The very poor performance he gave Avni Yildirim in his fight against Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez last Saturday was criticized on so many levels, that it should have lit the warning lights throughout the boxing industry, but mainly, in the agencies.
Yildirim He stepped into the ring without throwing punches, shy, terrified, paralyzed. The Canelo He threw it in the third round, the Turk got up. And when he reached the bench at the end of the round, his own corner chose to stop the fight. In the opportunity of their lives, they chose to surrender at the first scare, quickly giving up the fight without presenting a battle. What he didn’t give up was the hefty check for $ 2.5 million.
1. The alarm lights were already on
I had two years without a fight. When Avni Yildirim rose to combat with him CaneloOn February 27, 2021, he was exactly two years and four days without a fight. His last fight was on February 23, 2019. How can a fighter maintain mandatory challenger status with two years without a fight?
It is understood that in pandemic times, activity can be a tricky subject. But the pandemic takes a year, and its inactivity takes two. What happened the whole first year of Yildirim’s inactivity?
2. Who had Yildirim fought against?
Avni Yildirim He hadn’t beaten anyone to earn such an opportunity. The two most notable names in the history of Yildirim they were Chris Eubank Y Anthony Dirrell, and with the two he lost.
In view of Chris Eubank Jr suffered a resounding knockout in the third round. That knockout should have been the appropriate parameter to know the limitations of the Turk when he comes to face a certain level of opposition. A couple of days before the fight Yildirim against Canelo, Chris Eubank He raised the question on his social networks that many had to ask.
“How and why Canelo Are you fighting a guy I knocked out in three rounds three years ago? ”he asked. Chris Eubank in your account Twitter. “I think if he’s the best pound-for-pound, as many say, he should knock him out in the first round, so we’ll see.”
How / why is Canelo fighting a guy I knocked out in 3 rounds, 3 years ago ? I guess if he’s really the P4P like people claim he’ll stop him in the 1st round tonight. Let’s see.
– Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) February 27, 2021
Against Anthony Dirrell he also lost, under controversial conditions if you will, but he lost. Dirrell he suffered an accidental head butt cut, was unable to continue in the fight, and the fight went to the cards. Two of the three judges saw win Dirrell, before the protests of Yildirim. That is, it was not even a clear triumph that earned Yildirim keeping a ticket for two years to be the mandatory rival. It was a doubtful defeat.
In the only two fights against actual world title contenders, Dirrell Y Eubank, Yildirim lost. It seemed clear that Yildirim it had reached its ceiling.
3. $ 2.5 million?
Avni Yildirim he pocketed 2.5 million dollars to get into the ring to surrender at the first exchange.
It is true that the stock market is correlated to everything that a fight generates. And in this case, the one that generates stratospheric amounts of money is the Canelo, and that creates a magnetic field for everyone. The Canelo generates enough for everyone to earn, and earn more than in their entire career.
But the fact that a fighter like Yildirim earn $ 2.5 million for doing nothing should generate thought.
Let’s see: the position of mandatory challenger exists in a democratizing effort. That is, the ideal is that all those fighters who accumulate sufficient merits, have at some point, the opportunity to challenge the champion. In other words, there is always the possibility of surprise.
The idea is gestated from romanticism. Let the underdog defeat the champion will always be an inspiring story, essential to boxing. It is a foundational idea of the boxing imaginary. But that surprise, that Cinderella story, is driven by hunger. From having nothing, and dreaming of having everything. The gyms in Mexico, the Philippines, Nicaragua, and Puerto Rico are full of that today. From hunger and dreams.
Yildirim He gave up the first exchange because without throwing a single blow, he had already won everything he dreamed of winning. He was guaranteed a check for $ 2.5 million. He got into the ring without hunger, because he got into the ring with his life resolved.
The idea of a mandatory challenger winning all that amount of money breaks with the aforementioned romantic and democratizing ideal with which the mandatory rival status was created.
