• Yildirim's camp vows to give Alvarez a more worthy fight in February
  • Alvarez will defend the WBC title in February and then will fight again in May
  • Yildirim remains as a heavy underdog against Alvarez

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez returned to the ring dominantly and pundits wonder who would dare get into the ring with the Mexican next.

He has options and it appears his next foe has been identified. It will be no other than Avni Yildirim, the mandatory challenger to the WBC title.

However, not all appear convinced that Yildirim is deserving to face Alvarez–especially after that dominant showing against erstwhile undefeated fighter Callum Smith.

Alvarez won via lopsided unanimous decision with the Mexican boxer still appearing fresh after the fight.

A third fight with Gennady Golovkin was suggested, but the 30-year-old needed to fulfill obligations tied to the WBC title. Hence, a clash with the Turkish pug is needed and will reportedly happen in February 2021.

Before this, Canelo already bared plans of fighting again early next year.

“He wants to defend against the mandatory contender in Avni Yildirim at the beginning of the year. We’ll be in communication with him soon,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said.

For those who may not know, the WBC title went through a weird process. David Benavidez did not make weight and was stripped of the title in August. This paved the way for Alvarez who was determined to win the belt.

Yildirim has not fought since February 2019. He lost to Anthony Dirrell via 10th round technical decision. Dirrell would go on to lose the title to Benavidez, who in turn lost it to Roamer Alexus Angulo for failing to tip the scales.

Despite experts not being too confident of Yildirim’s chances, the Turkish fighter was already expecting to be next.

It turns out that there was a pre-fight agreement for the 29-year-old to step aside for Smith with the winner facing him in a mandatory defense, Boxingscene reported.

"We knew that if he won, he had to fight Avni. Either he'd fight him or he'd hand over the title. They know each other, they know who Avni is, because they spent several months in a training camp. Canelo is a very honest person who keeps his word, and he always said that he would fight Avni after this fight if he won,'' Cuban businessman Jose Perez said.

“Avni's going to give him a better fight, because he's a fighter. Avni's not going to box you for twelve rounds, he's going to rip your head off. That raises the level of the fight,” Perez added.

Avni Yildirim (L) of Turkey reacts before the Super Middleweight World Boxing Super Series fight at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle
Avni Yildirim (L) of Turkey reacts before the Super Middleweight World Boxing Super Series fight at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle Getty Images | Adam Pretty