By: Sean Crose
If there’s one thing Leonard Ellerbe is familiar with, it’s major fights. As perhaps the most significant member of Team Mayweather outside of Floyd Mayweather himself, the man has helped orchestrate such behemoths as Mayweather-Pacquiao, and Mayweather-McGregor, among others. Although this week’s major battle, between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant for the undisputed super middleweight championship of the world, may not not be quite as big as the aforementioned matches, no one should make the mistake of thinking this fight isn’t a huge event for the sport. It is. First off, any fight involving Canelo, boxing’s pound for pound star, is notable. Also, Canelo takes risks. Aside from Gennady Golovkin, Plant is pretty much the biggest fight out there for him.
Plus – there’s always the chance of an upset. Canelo may be comfortably favored leading into Saturday’s fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino outside of Las Vegas, but Ellerbe doesn’t see the match as a guaranteed Canelo victory. In fact, Ellerbe thinks Plant is going to pull off the upset. “I’m expecting Caleb Plant to win the fight,” the Mayweather Promotions CEO tells FightHub. “All sometimes a fighter needs,” he continues, “is the platform and the opportunity…he hadn’t had this type of opportunity before.”
Ellerbe doesn’t take anything away from Canelo during the short interview (“A tremendous fighter,” he says, “He’s one of the top fighters out there right now.”), but he makes it clear Plant is more than capable of winning this weekend. “Why would I think that Caleb Plant doesn’t have the ability to do that when I know what he’s capable of doing”? Ellerbe asked rhetorically. “He’s (Canelo’s) a good fighter but he can be beat. We’ve already seen that.” Mayweather, of course, handily bested a younger version of Canelo back in 2013.
Ellerbe brushes off the incident where low level violence ensued at a Canelo-Plant press event. “Rounds are scored round by round by round,” he states. “I’ve seen this guy (Canelo) get outboxed in rounds…I’ve seen Canelo’s fights. I’ve seen him lose rounds against Billy Joe Saunders. I’ve seen him lose rounds against Kovalev.” