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Caleb Plant tells Canelo Alvarez: ‘I’m free in September’

Image: Caleb Plant tells Canelo Alvarez: 'I'm free in September'

By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant says he’s ready to face Canelo Alvarez in September if he wants to fight him in a unification match. Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) reveals that he was NEVER given an official offer to face the Golden Boy mega-star Canelo (53-1-2 36 KOs) for this May, like many boxing fans thought he had.

Caleb says that a “secondary” person from Canelo’s team approached them immediately after his win over Vincent Feigenbutz last February about potentially facing him in May.

Plant turned down Canelo fight

In an unpopular move, Plant rejected the idea of fighting Canelo at that time because he wanted to rest from his hard training camp that he’d just gone through to prepare for his title defense against his IBF mandatory Feigenbutz.

Plant is a good fighter, but we don’t know if he’s going to be able to hold onto his IBF 168-pound title for long. He wants to face WBC champion David Benavidez, Callum Smith, and Canelo. If Plant can beat those type of guys, he’ll be the next star at super middleweight.

We just don’t know if Plant has got that kind of talent to beat the likes of Canelo, Callum, and Benavidez. Against Feigenbutz, Plant took a lot of heavy shots from the German fighter before stopping him in the 10th. Had that been Canelo or Benavidez that Plant was getting hit with, it might not have ended well for him.

Plant available to fight Canelo in September

“I feel like I’m the full package, and like I said, I’m free in September,” said Plant to Fighthype on him being available for Canelo fight in September. “He was trying to press me with no time [to rest] and giving me something silly. I’m sure you wouldn’t be in for something that’s feasible,” said Plant on a fight with Canelo.

“If I’m a world-class fighter, you should offer me something reasonable, and I’m not trying to price myself out, you know? I felt like some of the other guys were, but they [Team Canelo] never even sent an offer. It never even got to that. Absolutely,” said Plant when asked if he’d take the Canelo Alvarez fight if Golden Boy offered it to him when he was rested,” said Plant.

“The weight still has to be made. It’s not hard, but it still takes effort and just being deprived of so many things and being so disciplined. Maybe other people don’t do their camps so disciplined, so they’re able to enjoy other things while they’re in camp, but I don’t do it like that. I go 100% discipline, and I don’t put my hand on a cookie or anything. So I just wanted a rest from training camp,” said Plant.

The thing that boxing fans don’t understand is how Plant, a fighter that isn’t hugely popular, could be picky when offered a match against Canelo.

When you’re first starting out and trying to build yourself into a star, you’ve got to take chances. That means when you’re offered a fight on short notice against a superstar like Canelo, you readily agree.

Image: Caleb Plant tells Canelo Alvarez: 'I'm free in September'

Caleb Plant won’t rush for NOBODY

“I’m not rushing for nobody. It took me so many years to get here, and I’ve done everything the right way, you know?” said Plant. “I’ve done the work and kept my head in the dark. I’ve stayed out of BS. No one is going to force my hand. I’m going to do it the way I want to do it. Anyone in boxing knows that’s just silliness, really.

“I can’t take anything away from him,” said Plant when asked how a fight between him and Canelo would go. I don’t want to speak off emotion and say, ‘He sucks’ or ‘He can’t fight.’ He’d done a lot of things in the sport, and he’s done a lot of respectable things. He has a lot of accolades, but if I think there’s anybody for the job, I know I’m the man for the job, you know?

“I know I got the skills, I know I got the IQ, and I know I got the dog in me, you know? I’ve persevered through a lot. It’s turned me into a world-class fighter, and I’ve put in the work for a long time. And not just any type of work, but the smart work and the right way,” said Plant.

A lot of fighters may make less money due to the global recession. In that case, guys like Plant won’t be able to afford to turn down fights against the likes of Canelo if he wants to continue to make big money.

Rest needed for Plant after last fight

“I’m always working on my craft, sharpening my tools and staying ready because, with everything that’s going on when we get to the end of this, there’s going to be people who are a new animal and the people who slacked off,” said Plant. “I never want to be one of those people that slack off. My motivation isn’t what other people are doing. It’s more about this is my craft.

“It was right after my fight [against Vincent Feigenbutz]. They never even sent a real offer,” said Plant about Golden Boy Promotions for a fight against Canelo Alvarez for May of 2020.

“It was a secondary guy that reached out to a member of our team, and we’re like, ‘We’re cool, we’re good.’ It’s not because I don’t want to fight Canelo. Everyone has said that I want to fight Canelo.

“I do want to fight Canelo, but I feel like I’ve solidified myself as a world-class fighter. I’m not someone that has to jump on an opportunity, and I think a lot of people were confused, thinking that I needed rest because I had a tough fight [with  Feigenbutz].

“People that know anything about boxing know that I don’t need to rest from the fight. I clearly didn’t take that much punishment. I needed to take a rest from training camp. All the rounds that you put in. Usually, it’s a 120 rounds for a world championship fight. A lot of people spar more than that. I usually spar more than that. The miles you run, the sprints, and being absent for eight weeks,” said Plant.

Plant talks about being a “seven-figure” fighter. It’ll be interesting to see if he continues to earn that much for his fights against lackluster opposition like Mike Lee, Feigenbutz, and Jose Uzcategui after the global pandemic ends.

Plant won’t make mistake Kovalev did

“I’m still going to be training and still going to be working,” said Plant. “I do this all year round; my weight stays good all year round. I’m 182 right now, but that’s not the point. You’ve got to rest. [Sergey] Kovalev coming off back-to-back fights to fight Canelo like that. He looked a little [drained].

“That’s not to say that he would have won because he probably wouldn’t have, but he looked a little flat in his fight. That could have played a role in fighting back-to-back.

“Andy Ruiz did it [in coming back to fight Anthony Joshua with little rest], but Andy Ruiz hadn’t solidified himself as a world-class fighter. He didn’t have a world title. And he was not defending his world title.

“He jumped on an opportunity when he wasn’t in the same position I was. I’m a seven-figure fighter, you know? I make well over seven figures every time I fight. So I don’t have to be desperate. I’m not in boxing for money. I feel like a lot of fight fans say, ‘Oh, they’re just in it for the money. They just do it for the money, and they just care about being rich and famous.’

“And then a fighter comes along that doesn’t care about being famous, and it not in boxing solely for the money cares so much about legacy and being respected,” said Plant.

With Plant having plenty of rest due to the lockdown, he can’t say that he wants more rest before facing Canelo in September. If boxing doesn’t restart until September, Plant will have had seven months to re-energize from his last training camp.

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