Already Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez He has a date and a rival for his next fight, and his name is very little known, almost unpronounceable: Avni Yildirim.
Have you ever seen a person who only has the vowel “i” in their name and surname? I know not, but that’s another issue.
The thing is, for some time now, the mandatory challengers that top the agency rankings list seem to be more of a match for transitional fights than anything else. In other words, they are super winnable fights, without representing a real challenge for the champion.
But my problem is not that. My problem is how they sometimes get to be number one. And how sometimes, they manage to stay there for no reason.
In recent times, it has become rare to see classic or hard-to-predict fights, between the mandatory challenger versus the champion. Just as they were, for example, Oscar de la hoya against Ike Quartey, Vernon forrest against Shane mosley, Pernell whitaker versus Diosbelys Hurtado, or even a Felix Trinidad against Yori Boy Campas.
How is it possible that Yildirim can be a mandatory challenger?
For those who do not know, the last fight of Avni Yildirim was in February 2019. So, for his match against Canelo On February 27, he would already have two years of inactivity.
But that is not the worst. It’s even more “disgusting” to know that he lost that last fight. Yes! He lost it, and despite that, he remained number one in the rankings of the CMB. Doesn’t it seem illogical? That’s like a champion losing, and still, they keep him champion.
The Pulev case
This type of mandatory challengers is not comparable, for example, to the case of Kubrat Pulev, which last December was the mandatory rival of Anthony Joshua. Although on paper everything pointed to a victory for Joshua, Pulev he earned the position of official challenger by grinding glass with his chest. He won every match he had since his last loss in 2014 to Wladimir Klitschko.
The Szeremeta case
Another example of an official paper challenger is the one who had Gennady Golovkin with Kamil Szeremeta in their fight last December 18. Szeremeta was the mandatory rival of the FIB for Golovkin, in a fight that was postponed on several occasions, and that was the pretext that the Kazakh set for not fighting against Canelo at the beginning of 2020 when the Mexican was looking for a rival before the pandemic broke out.
Szeremeta He just had a “nice” undefeated record, but he hadn’t really beaten any quality fighter.
Although the case of Szeremeta is also open to criticism, nor is it comparable to the case of Avni Yildirim who remains the official challenger of the CMB at 168 pounds despite losing his last bout.
That is the next rival of the CaneloI still don’t understand how DAZN approved the combat. It is hard to believe it.
The organizations, and the interests of the promoters
Yes, we know that the ranking rule is necessary, and that it is important that the organisms have their classifications, and mandatory fights. But we also know that it is the promoter by dint of tickets, who can make the difference on which place of the ranking will your ward be, and how quickly you can get into a title fight.
This has been the case almost since boxing has existed. However, lately they are doing it very brazenly. The idea of good fighters fighting each other to climb steps in the ranking, I think it’s great; however, now more than ever, those who fight to climb the rankings are the promoters by dint of wallpaper presidents.
That’s why we usually see many boxers from Top rank, Golden boy and large, well-ranked companies, because they are the ones that can afford to spend. That’s why we see Edgar berlanga already entering some rankings, despite not having beaten anyone.
In short, many times promoters keep paying the organization, so that they leave it in a privileged position. So when a lucrative fight comes like with Canelo, hit the lottery and more than recoup the investment.
He already said it on the show The Boxcast the president of AMB, Gilberto Mendoza Jr,: “The organisms are at the disposal of the promoters”.
*The author, DAMIÁN FERRER, is The Boxing Philosopher, and you can follow him on his Facebook page.