By: Hans Themistode
At this point, Ahmet Oner believes it doesn’t make any sense to even try.
Less than one week ago, the manager of super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim sat back with his jaw glued to the ground as he witnessed his man receive a one-sided beating at the hands of unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
The WBC-mandated title challenger was dominated in the first two rounds and dropped in the third. Rather than allow him to go out there to experience a continued beating, Oner pulled the plug on their contest, waving things off at the end of the third.
Shortly following the win, promoter Eddie Hearn announced that the next opponent for Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) was already signed, sealed and delivered in WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders. Yet, in the opinion of Oner, it doesn’t matter who steps into the ring with the consensus best boxer in the world.
Simply put, Oner doesn’t believe he’ll be beaten anytime soon.
“Canelo is very strong,” said Oner to George Ebro. “Put in Jermall Charlo, Dirrell, Billy Joe Saunders. All of them will be defeated by Canelo. He is a monster. He will never lose to minor boxers. I don’t think anyone can beat him in the division.”
To Oner, there aren’t enough superlative words to describe Alvarez. In short, he is the baddest man on the planet. But while that phrase is apropos when describing the Mexican product, at one point in time, Mike Tyson proudly held that distinction.
The former undisputed heavyweight champion would often win his bouts before the bell rung by striking fear into his opponents. Those who did work up the courage to step into the ring with him were quickly escorted away in the back of an ambulance.
But, regardless of the damage he caused inside the ring, even at his scariest, Oner firmly believes that for as great as Tyson was in his heyday, even he would play second fiddle to Alvarez.
“There is only one Canelo. Avni fought on a big stage against Chris Eubank and lost, but not like against Canelo. He’s better than Mike Tyson, more solid. If he was bigger, he could even beat Anthony Joshua. Canelo is in a different league.”