4. El Canelo is not to blame
To the Canelo He can be blamed, and rightly so, for many other sins in the boxing industry, but not for the painful night with Yildirim.
Own Canelo He said it after the fight: He agreed to fight with Yildirim just to fulfill the commitment to do the mandatory, because if he did not fight with him, the CMB he took off his belt. Y Canelo he wants the belt, because his goal is to be a super middle champion by the four organisms. Otherwise, the Canelo nor would he have risen against Yildirim. Saul Did what he had to do.
That guilt, of what happened to Yildirim, must fall on the organisms, and in this case, on the World Boxing Council. The next day, Mauricio Sulaiman he looked visibly disappointed. I expected more than Yildirim. The body opted for the Turk and preserved his rights as a mandatory challenger, despite the controversy, inactivity and everything else. But Yildirim he cashed in and left.
When asked in the interview the next day to elaborate on his feelings towards Yildirim, Sulaimán seemed upset. He did not want to explain further. And it is that you cannot give more explanations to something that is inexplicable, nor can you defend the indefensible. The same discomfort was perceived in Sulaiman when they asked him to justify the fact that there are three lightweight world champions in his body. Nor could he solidly defend his solidity that time, because it also seems like something that defies logic.
It may be a good opportunity for Mauricio Sulaiman redirect to CMB towards the bases. Towards those years when the organisms were born to give order to that jungle, where everyone ate everyone at the hands of the mafias. Today, the four organisms, not just the CMBThey have generated disorder, confusion. They became the disease and stopped being the medicine. Time to find the path back in this new jungle
5. Agencies should take note of the Yildirim case
That the rules of one of the agencies have prompted a fighter like Yildirim up to the position of mandatory challenger, requires those rules to be revised. But it also requires that the parameters for a fighter to rank at the top are hardened.
Part of the problem is that a mandatory challenger does not have the required level for the position, as happened with Yildirim, lies in the large number of belts that agencies are inventing and delivering.
Let’s look at the example of light weights. In the latest listings from the four agencies, there are eight owned world championship belts. Teofimo Lopez has four, Ryan Garcia It has one, Devin Haney It has one, Gervonta davis It has one, Yvan mendy It has one.
And then, since the champions don’t get listed in the rankings, there is another huge number of fighters on the charts. If we review the top 10 classified of the four organizations, we will find 23 fighters, since several of them appear in more than one list. If we add those 23 fighters to the five champions, we have 28 fighters. Are there really 28 lightweight fighters on the planet with the ability to aspire to a world title? Of course not.
So why have them? It would be better to create a single unified list for all four agencies. And have only one champion for each body. In this way, if the champion of the CMB is Teofimo Lopez, then Devin Haney I could be fighting against Ryan Garcia to find a mandatory challenger. Or if in the AMB, the champion is also Teofimo Lopez, then Gervonta davis I would be fighting against Lomachenko or Linares, to earn the title opportunity.
Perhaps it would not be a bad idea to make it a requirement that for a fighter to access a mandatory position he must be among the first five positions in three of the four lists. Everything is for the quality.
In this way, the organizations would improve the level of the elimination fights, and the bar in terms of talent level would also be raised, so that no Yildirim sneak into a mandatory position.
But today, for example, thanks to this labyrinth created by organisms, a certain George Kambosos earned the mandatory lightweight position of the FIB against Teofimo Lopez. And the position was earned with a single major win: a split decision victory in a knockout against a Lee Selby that he had been world champion two divisions down, in the feathers. And incidentally, George Kambosos, who will most likely fall knocked out against Theophimus, it will pocket 2.1 million dollars.
That is, several of Miami’s vices with Avni Yildirim seem to be repeated with George Kambosos as mandatory rival of Teofimo Lopez. Reaching a mandatory position without having sufficient merit of importance in a well-nurtured division of talent. And also, earning a millionaire. It is a recipe that is an invitation to embarrassment, like last Saturday.