De La Hoya on Caleb Plant: ‘It’s OVER, you won’t get Canelo opportunity ever again’
By Aragon Garcia: Oscar De La Hoya says IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant missed out on his big opportunity to “EVER” face Canelo Alvarez by him saying that he would be “OVERWORKED” by needing to start training camp for the May 2 fight after 2 weeks of rest from his last fight against mandatory Vincent Feigenbutz last Saturday night. De La Hoya says “It’s OVER” for Plant (20-0, 12 KOs), and he will never be given the chance to fight Canelo ever again.
Like many people, De La Hoya was surprised that the 27-year-old Plant chose not to take the fight with Canelo, as this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that he was being given. Plant believes that the chance to fight Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KOs) will present itself to him again in the future, but that’s not how De La Hoya sees it. He says, “IT’S OVER” for Plant. He had his chance to fight Canelo, the face of boxing, and he blew it. Now he’ll never get that opportunity ever again.
De La Hoya: Caleb Plant won’t get the chance to fight Canelo again
“I don’t understand this ‘short notice.’ There are still nine weeks left. What short notice is that?” said De La Hoya to Fighthype on Caleb Plant saying he wouldn’t take the fight with Canelo due to it being on short notice. “Look, the truth of the matter is if you’re NOT going to want to fight Canelo, and we’re considering you, then it’s OVER. That’s it. It’s over,” said De La Hoya.
Plant seems to believe that Canelo will be around the super-middleweight division for some time, and the two of them will meet up later on down the line. What Plant advised Canelo, 29, to do is take on either WBA 168-lb champion Callum Smith or WBO belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders, beat them, and then face him later on after he’s beaten WBC champion, David Benavidez.
To that end, Golden Boy Promotions are negotiating with Saunders (29-0, 14 KOs) for a Canelo fight on May 2. They’re not looking to make the Canelo-Saunders fight with the idea of setting up a unification fight with Plant at a later date. It’s just a fight that Golden Boy wants to do right now between Canelo and the unbeaten Saunders, who has talked a lot of trash in the past about the Mexican star.
Caleb Plant wants his rest
“How far is May away? So that means I have half a month off after a 3 1/2 month camp, and we go right back to work, right?” said Plant when asked if he’d like to fight Canelo in May. “Just so they can try and get me when I’m overworked? So you control the narrative, you control the media,” said Plant.
The way that Plant is talking, he almost sounds like he thinks that Golden Boy and Canelo are intentionally looking to get an advantage over him by giving him the opportunity to take the fight on May 2. Before Golden Boy looked at Plant as a possibility for Canelo, they were in negotiations with Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders.
They weren’t trying to wait until the last minute to include Plant in the discussions for Canelo. They were reaching out in hopes of finding someone quickly for Canelo due to the negotiations with Saunders and Smith not going well.
Plant’s fight against Feigenbutz was far from a grueling one in which he took major punishment before stopping the German fighter in the 10th round. This fight was a mismatch from the opening round, and the only reason Feigenbutz landed anything in the fight was due to Plant going all out for the knockout in the 9th and 10th.
If Plant had chosen to continue to box Feigenbutz, he would have won a lopsided 12 round decision without his face being marked up the way it was.
Andy Ruiz Jr. took the Anthony Joshua fight on two weeks’ notice and parlayed that into two fights in which he made a small fortune.
Oscar: This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Plant
“You will not have that opportunity ever again, because there are so many champions out there in his weight division,” said De La Hoya on Plant losing out on Canelo fight permanently. “Actually, he [Canelo] can choose from three weight divisions, from three weight classes. So if he’s [Plant] saying, ‘I’ll wait my turn.’ No, we’re telling him to fight him now.
“The opportunity of your life. Exactly,” said De La Hoya when told that Andy Ruiz Jr. took the fight with Anthony Joshua last June on short notice. “This is boxing. Anything can happen, but opportunities don’t come often. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, and he’s passing up? I’m sorry,” said De La Hoya.
Plant might have been better off dodging the question when asked at the post-fight news conference last Saturday if he would be willing to fight Canelo on May 2. Those kinds of questions should be thought over carefully by Plant and his management rather than him ruling out the opportunity to face Canelo.
Caleb arguably did himself a disservice by turning down the fight without realizing the long term ramifications in not agreeing with it. Even if Golden Boy and Canelo weren’t serious about wanting to face Plant next for May 2, they still could have kept him in mind for a future fight if he’d given a positive message on the fight. Instead, Plant rejected the fight and came across like his rest was more important to him than trying to make history.
Ideally, Canelo will understand why Plant wasn’t interested in fighting him right now and will keep him in mind for a future fight. But with the way De La Hoya is talking, it seems that Plant has permanently lost his chance to fight Canelo.
Plant talks on Canelo fight
“They make an offer when I just fought, so when I say, ‘No,’ then it seems like I’m ducking them,” said Plant about Canelo’s team.” So you control the narrative, you control the media. Don’t let them fool you,” said Plant last Saturday.
Canelo can’t fight Plant in September because he’s expected to face Gennady Golovkin in a trilogy match then. That’s a much bigger fight than Canelo-Plant.
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