Caleb Plant can shock the world against Canelo says Andre Ward
By Allan Fox: Andre Ward says he has no rivalry with Canelo Alvarez, and the reason he’s helping Caleb Plant is that he’s a friend. Ward says he doesn’t have a personal beef with Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs).
Andre maintains that he views Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) as a “brother,” and he doesn’t see any reason why he wouldn’t help him to get for the Canelo fight.
WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Canelo will be facing IBF champ Plant for the undisputed 168–lb title on November 6th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight will be shown on FOXSports PPV.
Andre says he’s not Plant’s leading coach for this fight with Canelo, and he’s just giving Plant pointers, and this isn’t a situation where Ward is coming in to replace Caleb’s trainers.
With Ward’s knowledge, he may only need to make a couple of minor adjustments to his game for him to beat Canelo.
Ward explains why he’s helping Plant
“As the Internet tells it, I’m training him now. I’m the head trainer,” said Andre Ward to Fighthype on him helping out Caleb Plant in his preparation for the Canelo fight.
“I guess people are seeing us together and him having the big fight coming up with Canelo, and I got some buzz, which we knew was going to happen. That’s not why we did it.
“We talk, and we’re in contact a lot, and he wanted to come out. I said by all means. I consider him a brother in the game, so why not? If I got to be a hater because I want to help my brother as much as I can and I want to see him become undisputed and win those belts and take care of business, it is what it is
“Of course, I think he has everything it takes to win the fight now,” said Ward about Plant.
“He’s got to go take all of that and go do it, and I don’t want to interject myself into this because he has a team that has been grinding with him and working with him for years.
“So I know that this is easy to talk about me because the video came out and the photos came out, but this man has had a team for a long time.
“Caleb is extremely disciplined with his weight outside of camp. He works extremely hard. All of that puts him in the position to win.
“I’ve seen him fight at a high level, but of course, I’ve never seen him fight someone as good as Canelo.
“That’s the case for everybody. You’ve always have that first one. It’s up to him [Plant] to take everything he’s learned and everything he knows and the person he is on the inside.
“The fight the desire and all the stuff that he has and go out and do it. So yeah, I’m just doing my little part, man,” said Ward on why he’s helping Plant.
Since it was Plant that approached Ward, it’s easy to see why he chose to assist him.
The way Plant struggled in his fight against his most formidable career opponent Jose Uzcategui, he could use all the help he could get.
Ward fine-tuning Plant’s game
“That’s always been my vision in boxing,” said Ward. “I want to be a guy like Kobe [Bryant] was before he passed.
“A special ops guy where if they had somebody where they wanted him to work on a certain aspect of his game and tap into the mental part of the game. ‘How do you do this? How do you deal with it?’
“I want to be a guy that you can pick up the phone and call. So this is no different with Caleb.
“I don’t have no history with that guy,” said Ward when told that Canelo probably isn’t happy that he’s helping out Caleb Plant.
“The Internet, since I’ve retired, they’ve come up with this rivalry that’s not real. This man [Canelo] has never said my name pertaining to a fight when I was active or when I was retired.
“I’ve never said his name. This all came is because I’m retired, and he fought a common opponent [Sergey Kovalev]. Even after that fight, he never said my name, and I don’t think he will ever say my name like that in terms of wanting to fight.
“So, we have no history. I’ll give you another example if you look at like Shawn Porter and Terence Crawford. Both of those guys are my brothers.
“So if I talk to Shawn Porter about training, it’s going to be about Shawn Porter specifically.
“It can’t be about any strategy because I can’t get in the middle of that—the same thing with Crawford. I might talk to him and work with a certain aspect of his game. ‘Look, bro, you got to.’
“It’s not Shawn Porter specific. I can’t get in the way of that. I have respect for both guys and their camp. So that would be breaking a code.
“I don’t have any history with Canelo. There’s nothing there to preserve or be worried about.
