WBC #4 rated super middleweight contender Avni Yildirim (12-0) returns to action on Saturday when he takes on US veteran Aaron Pryor Jr. (19-9-2) in Berlin, Germany. “This will be my next step on the way to the top”, says Yildirim. “I know that Aaron Pryor sr. was a tremendous fighter and a great champion but I haven’t seen much from his son. I don’t think that he can stand my power and agility.”
Yildirim has made quite some noise piling up an impressive eleven wins in the last 18 months including unanimous decisions over “Road Warrior” Glen Johnson in Miami one year ago and over world rated Argentinian Walter Sequeira in February in Germany. In his last bout on July 23rd, Yildirim stopped previously unbeaten WBC Youth Champion Timur Nikarkhoev.
“I am not scared of anybody”, states the 25-year-old Turk. “I have beaten experienced former world champions as well as young up-and-coming guys, technically skilled boxers as well as fighters and brawlers. My only goal is to win the WBC World Championship. I want to have that Green and Gold belt around my waist. It’s the biggest and most prestigious prize in boxing. That’s all that matters to me and I will beat everybody who gets into my way.”
Yildirim has had a decent amateur career winning multiple national championships in Turkey and competing at the highest level at international tournaments before turning pro in March 2014. “I won medals at European Championships and could have gone to World Championships and Olympics but I always felt that I have a pro style. So I decided to turn professional.”
Under the guidance of promoter Ahmet Oner who also trains Yildirim the young Turk began his fast rise to the top. “When I first saw him I knew that he was a rough diamond”, says Oner. “He is still young and needs to improve but I have never seen a fighter who works as hard and who wants to learn as much. He is never satisfied and pushes himself over his own limits in every single training session. He has talent, he has power, he has speed – but most importantly, he has the mindset of a future champion!”
Oner proved in the past that he knows how to move his fighters and take the fast track to the top. And he has a clear goal with Yildirim: “After he beats Pryor – which I am sure he will – I want Avni to fight again in October. We already signed a deal with world rated contender. If he can win that fight, too, he will be ready for a world title shot very soon. We have no problem fighting anybody in the top 10. Callum Smith, George Groves, Anthony Dirrell … bring them on! I am convinced that Avni can and will beat all of them.”
Yildirim vs. Pryor jr. will be broadcasted live in Germany and Turkey and tape delayed on ESPN.