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Canelo Alvarez-Avni Yildirim live results and analysis

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WBC and WBA super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez defends his belts against mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in the main event of Saturday’s DAZN card at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami (DAZN, 7 p.m. ET).

Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) unified those titles by defeating Callum Smith by unanimous decision in December. That was Alvarez’s first fight since becoming a free agent, following his fallout with long-time promoter Golden Boy.

Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) is coming off a debatable technical decision loss to Anthony Dirrell in February 2020. Dirrell suffered a cut over his left eye due to an unintentional clash of heads, and the fight was stopped and sent to the scorecards. Two judges had the fight for Dirrell 96-94 and the third had it for Yildirim 98-92. Yildirim’s other loss was a KO against Chris Eubank Jr. in 2017. Yildirim remained Alvarez’s WBC mandatory challenger after the loss.

In the co-main event, McWilliams Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs) faces Abraham Rodriguez (27-2, 13 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the WBC interim flyweight title. Arroyo was scheduled to face full titleholder Julio Cesar Martinez, but Martinez was forced to withdraw on Thursday with a fractured right hand.

Also on the card, heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (22-0, 17 KOs) takes on Jerry Forrest (26-4, 20 KOs) in a 10-round fight, and super middleweight blue-chip prospect Diego Pacheco (10-0, 8 KOs) meets Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (14-4-1, 10 KOs) in an eighth-round bout.


Fight in progress: Diego Pacheco vs. Rodolfo Gomez Jr., 8 rounds, super middleweights


Results:

Castro demolishes Moraga in two rounds

Marc Castro needed one punch, eight seconds and a left jab. That’s all it took for the junior lightweight prospect to knock down UFC veteran John Moraga in the first round. From there, it was a matter of time for Castro, the highly-touted amateur fighter in his second pro fight.

Castro (2-0, 2 KOs) knocked down Moraga (1-3, 1 KO) three times in two rounds to register the knockout, finishing the fight with a left uppercut. Moraga has had an impressive MMA career, with a 19-7 record and a UFC flyweight title shot in 2013, which he lost to Demetrious Johnson. His first knockout loss in boxing was Moraga’s third defeat in four pro bouts.

The 21-year-old Castro is still very, very early in his pro career, but the friend of star Ryan Garcia made easy work of an overmatched opponent.


Still to come:

  • Title fight: Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim, 12 rounds, for Alvarez’s WBC and WBA super middleweight titles

  • Title fight: McWilliams Arroyo vs. Abraham Rodriguez, 12 rounds, for the WBC flyweight interim title

  • Zhilei Zhang vs. Jerry Forrest, 10 rounds, heavyweights



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