Canelo looking at other options for September, Plant fight in doubt
By Sean Jones: Canelo Alvarez may need to hold off his goal of becoming the undisputed 168lb champion in September because the negotiations with IBF belt-holder Caleb Plant haven’t panned out yet.
If Canelo can’t get Plant at the right price, he’s got excellent options available to him by taking on unbeaten 175-lb champions Artur Beterbiev or Dimitry Bivol. Swapping out Plant for ‘The most feared man in boxing’ Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) would be a major upgrade for Canelo.
A fight against either of those guys would make a lot of noise in the boxing world for Canelo. It wouldn’t matter that Bivol or Beterbiev aren’t the greatest talkers. Just the fact that Canelo is taking a huge risk will create massive interest in those fights.
If the Canelo-Plant fight doesn’t happen in September, it won’t be a big deal. There’s not a lot of interest from fans in this fight because Plant isn’t an upgrade from the opposition Canelo has been facing.
Caleb Plant = Saunders 2.0
The overall opinion about Caleb Plant by some fans is he’s Saunders 2.0 with his fighting style. The reality is, Plant is Saunders-esque, but with less size, mobility, ring IQ, power, and verbal skills.
If you’re Canelo, you might not like the idea of paying Plant more than Saunders when he’s just a knock-off version of him. Canelo has no gain in paying more for the lesser version of the same type of fighter.
Hearn isn’t saying whether Plant is pricing himself out by asking for $10 million+ for the fight, but he’s rumored to want that kind of money.
The problem with Canelo giving Plant that kind of cash is he arguably doesn’t bring more to the table than Canelo’s recent opponents Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith. Saunders got $8 million whereas Smith go $6 million.
Plant getting $6 million would be a fair amount in the eyes of a lot of boxing fans. If Plant was a good trash-talker like Billy Joe, $8 million would be fair, but he’s not. Plant looks sleepy during his interviews, and he repeats himself from one interview to another.
With Canelo still not fluent in English, it would be difficult if Plant has to be the one to drum up interest in the fight. He probably wouldn’t be able to do it.
That’s why it’s difficult to imagine paying Plant the same money Saunders got when he’s not as good as him in getting fans excited.
Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn will try and work something out in the next five days with Plant (21-0, 12 KOs). If nothing is worked out by then, Canelo may need to move on because he wants to fight in September.
Canelo could move up to 175 for Beterbiev fight
Hearn says Canelo won’t want to make a title defense for his 168-lb titles in September. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) wants to fight champions, and the only way he can that is by moving up to 175 to take on IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev or WBA champion Dimitry Bivol. Canelo won’t go back won to 160, says Hearn.
It’s not surprising that the negotiations between Canelo and Plant aren’t bearing fruit. When Plant started talking about wanting $10 million, you just knew there was going to be problems.
”There are conversations to be had over the next sort of three, four, or five days, and it needs to gather pace,” said Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show. “I don’t think there’s anything negative to say about it,” he said.
Canelo finished beating WBO super middleweight champion Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) by an eighth round knockout last May to capture his third title at 168.
The last belt that Canelo needs to round out his collection is held by IBF strap holder Plant, which he had hoped to fight in September. But it appears from what Hearn is saying that the negotiations aren’t going swimmingly.
If this was a popular fighter that brought a lot to the table, it wouldn’t be a big deal for Hearn to hammer out a deal and give the opponent $10 million+.
“September is his date, you know, and if the Plant fight’s not available now and has to be made in December or whatever, I think Canelo’s mindset is: ‘I want to keep the momentum that I have right now.’
“Clearly, a move up to 175, for now, is also on the agenda if that undisputed fight can’t get made,” said Hearn.
Canelo should probably start negotiations with Beterbiev right away and look to make that fight in September. If Canelo wants Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) as his Plan-B option, he’s going to need to let him know now.
You can’t tell a talent like Beterbiev four weeks before the fight, ‘Yeah, I want to fight you next, but you got to be ready to go in four weeks.’
There won’t be grumbling from the boxing public if Hearn announced that Canelo won’t be fighting Caleb Plant next. If Hearn tells the fans that Canelo is fighting Beterbiev next, there will be cheering.
- Caleb Plant reveals advice Andre Ward gave him for Canelo fight
- David Benavidez says Plant is lucky Canelo is fighting him first
- ‘Tired with Canelo, it’s curtains,’ Anthony Dirrell predicts Alvarez vs. Plant
- Canelo Alvarez says he can “Break” Caleb Plant’s chin