By Allan Fox: Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant does not doubt in his mind that he’ll have his hand raised in September when he faces superstar Canelo Alvarez for the undisputed 168-pound championship.
With Plant’s machine-gun style of throwing shots, he could prove to be the worst nightmare for Canelo, who is a single-punch fighter at this stage of his career. This will be a tough fight for Canelo to win unless he can hurt Plant with something.
Unlike others, IBF super middleweight champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) sees WBA/WBC/WBO/Ring Magazine champ Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) as not being as good as he’s been built up to be.
Plant points out that Alvarez, 30, has recent wins over many British fighters, which is fine, but when he stepped up against the best, he was exposed.
‘Sweethands’ Plant refers to Canelo’s fights against Floyd Mayweather Jr, Erislandy Lara, and Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin, matches in which the Mexican star was given generous scoring in some cases.
Plant feels that Canelo deserved losses in his two fights against Golovkin in 2017 and 2018 and his match against Lara in 2014. To be sure, Plant isn’t the only one that felt that Canelo was given gift decisions in those three fights, but the victories still counted.
What Plant learned from watching those fights is that Canelo isn’t the fighter that many of his diehard worshipers and casual fans think he is, and he plans on proving that when he battles him on September 18th for all four 168-lb belts [IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO].
Plant says Canelo has looked beatable
“He’s been fighting these U.K. level guys, and that’s cool, but as far as him fighting the top – Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, and Gennadiy Golovkin [twice] – he’s 1-3. He’s looked human in some of these bigger fights,” said Plant to The Athletic about Canelo not being as good as some think he is.
“When me and Canelo Alvarez fight, I’m getting my hand raised, and that’s all there is to it,” said Caleb Plant to PBC Podcast.
“I was never sent an official offer or money to decline or to price myself out,” Plant said about the talk going around that he’s turned down a fight with Canelo in the past.
“They [Caleb’s management] did get a call, but it was five weeks away. For a fight of that magnitude, I felt that deserves an eight-week camp.
“I’m not someone like [Avni] Yildirim, who doesn’t have a world title or someone like that. I’m a world-class fighter, and I deserve world-class respect, and that’s an eight-week camp.
If he’s the pound-for-pound best and he feels he’s the best in the world, then why would he not allow for it to be an even playing field, and both of us have eight weeks.
“He knew when that date was, he knew when he’d be fighting, and they didn’t realize it to anybody else until ex-amount of time.
“I never tried to give anybody a short camp. But as far as turning the fight down or overpricing myself, David Benavidez said he wouldn’t take that fight on five weeks’ notice either.
“A lot of other fighters said the same thing. If Eddie Hearn wants to sell out his fighter like Callum Smith for a little bit o money like that, then that’s on the,” said Plant.
Alvarez looked vulnerable against Billy Joe
It’s pretty obvious from just watching Canelo’s last fight against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders last Saturday night that he’s clearly vulnerable.
Canelo really struggled at times against the 31-year-old Saunders, who some fans believe was nowhere near his prime after years of injuries, inactivity, and weight issues.
Saunders was slower and lethargic-looking than he’d been during the zenith of his career in 2014 at middleweight, and yet he was able to fight Canelo almost even.
In Canelo’s last fight, what Plant likely saw was his conditioning issues and inability to put his punches together.
Canelo has always been known for his tendency to throw punches in spurts followed by rest breaks, but we didn’t see that against Saunders, Avni Yildirim, Callum Smith, or Sergey Kovalev.
As the former four-division world champion Canelo has aged, his game has been transformed into a fighter that throws only single shots. Canelo loads up on the single with everything he’s got and places them well.
Thanks to Canelo’s high connect percentage and excellent punching power, it’s helped him win rounds against his opponents, who have struggled to land their shots through his near-impregnable defense.
Caleb has tunnel vision with a focus on Alvarez
“Right now, I’m just focused on that,” said Plant when asked who he would be interested in fighting next if the fight with Canelo fails to happen.
“My goal right now is to becoming undisputed,” Caleb said in making it clear that he doesn’t want to discuss a hypothetical situation where he won’t be getting the fight with Canelo.
“I’m focused on that, and I’m sure we can get that fight made for the fans. Everything I’ve ever wanted out of boxing, I could attain in one night.
“If we can get the fight made, great. If not, I know there’s a lot of other great fighters out there that we can make a fight with.
“That’s a tall order for somebody that couldn’t even beat Gabe Rosado,” Plant said about Daniel Jacobs wanting to fight him. “He might want to think that over.
Plant has no doubts about his ability to win
“I know I can win [against Canelo],” Plant said. “No matter what anybody says, that is different.
“They’re not going to be able to persuade me. I’ve been told my whole life what I can and can’t be and what I can and can’t achieve. So far, they’ve all been wrong.
“With everything I’ve been through, if they were in my shoes, they’d feel the same way. If they were able to conquer all the things that I have, they would feel that they’re unstoppable too.
“We’ll get that fight [with Canelo], and when I get that fight, I’ll have my hand raised. It’ll be a great victory, and it’ll cement my name in the history books forever,” said Plant.
The only way the Canelo fight fails to happen for Plant at this point is if the negotiations turn sour over the purse splits. Plant will obviously want to be paid well, so there’s always a chance the negotiations will fail to produce a fight. However, there’s too much interest on Canelo’s part in this fight for the match not to be made.