Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim reside outcomes and evaluation

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Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim live results and analysis

WBC and WBA super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez defends his belt against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in the DAZN card main event on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami (DAZN, 7pm ET).

Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) unified these titles by unanimously defeating Callum Smith in December. This was Alvarez’s first fight since becoming a free agent after dealing with longtime promoter Golden Boy.

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Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) suffered a controversial technical loss against Anthony Dirrell in February 2020.

Dirrell suffered a cut in his left eye due to an accidental head collision, and the fight was called off and put on the scorecards. Two judges had the fight for Dirrell 96-94 and the third had it for Yildirim 98-92. Yildirim’s other loss was a KO to Chris Eubank Jr. in 2017. Yildirim remained Alvarez’s WBC mandatory challenger after losing.

Fight underway: Canelo Alvarez versus Avni Yildirim, 12 rounds, for Alvarez ‘WBC and WBA super middleweight titles

Results:

Arroyo overpowers the late replacement Rodriguez

McWilliams Arroyo had full training camp. He did all the preparation. And in less than five rounds on Saturday at the co-main event of Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, he became the provisional flyweight champion of the WBC.

Impact statistics

Blows Arroyo Rodriguez
Landed overall 100 28
Total thrown 266 116
percent 38% 24%
Jabs landed 11 7th
Thrown bumps 65 45
percent 17% 16%
The power landed 89 21st
Power thrown 201 71
percent 44% 30%
– Courtesy of CompuBox

It became clear early on that Arroyo also had a realistic advantage against Abraham Rodriguez, a late substitute who arrived in Miami on Friday.

And in the fourth round it showed. Arroyo (21-4, 16 KOs) beat Rodriguez (27-3, 13 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico for the entire round, eventually forcing him on one knee and knocking him down. The attack continued into the fifth round, although Rodriguez held up well given the lack of time for proper training. It resulted in Rodriguez’s corner foregoing the white towel in the middle of the fifth round in an attempt to stop the one-sided fight.

Arroyo, of Fajardo, Puerto Rico, was dominant during a bout to be against Julio Cesar Martinez. Martinez had to withdraw from the fight on Thursday with a small breach of the law during a sparring session.

He hoped to keep training, but things got worse earlier this week. With Arroyo’s dominance, he may be able to fight Martinez later this year.

It was Rodriguez’s first loss to Angel Acosta since 2018, and the last time he fought in the United States. That fight was for the WBO junior flyweight title. This time a similar result was achieved for another belt. This was Arroyo’s fourth win in a row.

Forrest saves a majority against Zhang

Jerry Forrest (right) survived three losses en route to majority disfranchisement to Zhilei Zhang (left). Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

Jerry Forrest went down once. Twice. Three times in three rounds. And yet the heavyweight kept getting up. Endured the early attack and power of Zhilei Zhang. He kept coming back to Zhang – and eventually fought his way back to what felt like a win.

Impact statistics

Blows Arroyo Rodriguez
Landed overall 100 28
Total thrown 266 116
percent 38% 24%
Jabs landed 11 7th
Thrown bumps 65 45
percent 17% 16%
The power landed 89 21st
Power thrown 201 71
percent 44% 30%
– Courtesy of CompuBox

Forrest and Zhang ended in a majority draw, with Judges Rocky Young and Fernando Barbosa scoring the 93-93 bout and Rose Lacend handing the bout to Forrest 95-93. After the fight, Forrest celebrated how he won and did a backflip in the ring before the results were announced.

Zhang, who looked like he was going to take an easy win with a big advantage in the first three rounds, stuck to his unbeaten record. Barely.

What looked like an explosive fight early on turned into a hug in the middle rounds, with both Zhang (22-0-1, 17 KO’s) and Forrest (26-4-1, 20 KO’s) looking pretty exhausted in the middle the sixth round. That continued into the seventh round, in which Forrest landed 26 punches, according to CompuBox, compared to nine for Zhang.

Forrest, of Newport News, Virginia, bounced back from some tough first rounds that knocked him down three times. Zhang of Zhokou, China, was hit by a headbutt in the eighth round. Despite the big blows that Forrest absorbed and early defeats, he seemed to be the more active and conditioned fighter late on.

He was also helped by a point that was deducted from Zhang in the ninth round for holding Forrest’s neck. This point ultimately made a big difference in the fight and appeared to be the result of exhaustion for Zhang over the last four rounds.

Pacheco unanimously dominates Gomez

Diego Pacheco (right) kept his distance for the third time in his professional career in a unanimous decision victory over Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (left). Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

Diego Pacheco might have wanted the knockout. The 19-year-old had to be content with a unanimous decision victory against veteran Rodolfo Gomez Jr. in a super middleweight fight.

Impact statistics

Blows Zhang Forest
Landed overall 104 156
Total thrown 311 555
percent 33% 28%
Jabs landed 14th 48
Thrown bumps 78 261
percent 18% 18%
The power landed 90 108
Power thrown 233 294
percent 39% 37%
– Courtesy of CompuBox

Los Angeles’ Pacheco (11-0, 8 KO’s) landed some good punches, including some nice uppercuts during the fight, but this was only the third time he has covered the distance and only the second time in his career that he went past the fourth round.

Gomez (14-5-1, 10 KO’s) from Laredo, Texas was a good test for Pacheco. Gomez made some big punches and seemed to frustrate Pacheco at times. It was also good lap work for Pacheco in his first full eight-round fight. Gomez gave Pacheco enough to look back now as he prepares for his next fight.

It was Gomez’s first loss since September 24, 2016, when he lost to Roberto Ramirez Uriarte by unanimous vote.

Castro destroys Moraga in two rounds

Marc Castro (left) defeated former MMA fighter John Moraga by knocking out in the second round. Ed Mulholland / Matchroom

Marc Castro took one punch, eight seconds and a left kick. That was all it took the junior lightweight to knock down UFC veteran John Moraga in the first round. From then on it was a matter of time for Castro, the highly regarded amateur fighter in his second professional fight.

Castro (2-0, 2 KOs) of Fresno, Calif. Knocked Moraga (1-3, 1 KO) three times in two rounds to register the knockout and ended the fight with a left uppercut.

Phoenix-based Moraga had an impressive MMA career with a 19-7 record and a UFC flyweight title, which he lost to Demetrious Johnson in 2013. His first knockout loss in boxing was Moraga’s third loss in four professional fights.

21-year-old Castro is still very, very early in his professional career, but star fighter Ryan Garcia’s friend made it easy for an overmatched opponent.