Canelo still negotiating with Plant, Bivol a possible Plan-B option
By Dan Ambrose: Negotiations are still underway between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant for the undisputed 168-lb championship on September 18th, and 175-lb champion Dimitry Bivol has emerged as a potential Plan-B option for the Mexican star.
Canelo wants to get the deal done soon, or else he’ll need to go in another direction towards a fight with the unbeaten Bivol. We don’t know how serious Canelo is about fighting Bivol if the fight falls through with Plant.
Bivol is arguably a much tougher opponent for Canelo than Plant or any of the 168-lb champions he’s been fighting lately. Canelo has got to know that.
Not surprisingly, the fight Canelo wants the most is against Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), even though it’s not one that boxing fans have been calling for.
“We are working hard to finalize Saul’s next fight for September and hope to be in a position to announce this shortly,” Eddie Hearn told Mike Coppinger at ESPN. “There are several options to consider, but as always, Saul is ready to take on all comers and continue his incredible run.”
Hearn said earlier this week that Canelo would move on if they don’t get the fight with Plant done this week. We’ll see how serious he is about that comment if the glacially slow negotiations with Plant are still dragging on after this week.
It’s one thing for Hearn to say that Canelo will fight either Bivol or IBF/WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev if the deal with Plant doesn’t get made, but it’s quite a different thing for them to do that.
Canelo could lose to Beterbiev or Bivol, and that’s something he’s clearly not going to want to deal with. If Canelo were eager to fight those two guys, he would have picked one of them when he went up to 175 in 2019 to capture his fourth division world title.
Canelo chose the over-the-hill Sergey Kovalev to capture a world title at 175. Shockingly, Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso said at the time that he viewed Kovalev as the best fighter in the 175-lb division, which laughable.
Canelo wants to become a four-belt champion, and obviously, Plant and his management at PBC are well aware of how much he wants his IBF strap,
Hence, Plant is trying to get the best deal possible with his leverage as the IBF title-holder. According to Mike Coppinger, Plant’s management at PBC is no longer asking Canelo to sign a three-fight deal with them in exchange for the fight with Plant.
They’re now agreeable to a one-fight deal. However, for the negotiations to still be dragging on, Plant’s purse demand might be the sticking point.
He reportedly wants $10 million, which is quite a bit of money for a fight that may not bring in a huge number of buys if they place it on FOX Sports pay-per-view.
Plant isn’t exactly a PPV attraction of any kind. He’s just a guy that fights on Showtime and picked up the IBF title a couple of years ago against Jose Uzcategui.
Plant hasn’t done anything since winning the IBF title, and that’s the whole problem. He’s done nothing to increase his popularity. Instead of defending his IBF title against guys like David Benavidez, Plant has taken the soft track, defending the belt against these guys:
- Mike Lee
- Vincent Feigenbutz
- Caleb Plant
WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) is an option that is being looked at for Canelo to fight if Plant and his management at PBC mail to get the deal done with Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn.
It would be a good idea for Canelo to let the fight with Plant marinate for a year or two before fighting him. If Canelo insisted that Plant first fight David Benavidez before he agrees to fight him, it would set up a huge match between him and the winner. Of course, if Plant refuses to fight Benavidez, that would be an obvious problem.
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- Benavidez v Plant: David Benavidez predicting 6th round knockout of Caleb Plant