“He’s just another fighter on the other side of the ring from somebody I consider a friend. So, really there’s nothing there,” said Ward.
There aren’t too many areas in Plant’s game that need adjustment, but even small changes could make the difference between beating Canelo and losing to him.
Ward has no rivalry with Canelo
“If I’m in his shoes, I might look at it. He might have some commentary. ‘Okay, I see what’s happening,” said Ward about Canelo’s reaction to hearing that he’s helping out Plant with training.
“The man has been a champion for a long time, and he’s not going to let something like that get in the way.
“I’d have probably looked at it and laughed. ‘This is crazy,”‘ said Ward when asked what his reaction would have been had Gennadiy Golovkin given Sergey Kovalev pointers in training camp before he fought him.
“You also know the game. This happens all the time. Coaches get together. There’s a lot of stuff that fans don’t know.
“Coaches get together if you’re fighting a certain guy. They’ll strategize together. Other sparring partners that used to help you will go help them. That stuff is just part of the game, man.
“It’s only a thing [Ward helping Plant] because there’s a fake rivalry out there that has been talked about for the last four years with me and Canelo. So it looks like it’s a thing, but it’s really nothing to see.
“That’s why I’m saying that it’s not real,” Ward said about the so-called rivalry he has with Canelo.
“I could understand if I was still active or maybe toward the end of my retirement and I decided to retire, and then I’m coming back.
“I could wrap my brain around that. It would make sense to me. This doesn’t make any sense.
“I get it, and I understand why it’s happening because of the common opponent thing. But come on, it’s not real. We have no history,” Ward said about Canelo.
Many boxing fans believe that Ward doesn’t like Canelo because of a comment he made a couple of years back during an interview.
Ward said that Canelo was an “opportunist” with the way he picks out his opposition. Sergey Kovalev was mentioned by Ward, and he said that Canelo wasn’t trying to set up a fight with Kovalev when he was in the prime of his career, looking really good.
It was only after Kovalev had lost a couple of steps and been beaten twice by Ward that Canelo chose to fight him.
Ward also said that Canelo wouldn’t try and fight light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev because that would be a crazy risk.
Ward: Caleb can shock the world
“I’m not a believer where if you’re fighting a guy that is supposed to be powerful or a guy that was supposed to have punching power, you’re avoiding him and trying to be perfect for 12 [rounds],” said Ward.
“I don’t believe in that. I like to go rattle their cage. In fact, you got to rattle their cage.
“What I mean by that is sometimes you got to go that power, and smother it and let them know, whatever it is, ‘you can get hurt too.’
“Then that enables you to box and do what you do. So I think it’s a mixture of everything. Caleb understands that.
“He’s a high IQ fighter, and you may have your bread and butter. I’m going to box.
“But I’ve never seen it work when you have a pure boxer. If you’re talking about a Pernell Whitaker, that’s someone that is different.
“He’s a rare breed. I’m talking about modern-day fighters where they don’t have any physical strength and don’t have any power.
“They just think they’re going to pick and poke for 12 rounds and not get hit; that rarely works.
“Caleb is a guy that has more power than they realize. He’s physically strong. It’s always crazy until you do it, and it’s easy for fans to choose.
“The easy pick is Canelo because of his history and everything he’s accomplished. I’m going to support Caleb, win, lose or draw.
“I think he has a great opportunity to go out there and shock the world. He’s just got to put his mental on and go make it happen,” said Ward about Plant needing to pull off the upset.
That will be a massive shock if Plant beats Canelo on November 6th, as many boxing fans have always made up their minds that Caleb can’t win.
If Plant wins, Canelo will insist on a rematch because he can’t move on unless he at least tries to avenge the loss. It may have been a good thing that Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn’t give Canelo a rematch after beating him in 2013.
Had Mayweather done that, he wrecked Canelo’s career by beating him again.
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- Canelo Alvarez predicts Caleb Plant won’t see the 12th round