before, with Canelo winning belts at Super-Welterweight and Middleweight and Smith landing the WBC Diamond belt at 168lbs, and the winner on December 19 will be ordered to face WBC #2 ranked Avni Yildrim within 90 days.

 “The WBC is extremely proud to have such tremendous fight for the vacant WBC Super-Middleweight title,” said WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman. “Canelo and Callum will give the world a superb closing of a difficult year and will make fans from around the world celebrate with much entertainment and enjoyment. I would like to personally praise Avni Yildirim for his exemplary collaboration to make this a reality.”

“I am delighted that the winner of this fight will be crowned the WBC World champion at 168lbs,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Canelo Alvarez is the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet, and Callum Smith is the number one Super-Middleweight on the planet – so it is fitting for the winner to proudly wear the green and gold belt on December 19.”

 

Golovkin: ‘I have really missed boxing”

The Big Drama Show is back!  Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin, boxing’s most dominant middleweight of his era, returns to the ring looking to make even more history when he attempts to make a division-record 21st successful defense of his World Middleweight titles.  Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KOs), from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, has worn a world championship belt every year since 2010.  He will be making a mandatory title defense against undefeated top-rated contender Kamil Szeremeta (21-0, 5 KOs), from Biaylstok, Poland, Friday, Dec. 18, behind closed doors at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.  The Golovkin-Szeremeta IBF/IBO Middleweight World Championship fight, and its action-packed undercard bouts, will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN in over 200 countries and territories.

“This is not just any fight,” Golovkin said.  “It is a fight with great meaning.  “I always have the greatest respect for all of my opponents.  I have really missed boxing and I wanted to fight this year.  The goal — fighting for a record twenty-first successful world title defense.”

“I want this title for Poland and my family.  GGG is a great champion, one of the best in history, but it is time for replacement.  Thank you for the great chance, I must take my opportunity to be the first world middleweight champion from Poland,” Szeremeta said.

Golovkin, who shares the record for consecutive World Middleweight title defenses, returns to the ring in his second reign as World Middleweight Champion. In a battle of former Olympic medalists, Golovkin regained the IBF middleweight title on Oct. 5, 2019, with a unanimous decision victory over Sergiy Derevyanchenko, a hellacious toe-to-toe slugfest that had the frenzied crowd at Madison Square Garden on its feet for the entire 12 rounds.  Many considered it the Fight of the Year.  Golovkin’s Big Drama Show has packed iconic arenas around the world, selling out Madison Square Garden, The O2 in London, the Fabulous Forum and StubHub Center in Los Angeles, and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.  This will be his first time fighting in the Sunshine State.  His decade-long rampage on the middleweight division has also attracted millions of viewers who have watched him on premium cable, pay-per-view, and DAZN.

Now Golovkin faces his second consecutive top-rated contender in Szeremeta.  The former EBU European middleweight champion, eight years younger than the defending world champion, enters this fight like a hurricane gathering strength, having won three of his last five fights by knockout, including a second-round stoppage of Oscar Cortes on the undercard of Golovkin-Derevyanchenko.  His reign as EBU European middleweight champion included victories over Alessandro Goddi, Ruben Diaz and Andrew Francillette, who had a combined record of 79-4-4 when he fought them — a winning percentage of 91%.

Alvarez-Smith headed to the Alamodome

Canelo Alvarez’s clash with Callum Smith for the WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles will take place with a limited live crowd at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on Saturday December 19(DAZN), Matchroom Boxing and Canelo Promotions announced today.

 Canelo (53-1-2 36 KOs) fights at the venue for the second time in his storied career having beaten Austin Trout there in April 2013, and it’s the fourth time the Mexican pound-for-pound king has boxed in Texas having beaten Trout, James Kirkland and Smith’s older brother Liam in the Lone Star state.
 
Smith (27-0 19 KOs) will be gunning for revenge for ‘Beefy’s’ defeat in September 2016, and the Liverpool star will look to rubber-stamp his position as the number one 168lber in the world and crash into the pound-for-pound rankings himself with victory on the biggest night of his eight-year pro career.
 
Home of the UTSA Roadrunners, the Alamodome has a rich history of staging blockbuster fights, with their first fight the infamous draw between Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez and the late great ‘Sweet Pea’ Pernell Whitaker in April of the stadiums opening year in 1993, and the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Evander Holyfield, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Canelo himself headlining since then – and Canelo is excited to return to San Antonio and fight in front of his adoring faithful.
 
“I am thrilled to be back at the Alamodome and very thankful to be fighting in front of my fans on December 19,” said Canelo. “I have great memories of my previous bouts in Texas, and I expect this to be a special fight to close out the year.”
 
“It’s fantastic news to be able to hold this great fight in front of fans and in a great stadium like the Alamodome,” said Eddie Hearn, managing director of Matchroom Sport. “It’s a fight that deserves to be witnessed in the flesh and those fans that snap up the hottest ticket in town next week will be in for a brilliant night of action, topped by the pound-for-pound king taking on the number one Super-Middleweight in the world – a simply unmissable occasion for those in attendance and watching live on DAZN.”
 

Canelo: ‘“I am motivated to continue to be the best’

Canelo Alvarez will take on Callum Smith for the WBA and Ring Magazine World Super-Middleweight titles on Saturday December 19, live on DAZN in 200+ countries and territories worldwide (excluding Mexico).
 
Alvarez (53-1-2 36 KOs) is back in action for the first time since knocking out Sergey Kovalev in November 2019 in Las Vegas, ripping the WBO World Light-Heavyweight title from the Russian to become a four-weight World ruler.
 
The Mexican superstar beat Smith’s old foe and fellow Liverpool fighter Rocky Fielding in December 2018 to win the WBA regular belt at 168 pounds – his third weight to rule at – and will be gunning to follow his domination at Middleweight up to Super-Middle.
 
Smith (27-0 19 KOs) has landed the huge fight he has craved, and the powerful Brit will be out to cement his position as top dog at 168 pounds. ‘Mundo’ landed the WBA and Ring belts he puts on the line with a clinical stoppage win over fellow countryman George Groves in the seventh round of final of the inaugural World Boxing Super Series in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in September 2018. 
 
The 30 year old has defended the titles twice since, stopping Hassan N’Dam in New York in June 2019 and then outpointing John Ryder in his Liverpool hometown five months later. Smith will also be out for family revenge when he steps through the ropes, with Canelo having beaten Smith’s brother Liam in Texas in September 2016.
 
“I’m very happy to return to the ring and continue to make history,” said Canelo. “I am motivated to continue to be the best, and I look forward to fighting Callum Smith, who is one of the best at 168 pounds.”
 
“We are very happy to return to the ring and close out the year with one more victory to continue demonstrating that Canelo is the best boxer on this planet,” said Eddy Reynoso, Sport and Talent director at Canelo Promotions and Canelo’s trainer.
 
“I’ve been wanting a big fight since becoming World champion, so I’m so pleased that during these challenging times we can deliver to the fans a fight between the very best in the division,” said Smith. “I truly believe I beat him and will prove that 168 pounds is my division.”