All due respect to Avni Yildirim, he has some talent and courage and the focus he’s maintained to get to the level where he’s fighting the (maybe) top pound for pound boxer on earth is to be commended.
But he has the slimmest of chances to beat Canelo Alvarez in the WBC super middleweight title fight tonight in Miami, which will screen on DAZN. But of course, I will watch, because degenerate addicts don’t have a choice. However, I will be honest with you, and share a novel assertion: the main event on the “other” card screening tonight, the PBC promotion topped by an Anthony Dirrell vs. Kyrone Davis contest, is more intriguing to me from a dramatic and human interest point of view.
The PBC on Fox super middleweight offering hasn’t garnered much respect since it got announced, and that’s understandable. Dirrell is 36, hasn’t fought in a year and half and comes in off a loss, to David Benavidez. You recall his right eye was gashed and he was having no luck holding off the younger, fresher man and the scrap got stopped in round nine. His reflexes, his reaction time, wasn’t stellar toward the end of the fight. The bout before, “The Dog,” trained by Sugar Hill, met Yildirim, and he got the win there.
But many minutes of the rounds in that one were pretty close. And that has to be a little bit uplifting to team Kyrone Davis. Trainer Stephen Edwards has to have done the video homework, and seen in that bout that Dirrell had a nasty gash on his other eye, his left eye.
The doc in round ten said no mas, he could see too far into the head of the Flint, Michigan man, and told the ref to end it. They went to the cards, and Dirrell (33-2-1) got the nod, by majority decision. Now, maybe this was peak Yildirim on that night. Maybe Dirrell, who debuted in 2005, has more mileage left on him, and his form is solid enough to handle Davis (15-2), who enters a bit of an unknown on the Los Angeles card.
That’s a big reason this main event has gotten fileted some, people are dismissive of the potential of guys that haven’t seen. How many people saw the 26 year old Jersey born Delaware resident in his last outing, on Jan. 18, 2020, beating Antonio Todd, who was 7-2? Or the fight before, when he downed 6-3 Alexis Gaytan, or when he lost to the late Patrick Day (then 14-2-1) in 2018? Or his 2016 loss to Junior Castillo?
Not many; which is why people are showing contempt prematurely.
Here is how our friends at Sports Betting Dime see the Fox main event:
Dirrell vs Davis
Average Sportsbook odds: Dirrell (-380) vs Davis (+276)
Anthony Dirrell is a powerful veteran who’s at home in the super middleweight division and has battled top contenders like David Benavidez (albeit in a losing effort). Kyrone Davis, while ten years younger and visibly faster, has never fought anyone on Dirrell’s level and possesses very little power, especially as he steps up to 168. Three fights ago, the 5’10 Davis lost to the late Patrick Day at 154. Davis will likely score points early in the fight, but the most-likely script is that the experienced Dirrell uses his height advantage (6’2 vs 5”10), reach advantage (74.5” vs 73”), and considerable power advantage to earn a stoppage win in the latter stages of the 12-round fight.
Canelo vs Yildirim is a mandatory title defense mismatch. Yildirim has no business facing boxing’s pound-for-pound kingpin. The 29-year-old doesn’t even have the power to give himself the proverbial puncher’s chance against Canelo, who has never hit the canvas in his 57 pro fights. Canelo dominated Callum Smith two months ago, looking as masterful as ever. If he loses to Yildirim, it will go down as one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
We hear Kyrone has been saying the right things, promising to surprise to the upside, against Dirrell. So I’m here to tell you, you are likely to see a tighter fight on Fox than on the DAZN main event, and much more likely to see an upset. And add to that, the possibility that something weird happens is strong, because this is a Dirrell fight. Consider the possibility that if you choose to allocate some attention to the Fox fare, and treat that as your 1A main event of the evening, and see Canelo-Yildirim as 1B, you just might well be rewarded for the outside the box thinking.
FOX PBC Fight Night starts at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, and prelims start on FS1 at 7 PM ET.
Final note: Nineteen year old Jesus Ramos, a 14-0 welterweight, gets TV time before the Dirrell-Davis match. Make a note to pay attention–the Arizona lefty has 13 KOs, and could be the best prospect edging toward contender status in the PBC sphere. Watch one of his filthy KOs here. He is meeting a 33 year old Mexican, Jesus Bojorquez (24-2) who has worked as a standby for PBC shows, and is now getting the opportunity to trade sweat for a check.