Canelo Alvarez does not appear to be letting up. The pound-for-pound king predictably ruined Avni Yildirim in a short space of time on Saturday, in what could probably go down as the exact definition of a showcase fight.
In broadcaster DAZN’s defence, they didn’t even try to portray this as an even remotely competitive matchup on the night; this was all about Canelo and his stratospheric drawing power.
Backstage footage almost exclusively focused on what Canelo was up to – there were a few fleeting shots of Yildirim preparing himself for the slaughter, but it was clear who the night belonged to.
While Yildirim had a standard ringwalk, Canelo’s was a tour-de-force of hype and pomp. Teed up by a pretty fun 80’s-inspired VT, it moved into a live performance from a popular Hispanic musician, who then rapped Canelo to the ring. As entrances go, it was impressive.
In terms of his actual job for the night, Canelo went about it as expected and utterly outclassed the overmatched Yildirim. The DAZN commentary noted how Yildirim’s team had previously expressed the importance of starting fast, and how that alarmingly contrasted to how he actually fought in the opening rounds. The DAZN team are not yet particularly well regarded in boxing circles, but they did a decent job of pointing out how moronic it is to just stand in front of Canelo and let him tee off.
If there was any doubt as to how little everyone in the Canelo business regarded Yildirim, it was washed away after the fight when it was confirmed Alvarez will fight Billy Joe Saunders on May 8, before a premade promotional video played to sell the fight, which will also air on DAZN.
They might want to improve their security for that event though, as on this night two men found their way into the ring during Canelo’s post-fight interview wearing t-shirts promoting an upcoming Triller event between YouTuber Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren. Amazingly, Canelo was the only one to notice them and told them where to go, before muttering “fucker” under his breath, in front of a live microphone.
DAZN’s production is very good, there’s no denying that, but the streaming service would really benefit from incorporating more ex-fighters into its broadcast team. Sergio Mora is the only regular feature on DAZN who has boxed for pay, and his commentary is not nearly as insightful as other former fighters like Andy Lee or Tim Bradley.
Their punditry was also left in the hands of AK and Barak – their actual names remain a mystery – who host a lot of DAZN’s promotional content but do not appear to have much of a background in boxing. That meant there was very little informed technical analysis of the fights; an important part of the broadcast for a lot of fans.
That being said, DAZN have always claimed they are trying to do things differently, and it might be that they are less interested in appealing to the more hardcore fanbase.
Sky released their much-advertised ‘Bruno v Tyson’ documentary this week; an interesting trip down memory lane for the two fights between Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson but not much else. The one-off leans heavily on archive footage from the two men’s careers, with an admittedly touching reunion between the two at the end.
Sadly, there’s only about 15 minutes of that reunion – partly because of scheduling confusion when Bruno was flown over to the States to meet up with Tyson. The two men, after years of personal turmoil, both seem at peace and genuinely happy, so it’s a pleasure to see them discuss their lives with each other freely.
The documentary does a decent job of covering their fighting careers and how those stories were told in the media, but nothing new is revealed or addressed. It also fails to properly explore the strongest connection between Bruno and Tyson; the inner demons they’ve both had to contend with.
Although their respective mental health struggles are raised, it’s only at a surface level. It feels like a missed opportunity.
In a surprising development, Triller stormed the market and won the purse bids for Teofimo Lopez’ mandatory titled defence against George Kambosos Jnr, beating out Eddie Hearn and Lopez’ promoter Bob Arum.
Understandably, Lopez is delighted. He told various outlets that he is thankful to Triller for putting up over $6 million for the fight and once again doubled down on comments that he’ll split from Arum’s Top Rank if they don’t shell out more for him.
The situation became even messier when Arum and Hearn traded comments in different articles on BoxingScene, with Arum vowing revenge on Hearn for bidding on one of his fighters, and Hearn accurately responding that he was well within his rights to put in an offer on what was an open market.
This is a worrying outcome for Top Rank. One of their top fighters has been scooped up by another platform, and it’s very unlikely Lopez will now settle for smaller purses after this.
Tyson Fury seemed to contradict a lot of what’s recently been said about a potential fight with Anthony Joshua while speaking to ESPN this past week. The WBC heavyweight champion said that talks are “no further forward” than they were a year ago, despite the likes of Hearn and Arum repeatedly claiming an announcement is imminent.
It’s a relatively short interview and it’s probably best to put more stock into the comments of Hearn and Arum, though Tyson did also point out that – regardless of who it is against – he will be fighting on ESPN two times this year. He also lamented the fact that he hasn’t fought since beating Wilder over a year ago.
He said: “By the time I fight again, looking at maybe June if this Joshua fight happens, that will be a year and six months out of the ring, which is not ideal preparation for any superfight.”