By: Hans Themistode
At the moment, the super middleweight division occupies over 1,500 boxers. Several of them are contenders, a handful are champions and a select few are at the very top of the weight class. No matter the rankings, each 168 pounder is given their own time to shine.
Yet, even with a wide variety of names associated with the division, IBF belt holder Caleb Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) is under the impression that there just isn’t enough room at the top of the mountain top for both himself and unified champion Canelo Alvarez.
“It’s not big enough for both of us,” said Plant to Brian Kenny during a recent interview. “At some point, we’re going to have to get this figured out.”
If it were up to Plant, determining who is the best in the division between the pair, is a question that would have been answered roughly one week ago. Before Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) opted to take on former WBA/Ring magazine super middleweight titlist Callum Smith on December 19th, Plant was seemingly in the driver’s seat for a showdown with Alvarez.
The former four-division champion attempted to negotiate with Plant’s representatives to bring forth a matchup between them. However, talks broke down for a variety of reasons which forced Alvarez to head towards a contest with Smith.
Despite giving up several inches in both height and reach, Alvarez handed smith a one-sided thrashing. At the moment, team Canelo is negotiating terms with promoter Eddie Hearn on a two fight deal that would see the Mexican product face-off against Avni Yildirim and WBO belt holder Billy Joe Saunders.
Regardless of Alvarez heading in another direction, Plant still firmly wants their contest to come to fruition. Not only does the 28-year-old view their showdown as inevitable, but the undefeated belt holder also believes that when they do matchup, a victory is predestined.
“I know that’s a fight that me and him both want. At some point me and Canelo are going to get in there and do our thing. We will have our showdown and when we do, I can promise you it’s going to be fireworks. I think Canelo is a great fighter but I feel like I have all the tools and the weapons to beat him. I will get my hand raised when we fight, I can assure you that.”
For years now, Alvarez has found himself constantly called out from fighters residing in various divisions for a multitude of reasons. For starters, Alvarez is considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world by most. Not only would a win over the former four-division titlist elevate his successor’s name value, but a showdown against him, win or lose, fattens the wallets of whomever he faces.
While the record-setting payday is something that he would thoroughly enjoy, Plant isn’t worried about how many zero’s are at the end of his paycheck.
“This isn’t about money for me. It’s about legacy and respect. I want to cement my legacy.”
A showdown with Alvarez might be what he craves most, but at the moment, Plant is focused on someone else entirely.
On January 30th, Plant will look to defend his title against former belt holder Caleb Truax. Regardless of the outside noise surrounding a potential matchup with Alvarez, Plant is looking forward to defending his title. In doing so, the Nashville Tennessee, native believes that despite how good he’s looked in past fights, come January 30th, he will look like a completely different animal.
“I just keep getting better and better. Come next fight, I can assure you this will be the best Caleb Plant that you’ve seen yet.”