Florida, February 18: Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez dominated Avni Yildirim, successfully defending his super-middleweight titles via a brutal TKO after just three rounds.
Canelo put his WBC and WBA belts on the line in Miami, where the Mexican star was fighting for just the second time since November 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 30-year-old barely raised a sweat on Saturday (February 27) – Yildirim's corner waving off the fight before the start of the fourth round after a combination of jabs floored the Turkish challenger in the third.
Canelo improved to 55-1-2 as he looks ahead to a unification bout against WBO holder Billy Joe Saunders on May 8.
Eyebrows were raised when Canelo opted to fight Yildirim (21-3), who last fought in February 2019, and the gulf in class was evident from the outset.
The moment that secured the win for Canelopic.twitter.com/mxofve7qMj— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) February 28, 2021
There were a couple of warning shots from Canelo in the opening round as he worked Yildirim's body in front of an electric crowd at Hard Rock Stadium.
Canelo, who stopped Callum Smith in December last year, continued to move well in the second round – light on his feet with a number of quick uppercuts setting the tone.
Yildirim was on the backfoot early in the third, sent to the canvas following a devastating one-two combo from Canelo.
Smelling blood, Canelo went in for the attack as he forced Yildirim against the ropes, but the latter managed to weather the storm as he survived the round.
But after his trainer was heard saying "I'll give you one more round or I'll stop you", Yildirim's fight came to an end before the bell could sound for the start of the fourth.