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SPORTS SHORTS 70: CANELO ALVAREZ FACES BILLY JOE SAUNDERS THEN CALEB PLANT FOR FULL UNIFICATION, SULAIMAN APOLOGIZES FOR THE ALVAREZ-YILDIRIM MISMATCH


PhilBoxing.com




The technical knockout victory of Saul "Canelo" Alvarez retaining his WBC and WBA super middleweight titles with a three round demolition of Avni Yildirim at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida was considered by the boxing world as a complete mismatch.

* * *

Canelo pummeled Yildirim right from the start, and trainer Joel Diaz stopped the suffering before the start of the fourth round. There were lots of speculations of a mismatch before the fight and they turned out to be right. But Canelo was forced to fight because Yildirim was the mandatory challenger.

* * *

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman was at ringside, watching the one-sided fight. “I’m sorry for Avni. The paper sometimes doesn’t reflect the actions, and it was very unfortunate. We had great expectations, and it’s a matter where we need to look into the process that is not working in some roads," Sulaiman told Boxing Social.

* * *

Sulaiman added that there are things that the WBC has to look at what is happening and how things evolve. He observed that Canelo was tremendously successful, was in great shape, and that match should have been set for a much greater fight.

* * *

Canelo is now scheduled to fight again on May 8th, when he faces undefeated WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders for a three belt unification bout.

* * *

Sulaiman appreciated Canelo's effort in unifying the whole super middleweight division. He sees a very active year and hoped that this will continue for Canelo and boxing. He called the Canelo-Saunders fight a "tremendous match" and a "sensational fight".

* * *

Billy Joe Saunders, age 31 years of Welwyn Garden City, United Kingdom, held world titles in two weight classes, including the WBO super-middleweight title and previously the WBO middleweight title. He has a career record of 30 wins, no defeat with 14 KO wins.

* * *

If Canelo wins over Saunders, the next bold step would be a full division unification with undefeated IBF champion Caleb Plant. The fight is scheduled to happen during Mexican Independence Day weekend in September.

* * *

Caleb Plant, age 28 years of Ashland City, Tennessee, United States, has a professional record of 21 wins, no defeat with 12 KO wins. He won his IBF world title in his 18th fight when he fought Venezuelan boxer José Uzcátegui. He knocked Uzcátegui down twice en route to a unanimous decision win.

* * *

WBC world super featherweight champion Oscar Valdez is not interested in a rematch with Miguel Berchelt. The undefeated fighter, who is trained by Eddy Reynoso, is looking for bigger and more lucrative fights.

* * *

At the MGM Grand's Conference Center in Las Vegas, Valdez did the unexpected when he dominated and brutally knocked out Berchelt, who was heavily favored to win. Valdez put Berchelt down in the fourth, again in the ninth, and knocked him out cold in the tenth.

* * *

“I would not like a rematch with Berchelt for a lot of reasons. One: I would like to keep the friendship we have; And two - I want to unify or have mandatory fights and I think the public was satisfied [with our fight], because we made it clear that I am the superior fighter," Valdez told reporters as quoted by Boxing Scene.

* * *

Valdez was the mandatory challenger to the WBC title, so there is no provision for a rematch. He said that he became very worried when he saw Berchelt lying on the mat and not responding to doctors.

* * *

“When I sent him down to the canvas I was very happy, because I achieved my dream, I was jumping and celebrating. I did not realize that he was not responding, until I turned around and saw that he was not reacting," Valdez recalled.

* * *

At UFC 257 on January 24, 2021, Dustin Poirier became the first man to knock out Conor McGregor in MMA. He stopped the “Notorious” in the second round and avenged his knockout loss to the former champion in UFC 178 on September 27, 2014.

* * *

After the fight, both McGregor and Poirier showed an interest in a trilogy fight and things are progressing for the two MMA stars to clash again later this year.

* * *

“Conor wants the trilogy and I do too,” Poirier told Joe Rogan recently. “We’re just trying to get the right deal structured. This is going to be a big fight. He knocked me out, I knocked him out. The trilogy. For sure one of the biggest fights this year, but maybe of all time."

* * *

Poirier thinks the trilogy makes a lot of sense and a lot of money. They are just trying to get the right deal structured and see what the time frame is. "Because for a guy like Conor, you want the fans in there, even if it’s limited," added Poirier.

* * *

The Olympic men's basketball champions the United States will play France in their Tokyo Olympic Games opener on July 25, that's three days after the end of the NBA Finals, organizers said.

* * *

The mighty USA team is targeting their fourth straight gold and 16th in total, will face the French team at Saitama Stadium, north of Tokyo, on the first day of the basketball competition.

* * *

They United States will then play Iran on July 28 and a to-be-determined qualifier at the same venue on July 31. The NBA Finals are slated to end on July 22.

* * *

Greece, China, Canada, Uruguay, the Czech Republic and Turkey will play a qualifying event in Canada in late in June to determine the final team to be included in the group.

* * *

Australia and Nigeria will also play each other on the opening day, before host nation Japan begin their campaign against Spain, bronze medalists at Rio de Janeiro 2016, the following day.

* * *

The women's competition starts on July 26 with South Korea taking on Spain in the first game. The US women, who are looking for their seventh straight gold and ninth overall, will play against Nigeria on July 27. The US women will then take on Japan on July 30 and France on August 2.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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