Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs Avni Yildirim? Purse bid delayed by WBC
Last Updated: 21/09/20 6:18pm
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez’s future remains in limbo after the WBC postponed a purse bid for a fight against Avni Yildirim until October 6.
The WBC previously ordered Canelo and Yildirim to contest their vacant super-middleweight championship.
But Canelo has since filed a lawsuit against his own promoters, Golden Boy, and the broadcaster DAZN for an alleged breach of contract, as well as other transgressions, and is reportedly seeking damages of at least $280m (£216m).
Canelo said in a statement: "I'm the pound-for-pound No 1 in the world. I'm not scared of any opponent in the ring, and I'm not going to let failures of my broadcaster or promoters keep me out of the ring."
His next opponent could yet be Turkey's Yildirim, who has won 21 of his 23 fights, and was stopped by Chris Eubank Jr.
It would enable Canelo a chance to solidify his grip over the super-middleweight division and further establish himself as a four-weight champion.
Yildirim's promoter Ahmet Oner remains optimistic that the Turkish contender can still receive the Canelo fight, despite the delayed purse bid.
Oner told Sky Sports: "Yes, because of the postponement. Why should anybody ask for a postponement, if there would be no interest, in my opinion.
"October 6th we will know definitely more and for my side, I hope it comes through."
Oner had previously told Sky Sports that Premier Boxing Champions, who have given their backing to Yildirim, could bid to stage the fight.
"We are happy with our position that we are the mandatory challenger, and if it's Canelo, it's great," said Oner.
"If it's a different opponent, then we will see. We'll go from there, but right now, I don't know who is fighting us for the vacant title.
"Canelo is a big chance for us, so I let things go smooth. Let him resolve his issues, if it's possible.
"We'll be happy if it's Canelo, and if it's then decided that Canelo will not fight, then I speak to my partners PBC. We have a contract with them and we have an agreement, so we'll speak to PBC and the president Mauricio Sulaiman.
"I am still hopeful for Canelo."
Can Canelo's problems be resolved?
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports: "It's always messy when a fighter and a promotional company end up in the courtroom. It's nice to avoid it.
"We want to see him back in the ring particularly because the two fights there for him are Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, two of our guys. I want them to have the opportunity to fight Canelo."
Top Rank president Todd duBoef told Sky Sports: "It's not the first time a network, a promoter and a fighter have been at odds.
"Canelo is obviously one of the biggest attractions in the world and a terrific fighter.
"The marriage between the smart thinking of DAZN, to get someone who can draw that much attention in the US, was terrific for them. But the economics was a different story.
"We want to see Canelo back in the ring because his window of opportunity as an athlete gets smaller and smaller. He elevates the sport for all of us.
"He's locked up in a relationship and they need to play that out. Hopefully they will work it out civilly and he gets back in the ring.
"When you have a long run with a fighter, a good partnership that starts at the beginning? We plant the seed, water it, and the stalk grows. Those relationships are the hardest ones because there is a history and a sense of collaborative ownership of the overall product.
"It does, unfortunately at times, impasse. It doesn't matter who the fighter is. At some point you sit across the table and say: 'How are we going to figure this out?'
"That's what they need to figure out."