WBC super middleweight champion, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and the Turkish Avni Yildirim, had a face to face at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, both receiving a jersey from the Miami Dolphins, depicting Canelo’s wearing the number 1 and Yildirim’s 58.
Many assumed that number 58 is because Canelo has that number of pro fights but no….it`s t another reason.
The 58 is because in Turkey the Municipalities are located in numbering and he was born in the 58th, which is Sivas, so in addition to fighting for Turkey, he always carries his birthplace in his heart.
Avni Yildirim will challenge WBC super middleweight champion Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez on February 27 at Hard Rock Stadium, home of the Dolphins and Hurricanes in Miami, Florida.
Avni, also known as “Mr. Robot ”made his professional debut on March 22, 2014 beating Davit Ribakoni, and from that night on, he showed his great potential and quickly demonstrated his qualities.
By February 27, 2015, Avni became the WBC youth champion at light heavyweight by knocking out Giorgi Beroshvili.
The Turk’s popularity grew rapidly and his knockout power was evident. So by August 2015, Avni made his grand debut in the United States, and following the winning streak Yildirim, he was crowned the WBC international champion defeating the experienced Jamaican Glen Johnson, a title he successfully defended 4 times.
Ready to make history, on November 5, 2016, Avni faced Schiller Hyppolite for the then-vacant WBC international silver title in the super middle division, which he conquered via KO in a fight held in Munich, Germany.
With an undefeated record and conquering titles, in May 2017 the opportunity to contest the WBC international super middleweight title arrived, so Yildirim traveled to Mexico to face Marco Antonio Peribán, whom he defeated by unanimous decision. He defended the crown three times.
One of the most difficult nights in Avni’s career was the loss he suffered in a very close fight, which round after round turned into an up-string war against American Anthony Dirrell, where the WBC super middleweight world title was at stake. . Yildirim was unknown and Dirrell wide favorite. It was a great fight that unfortunately ended with a cut to Dirrell. Anthony won via split technical decision. The last two rounds had been largely dominated by Yildirim and he seemed to be heading for victory when an accidental clash of heads led the referee to stop the fight.
The result was controversial, so the WBC ordered a rematch positioning Yildirim as the official challenger. This designation has been ratified in the last two WBC Conventions.
The Turkish idol knows that he is not the favorite in the match against Mexican Saul Álvarez; However, this is precisely the extra motivation Avni is looking for, as he recognizes that to make history and leave a true legacy in sport he must face the best and fight with his all his heart.