By: Sean Crose
He didn’t necessarily make it look easy, but Canelo Alvarez certainly let the world know how to defeat the slick, skilled, and previously undefeated Billy Joe Saunders this past weekend. In front of 70 plus thousand people at AT&T Stadium near Dallas, Canelo landed the kind of shot people will talk about for years, an uppercut that literally destroyed Saunders’ right eye. Just how devastating was the blow that crashed into Saunders’ face? Devastating enough to end the fight. Although he somehow managed to stay on his feet, Saunders and/or his corner decided he had taken punishment enough after the round had ended.
It was no doubt a big night for Canelo, the man who is arguably boxing’s biggest star. Yet a champion’s work never seems to be done. And so Canelo, who now holds the WBA, WBC and WBO super middleweight titles, is now looking to become the division’s undisputed champion by facing IBF titlist Caleb Plant. It’s a fight fans apparently want, as well, if internet buzz counts for anything – and in boxing, such things matter. The question now is: Can the fight be made? On the surface of things, the match seems like a no brainer, but as is often the case, matters are more complicated than they might at first appear.
For one thing, Canelo and Plant are essentially aligned with two of boxing’s top out of the ring competitors – Al Haymon and Eddie Hearn. Although Canelo is technically his own man, he’s clearly happy with what Hearn has been doing with his career since they teamed up several fights ago. For his own part, Haymon essentially runs Premiere Boxing Champions, which is about as close to it’s own league as a boxing organization can get these days without actually becoming one. And while both Hearn and Haymon want what’s best for his fighters, the parties may butt heads when it comes to the money involved.
Haymon, for instance, has a reputation for liking to see his fighters get well paid. Some might say members of his stable can be overpaid, but no one can ever say Haymon takes advantage of his athletes, like so many power players have done throughout the sport’s history. That means Haymon is most likely going to want Plant, who he advises, to get as much money as possible. Team Canelo may have to give a little in order to get the fight made. The chances are that Haymon simply won’t let Plant, who will be the underdog walking in, fade into obscurity with nothing to show for it should Plant lose to Canelo. Such a stance can be infuriating to fans who just want to see the big fights get made, but it speaks well of Haymon when one looks at matters objectively. The guy seems to genuinely care for his fighters.
Fortunately, Hearn and Canelo are big on big fights being made, which means they might be willing to make concessions in order to get Plant in the ring. There will still be the matter of which network will actually broadcast the fight, however. Haymon is aligned with Fox and Showtime, which would clearly want a Canelo-Plant fight to be a pay per view event. Hearn, however, works with DAZN, which prefers streaming to pay per view. Yet one would expect that such situation could be ironed out if both camps truly want this fight to go down.
Which many fans hope they truly do.
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