Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant face off this Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight may appear to be another Canelo paint by numbers affair – and in some ways it is, but more on that later. However, in this case there is a factor that makes this bout unique. It’s a title unification bout. Meaning, at the end of the night there will be one undisputed super middleweight champ in the division. A rarity in what is the alphabet soup world of boxing title holders.
Put simply, super middleweight supremacy. Canelo holds the WBA, WBO & WBC straps – with only the IBF outstanding. That belongs to Caleb Plant – for now. But Canelo’s got eyes on it and Canelo usually gets what he sets his sights on.
For Canelo, there’s also a bit more on the line. You see a victory against Plant, makes Canelo the first undisputed champion in the division’s history and the first Latin American fighter to do so. “Being the undisputed champion is huge for my legacy,” Alvarez said. “Not only would it be an honor to be the first Latin American fighter to do it, but there’s only a select club of fighters who have achieved this. (Trainer/manager) Eddy (Reynoso) and I said in the beginning that the goal was to be undisputed, and now we’re one fight away.”
Let’s not try to spin it here. Canelo is the odds-on favorite. And for good reason. He’s plowed his way through the super middleweight division, demolishing the likes of Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe Saunders. Literally breaking Saunder’s face.
He’s pummeled guys way bigger than him at the Light Heavyweight ranks, in the form of Sergey Kovlalev. That’s not even the most impressive of his opposition. He’s stood toe to toe for 24 rounds with Gennady Golovkin and didn’t’ flinch. Went the distance with the likes of Miguel Cotto and Floyd Mayweather. Further, Canelo is a punishing body puncher, a solid defender and has one of the best chins in the sport.
Caleb Plant is a solid boxer. He is undefeated at 21-0 with three defenses under his belt. However, in this case he’s simply out of his depth. Canelo can take his best and dish out more punishment than Plant has likely ever seen in his career. The biggest notch on Caleb Plant’s belt is Jose Uzcátegui. Need we say more.
Odds here are that Canelo notches a stops Caleb Plant in the mid to later rounds and picks up the IBF title in the process.
Believe it or not, the biggest challenge which Canelo faces on Saturday isn’t in the ring, but rather the octagon. UFC 268 will be going down on the very same night. Although Usman vs. Covington 2 will be going down across the country in New York City, the events are still competing for the same pay-per-view dollars. Is Canelo big enough to out draw the UFC?
This is in some ways will be the bigger test of his mettle. Canelo has already established himself as the A-Side of any fight card and is arguably a pound for pound great. But is a Canelo fight “appointment viewing”?
By that, meaning that people will schedule their night around a Canelo fight. Like back in the day when you made sure you were home to see The Sopranos, the NBA Finals, World Series or closer to home a Floyd Mayweather fight.
Perhaps we will get the answer this Saturday night!