WBC: Canelo-Yildirim for super middleweight belt

Boxing

The World Boxing Council has ordered a fight between Canelo Alvarez and Avni Yildirim for its vacant super middleweight belt.

The WBC decision leaves WBA super middleweight titlist Callum Smith, who was hoping to fight for the vacant belt, without an immediate shot for the time being.

The title was left vacant when David Benavidez failed to make weight ahead of last Saturday’s bout against Roamer Alexis Angulo.

Benavidez came in at 170.8 — almost 3 pounds over the limit — for his fight against Angulo, who made weight at 167.6. Angulo would’ve been awarded the belt with a win, but Benavidez won by 10th-round TKO.

Yildirim had already been designated as a mandatory challenger to Benavidez’s title and was considered to be his next opponent. The 29-year-old from Turkey has a record of 21-2 with 12 knockouts but hasn’t fought since February of last year, a controversial technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell.

Benavidez then won the title from Dirrell in September 2019, setting up a potential matchup against Yildirim, who stands to benefit from a richer payday against Canelo.

Details of the negotiations would be revealed in the coming days, according to the WBC. The fight would be the first of the year for Alvarez, whose campaign has been sidelined in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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