Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant fight can still happen on Sept.18th says Eddie Hearn

By Boxing News - 07/29/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Eddie Hearn hasn’t given up on the Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant negotiations for September 18th despite the talk of the fight being “dead” by ESPN.

The negotiations for the fight stalled out on Tuesday over contractual disagreements between Alvarez and Plant.

The IBF 168-lb champion Plant didn’t help his situation in keeping the negotiations alive with his critical comments in an interview with ESPN on Tuesday, saying that Canelo insisted on being paid the same amount for the September 18th fight, even if Caleb had to pull out with an injury or illness. Canelo still wanted the $40million.

What Plant fails to realize is that boxing fans aren’t excited about seeing him fight on September 18th. It’s all about Canelo. Plant is just an unknown B-side opponent for Canelo, as far as the casual boxing fans go.

As such, Canelo will still bring in just as many fans fighting a replacement opponent as he would Plant because the Tennessean isn’t a popular fighter. Plant is just a guy that holds the IBF belt that he won against Jose Uzcategui in 2019, and that’s all he is.

Canelo would likely bring in more fans, and pay-per-view buys if he fought a different opponent for September 18th rather than Plant.

You can argue that Canelo can make MORE money on PPV fighting one of these guys on that date in September:

  • Dimitry Bivol
  • David Benavidez
  • Artur Beterbiev
  • Gabe Rosado

Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn, who works with WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Canelo, believes that a 48-hour cooling-off period needs to happen to help get the Plant undisputed clash done.

Hearn doesn’t want to just give up on the fight, as he recognizes how important it is for Canelo to try and become the four-belt champion at 168.

With that said, Hearn admits that they’re running out of time to get the fight done, and he believes that they might want to consider moving the Canelo – Plant fight off the September 18th date to another month.

Assuming that Canelo vs. Plant negotiations are untenable at the moment, Hearn says that he’s already started discussions for Alvarez to fight WBA light heavyweight champion Dimitry Bivol next on September 18th.

Hearn states that the unbeaten Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) is the “frontrunner” at the moment to be the replacement opponent for Canelo to fight on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend on September 18th.

Canelo vs. Plant still possible, says Hearn

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t materialized for September 18th,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN on the Canelo vs. Plant fight. “We’ll see what happens. I spoke to Saul last night, and I spoke to Eddy Reynoso last night. We spoke about another opponent.

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant fight can still happen on Sept.18th says Eddie Hearn

“I’m sure there are other options to see if the Plant fight is still possible, perhaps on another date, but that’s where we’re at right now.

It’s a report. People are entitled to their own opinion,” said Hearn about the comment made from Plant criticizing Canelo for still wanting to be paid his full purse if Caleb gets sick and he needs to fight a different opponent on September 18th.

“On our side, I know the undisputed fight was the one that he wants to make, but obviously, it wasn’t able to get over the line for September 18th.

“Now we’ve got to look at the alternatives for remain working on that fight,” said Hearn.

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“I don’t know if the fight is dead. Certainly, there is more work to be done on that, but now it looks unlikely for September the 18th.”

From the way Hearn is talking, it’s not looking good for Canelo to fight IBF super middleweight champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) on the September 18th date.

Eddie doesn’t want to give up on the negotiations between Canelo and Plant just yet, but he realizes that they’ve got to move quickly to get past their disagreement if they want to still fight on September 18th.

It’s anyone’s guess what the sticking point in the negotiations is, but it’s something that Canelo and Team Plant feels strongly about for the talks to have died.

Plant said he already agreed on the money and the oneway rematch clause for the Canelo fight. Other than that, it’s a mystery about what could be holding up the talks.

There’s speculation from boxing fans on social media that PBC wants Canelo to agree to an additional fight with them in exchange for getting the match against Plant.

Unfortunately, Canelo only wants a one-fight deal, and he’s not interested in being tied to any promotional company or network at this point.

If PBC wants Canelo to agree to a 2 to 3-fight deal with them, they would likely want him to face Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez.

A three-fight deal would almost surely involve Canelo fighting Errol Spence Jr as well. That’s obviously a fight that Canelo would want, but not as part of an extended deal with PBC.

Hearn wants a cooling-off period for negotiations 

“When something like this happens, it takes 48 hours for everyone to calm down and say, ‘Let’s assess the situation and continue those talks and let’s see if there’s any future in that or look at alternative options,'” said Hearn on the Canelo vs. Plant negotiations.

“That’s something that we’ll do in the next few days,” said hearn about potentially moving the Plant fight to a different date.

“I think if the right fight presented itself, he [Canelo] would look at an alternative date. But we all know that September, that date is important in the calendar, but sometimes it doesn’t work out like that,” said Hearn.

A cooling-off period might work as long as one of the two sides is willing to give in, but it’s unlikely that Canelo will. The problem is, Plant doesn’t have anything to offer Canelo other than his IBF 168-lb title.

If Plant was a popular fighter that would help bring in a lot of PPV buys and would enhance Canelo’s legacy, the Mexican star would likely be more pliable in the negotiations.

That’s not how things are, though. Plant is a belt-holder, he’s not popular, and he’s never fought anyone that you can say ‘That guy is good.’

The 28-year-old Plant had an easy route to winning the IBF title, and since he captured the belt, he’s chosen to make safe title defenses against these weak contenders:

  • Mike Lee
  • Vincent Feigenbutz
  • Caleb Truax

Dimitry Bivol is the frontrunner for alternative

“I’m not out of it at all. Our proposal was to do it on DAZN,” continued Hearn. “We had a proposal with our team to do the fight on PBC, which was in principle accepted by Saul.

Image: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant fight can still happen on Sept.18th says Eddie Hearn

“I was happy for him to do that because I want him to take the show. I’m not the lead promoter for that, and I’m not involved with putting that together.

“What I am is I’m on the Canelo Alvarez team. We couldn’t get that fight on DAZN, so we moved in that direction [to show it on FOX PPV], but unfortunately, that hasn’t materialized for September 18th. We’ll see what happens.

“There have been some discussions with Dimitry Bivol over the last week. That’s a good fight at 175 lbs.

“There are other options at 168. They’re perhaps more limited right now in terms of the fights Saul wants, but he’s consistently fought champions.

“At 175, you’ve got Joe Smith, you’ve got Beterbiev, But I think Bivol would be that frontrunner,” Hearn said.

What Plant has going for him in potentially still getting the fight with Canelo on September 18th is how tough the alternative options are for the Mexican star.

It’s a massive leap up in competition for Canelo in going from fighting Plant to the unbeaten Bivol or IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev.

Those are fighters that Canelo ideally needs many months of preparation to fight. He would need to bulk up for both fighters, and there might not be enough time for Canelo to add the weight before September 18th.