By: Hans Themistode
Caleb Plant heard the boos loud and clear. As the IBF super middleweight champion climbed onto the scales to weigh in one day before his showdown against unified titlist Canelo Alvarez, the crowd made their feelings known who they were backing.
Not only has the doubters of Plant come in the form of boisterous fans but also, in the shape of bettors. Despite being as high as a 12-1 underdog, Plant has thrown on his blinders and blocked out the noise. But while the Nashville, Tennessee native possesses enough self-belief to push him forward, he’s receiving an additional push from an unlikely outside source.
Just minutes after having a heated final face-off with Alvarez, Plant attempted to make his way out of the arena. However, before doing so, WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo marched up to Plant and gave him a few words of encouragement.
“I want you to get this fight,” said Charlo to Plant as they shook hands. “I know you going to get it. Get that dub, I’m with you. You think I like Canelo?”
Charlo, 31, has long expressed a desire to face Alvarez himself. Even now, with world titles spread across two weight classes, and a long list of credible names he could target next, Alvarez remains the number one target on his list.
Still, in spite of Charlo’s backing, Alvarez is mostly viewed as a level above. While Plant has defended his world title successfully on three occasions, victories against the likes of Mike Lee, Vincent Feigenbutz, and most recently, Caleb Truax – leaves Plant devoid of competition against top-tier opposition.
In the case of Alvarez, wins over Daniel Jacobs, Gennadiy Golovkin, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe Saunders, have pushed him towards the top of every credible pound-for-pound list. Regardless of Alvarez’s high standing in the boxing world, Plant continues to beat his chest while claiming that he’ll become the division’s first undisputed world champion.
Once the opening bell rings at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, tonight, Charlo will nestle into his ringside seat and watch how things unfold. Ultimately, the night belongs to both Plant and Alvarez and Charlo did his best to not steal any of the limelight.
With that said, he did make it known that the two will tango at some point.
“We going to fight,” said Charlo as he continued his conversation with Plant. “But be safe in there no matter what.”
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