Canelo could replace Plant with Beterbiev or Bivol

By Boxing News - 07/02/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Eddy Hearn could reportedly replace IBF 168-lb champion Caleb Plant with 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev or Dimitry Bivol for a fight against Canelo Alvarez in September if he doesn’t drop his asking price.

Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) wants $10 million for the undisputed 168lb championship fight against WBA/WBC/WBO champion Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs), which would be a $2 million increase from what former WBO belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders got last May to fight Alvarez.

If Plant had agreed to the fight with David Benavidez when he was called out by him and beaten him, he’d be in a better position to get the money he wants for the Canelo fight.

Unfortunately, Plant’s resume is incredibly weak for a world champion, and it’s troubling he’s floated through his career without fighting anyone risky.

In Plant’s career, he should have at least fought one or two of these guys: Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade, Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders, and Daniel Jacobs.

Should Canelo pay Plant $10 million?

$6 million for Plant would be a good price for him to take on Canelo, but definitely not the $10 million he’s interested in getting. Even $8 million is arguably way too much.

If Plant had the ability to sell fights like Saunders, $8 million would work, but he doesn’t. Plant is like another Callum Smith when it comes to his personality, and that’s not going to work to hype the Canelo fight the way it needs to.

Really, the only thing Plant has going for him is his IBF title. Canelo might as well fight someone else and forget about Plant’s IBF strap if he’s going to have to buy it for $10 million, basically.

If Canelo views the fight as worth only $6 million, he would be dramatically overpaying for the IBF belt if he were to meet Plant’s asking price of $10M.

Image: Canelo could replace Plant with Beterbiev or Bivol

Unfortunately, Plant, 28, doesn’t have the fanbase or the ability to hype fights that Saunders did. Additionally, Plant’s seven-year professional resume is barren of big names.

Plant fought Jose Uzcategui in 2019, and that’s it. The rest of the names on Plant’s resume have been pedestrian-level fighters or old guys.

Caleb Plant’s recent opponents:

  • Mike Lee
  • Caleb Truax
  • Vincent Feigenbutz
  • Rogelio Medina
  • Andrew Hernandez
  • Thomas Awimbono

You can argue that Plant’s dry personality and emotionless facial appearance when speaking is quite similar to Callum Smith.

When you’re trying to drum up interest in a fight, it doesn’t help if Plant’s face has a flat affect during interviews, showing no emotion.

Canelo needs someone who will help him build interest for his September fight, not someone who looks bored or anxious during interviews as his opponent.

That’s what we saw with Callum Smith, and Plant is very similar to him with his lack of emotion during interviews.

“If we can’t get the Caleb Plant fight, obviously, we need another dance partner for September,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show.

But Artur Beterbiev, Canelo talks about that, but he knows how hard Beterbiev punches, and Canelo’s a competitor. Now you tell him [Canelo] that’s not the fight to take.

“You want to take it? You tell him that’s a dangerous fight? He’ll want to do it. It’s very, very risky moving up to 175. Beterbiev is aging but still in his prime,” said Hearn.

The upside for Canelo in fighting Beterbiev would be HUGE for his career, even if he loses that fight. It would be an incredibly courageous move on Canelo’s part to go up to 175 and take on Beterbiev, as he’s considered the #1 fighter in the division by many boxing fans.

Hearn reacts to De La Hoya comparing Canelo to Mayorga

“I think the whole thing is quite sad, really. When people had a great relationship, you’d like them to split with some humility,” said Hearn to DAZN in reacting to De La Hoya’s comment recently in saving Canelo is a similar fighter to Ricardo Mayorga.

Image: Canelo could replace Plant with Beterbiev or Bivol

“The shots that get fired are disrespectful and quite ridiculous, really, and it’s nothing against Mayorga as a fighter. He was incredibly entertaining.

“When you’re talking about Canelo Alvarez, you’re talking about a generational great. You’re talking about a pound-for-pound #1, and you’re talking about a guy that may be unbeatable in the sport of boxing.

“You’re talking about a guy that’s traditionalized this generation of Mexican boxing, and he’s idolized not just in his own country but in the U.S as well.

“You’re talking about a guy that carries himself with a tremendous amount of humility and honor. He needs to be respected, but clearly, there’s always been that butting of heads with Oscar, and he continues to take his shots at Canelo.

“But Canelo gets on with his business, and he’s an incredibly focused fighter and an all-time great. I feel that kind of legacy and honor comes post-career.

“Let’s enjoy Canelo Alvarez while he’s here. If you’re talking about Plant next or Bivol next, you know it’s going to go something like Bivol, Plant, Beterbiev, Charlo.

“This is the most incredible run. Let’s respect it, and let’s enjoy it because you talk about people that don’t want to be undisputed. Here you have a guy that is doing that, and he’s doing it every few months,” said Hearn.