Does Caleb Plant deserve Canelo Alvarez rematch after beating Dirrell?

By Boxing News - 10/18/2022 - Comments

By Allan Fox: Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant wants a rematch with undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez after stopping Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round last Saturday night.

The idea was that ‘Sweethands’ Plant was supposed to fight Jermall Charlo or David Benavidez next, if successful in his tune-up fight against the played-out Dirrell, to get a rematch with Canelo.

Interestingly, no mention was made by Plant of fighting Benavidez or Charlo during his post-fight press conference last Saturday night, which suggests that he’s not going to go in that direction.

In interviews before his fight with Dirrell, Plant had talked of fighting Benavidez or Charlo to get a big victory to earn a rematch with Canelo. Still, after beating Dirrell, ‘Sweethands’ clammed up, choosing not to mention either of those talented fighters.

What you take from Plant’s decision NOT to let the fans know that he wants Benavidez or Charlo next is that he will probably begin campaigning immediately for a rematch with Canelo, despite having been knocked out by him in the 11th round last November.

In other words, Plant’s victory against the over-the-hill Dirrell in a tune-up fight was enough to earn a second match against Canelo. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen because Plant should have to face Charlo or Benavidez and beat both for him to get a rematch with Canelo.

At the very least, Plant should prove that he can beat one of them to get a second contest with Canelo. However, if it’s going to be just one of them, it should be Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) because he’s arguably the better of the two.

That’s not a knock on Jermall, but the reality is he looked shaky in his last fight against Juan Macias Montiel, and he’s only fighting once a year.

Unfortunately, Benavidez’s plans for fighting former IBF 168-lb champion Jose Uzcategui in January give Plant an excuse for why he doesn’t have to fight him next.

In Charlo’s case, he could be tied down for early 2023 by needing to defend against his WBC mandatory Carlos Adames, who is coming off a big third round knockout win over Juan Macias Montiel earlier this month.

If Plant wants to duck Benavidez & Charlo, he can give the fans the excuses and turn around and fight another soft guy in the Dirrell mold to try and earn the Canelo rematch.

Fans that saw the knockout by Plant want to see him in with Canelo (58-2-2, 39 KOs), and they’re either unaware that the 37-year-old Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KOs) hadn’t beaten a high-level fighter in eight years since 2014 or they just don’t care.

The last significant win on Dirrell’s resume was his victory over Sakio Bika in 2014.

Dirrell’s wins since then have come against lesser opposition, and he’d been beaten by David Benavidez and Badou Jack in the last seven years.

They just want to see Plant fight Canelo a second time because they think his power has increased due to his win over a clearly past-his-prime Dirrell.

“Any of them,” said Plant at the post-fight press conference last Saturday night when asked if he’s interested in fighting David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo next.

“This was the biggest fight that could be made. Moving forward, I want to continue to make the biggest fights possible and keep picking the super middleweights off one by one.

“It was a complete shut-out until I dropped him,” said Plant about Dirrell.

It definitely wasn’t a shutout before Plant stopped Dirrell. It was a competitive fight that saw Plant getting hit quite a bit by Dirrell, even with him backing up repeatedly to avoid getting nailed. Dirrell was definitely putting hands on Plant and shook him up on a couple of occasions.

The fight was way more competitive than it should have been to say that Plant had improved since his loss to Canelo. Plant’s chin looked as weak as it had been in his lost to Canelo, and that’s not a good sign.

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