Andre Ward picks Caleb Plant by stoppage over Canelo Alvarez

By Boxing News - 10/23/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Andre Ward is picking IBF super middleweight champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant to defeat WBA/WBC/WBO 168-lb champion Canelo Alvarez by stoppage on November 6th in their fight at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

‘SOG’ Ward isn’t saying if Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) will knock out Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) early or late, but it would make sense for it to happen in the first quarter of the fight. That’s when Plant tends to dominate his opposition.

Canelo will probably struggle early with Plant’s Mayweather-esque boxing skills because it’s a style that the Mexican star hasn’t seen in many years since Floyd Mayweather Jr. schooled him in 2013.

Although Canelo says he’s a different fighter now and won’t be bothered by Plant’s skills, you have to believe he will. Canelo has gotten bigger and stronger since his loss to Mayweather, not necessarily better in his boxing ability.

If Mayweather were around today and fighting in the super middleweight division, he’d do the same thing against Canelo.

Highly skilled athletic fighters like Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, and Caleb Plant are a nightmare for Canelo.

As long as Plant doesn’t fight sloppily the way British fighters Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, and Rocky Fielding did against Canelo, he’s got a chance to beat him.

Those British fighters stood in front of Canelo, making it easy for him to blast away at them with his short power shots. It was as if they hadn’t been trained at all because none of those three had any common sense.

They had to have been told to use their height, reach, and movement to keep the short 5’8″ Canelo from landing, yet all three of them foolishly stood in front of the Mexican star, as if their feet were glued to the canvas.

Caleb Plant won’t be a stationary target for Canelo, meaning he will be using the Mayweather blueprint on how to beat the star. It’s simple.

The way to beat Canelo is to stay on the outside, jab and move, don’t let him have any opportunities to land his counter shots.

As we saw in Canelo’s fights with Golovkin x 2, and Erislandy Lara, the judges don’t seem to consider jabs as being important when it comes to scoring rounds.

Even though Canelo was getting riddled with jabs, the judges gave him rounds against those fighters despite him only landing a trickle of shots.

Plant stops Canelo Alvarez

“This is a great fight and a great opportunity for a fighter like Caleb Plant. I love this moment in his career where he’s fought solid competition, and he has the look and makings of a fighter that can go to the next level,” said Andre Ward to Max On Boxing.

Image: Andre Ward picks Caleb Plant by stoppage over Canelo Alvarez

“He [Plant] has to prove it. I love these proving moments, and he’s getting that opportunity against Canelo on November 6th. Trust me; it’s not going 12.

“The thing about Caleb Plant, he couldn’t land a sucker punch on Canelo in the press conference. Canelo’s defense is real. He’s got to hit him in the ring now, and Canelo knows it’s coming. Who do you like in that fight? Canelo or Caleb Plant?”

“I’m going to go with Caleb Plant. That’s my brother, so I’m going to support him all the way, but he’s got to prove it. He’s got the ability, he’s got the skills, but he’s got to turn up,” said Ward.

It will be difficult for Plant to knockout Canelo without him sitting in the pocket and loading up on his shots.

Canelo is good at making his opponents miss with their shots, and he’s excellent at countering them immediately with hard punches.

For Plant to score a knockout of Canelo, he’ll need to sit down on his punches and be willing to put himself at risk of being countered.

Gennadiy Golovkin chose to box Canelo in both of their fights because he didn’t want to get countered, even though he’s got a great chin.

If Golovkin had stayed in the pocket and loaded up on everything he threw, he might have knocked Canelo out because he had him hurt in their second fight.

The way to knockout Canelo is to throw many punches and hope that one of them lands on the button. Alvarez’s trainer Eddy Reynoso has somehow miraculously fixed his stamina problems recently.

I don’t know how Reynoso did it because you don’t see that often for a fighter with stamina issues for their entire career suddenly makes vast improvements in that area after 16 years as a pro.

Crawford vs. Porter = Can’t-miss fight

“Terence Crawford and Shawn Porter, this is a can’t-miss fight,” said Ward. “Shawn Porter, he’s going to be out of the ring by the time he gets in the ring, and he’s trying to prove that he’s not just a guy that is trying to be a part of the event but that he can actually win the big fight.

“For Terence Crawford, who I have as my best fighter in the world, every now and again, you have to remind them because fighters, media, and the fans, they forget how bad you really are. This is Terence Crawford’s opportunity,” said Ward.

“I think he’s [Crawford] the number one fighter in the world too on my list, but he really hasn’t beaten top guys at welterweight because they haven’t fought him,” said Kellerman about Terence.

“Shawn Porter and Errol Spence could not have been closer. The knockdown [of Porter] was the difference [in the 11th].”

It will be a significant upset if Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) beats WBO welterweight champion Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) next month on November 20th at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas.

Most people feel that Crawford, 34, is too skilled and fighting at much too high of a level for Porter to win. It’s not good for Porter that he’s coming off a 15-month layoff since his last fight against Sebastian Formella in August 2020.

Besides the inactivity that has slowed Porter’s career, he hasn’t fought a quality opponent for two solid years since his loss to Errol Spence Jr. in September 2019.

You can’t count Formella as a quality opponent because he’s more of a bottom fringe contender-level fighter. We saw that with him getting beaten by prospect Conor Benn last November.

Porter arguably should have lost to Yordenis Ugas in their fight in March 2019, which means Shawn’s record is 0-2 against quality opposition in the last two years, with him going into the Crawford match. That’s not a good sign.

The only reason Porter has a chance of winning this fight is that Crawford has never fought anyone talented during his career, which is shocking.

How does a fighter capture three-division world titles without ever fighting anyone dangerously talented. Easy.

When you’ve got great promoters like Crawford, they can steer you around the risky opposition and help you pad your record with fodder to win titles.