Sports Julio Cesar Martinez vs. McWilliams Arroyo confirmed as chief support for Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim
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Julio Cesar Martinez will defend his WBC flyweight title against McWilliams Arroyo on Saturday, February 27 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, live worldwide on DAZN (except Mexico).
The championship fight will go on just before Mexican superstar Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez defends his super-middleweight titles against Avni Yildirim in the main event. Limited tickets will be available, and go on general sale on Jan. 27.
Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs) puts his title on the line for the third time since claiming the belt in December 2019 in a stoppage win over Cristofer Rosales, outpointing Jay Harris in Dallas in February and blasting Moises Calleros in two rounds in Mexico City in October.
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“I am so happy to be back in the ring again and I promise you a war with Arroyo in Miami,” said Martinez. “With the unification fights ahead of me, it is important to take care of my mandatory challengers and I expect a tough fight with Arroyo. I believe that 2021 will see me unify the division and become undisputed and I can’t wait put a smile back on boxing fans faces.”
Arroyo (20-4, 15 KOs) will be making his third attempt to become a world champion, having been edged out via split decision by IBF champion Amnat Ruenroeng in September 2014 before losing to pound-for-pound star Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez in April 2016 for the WBC and Ring Magazine crowns in California.
“Finally, the fight is near, and I am sure the fans will enjoy another classic between Mexico and Puerto Rico,” said Arroyo.
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“This will be another great classic between Puerto Rico and Mexico,” said Arroyo’s co-promoter, Miguel Cotto. “I am sure they will provide the fans a great fight and McWilliams will be prepared to rip that title away and bring it back to Puerto Rico.”
Also on Feb. 27, Chinese heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang (22-0, 17 KOs) makes a quick return to action over 10 rounds against Jerry Forrest.
“I’m very excited about this fight,” said Zhang. “February 27 is the highest profile card of the first quarter of 2021, and it will be an honor to be part of it. I can’t wait to get in the ring and wish the best of luck to my opponent Jerry Forrest. I am training full force. I will be ready.”
“Zhang is a good fighter with great size and technique, but I’ll be ready for this fight,” said Forrest. “2021 is a new beginning for me.
"Covid has made training difficult with many gyms shut down, but I’ve stayed in shape since my last fight. I’m now up at my manager’s gym in Ashburn, Virginia, and my trainers have been creating a game plan while bringing in sparring partners to match Zhang’s size and style. I’m excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to ending Zhang’s unbeaten streak.”
Canelo Alvarez vs. Avni Yildirim, Joseph Parker vs. Junior Fa: Six big events on DAZN as boxing returns in February .
This month is set to be a busy month for boxing on the global sports streaming service.Alvarez returns two months after beating Callum Smith in December for the WBA (Super), WBC, and The Ring belts, and his quest for undisputed glory at 168lb in 2021 begins with a mandatory defence against Avni Yildirim on Saturday, Feb. 27 from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.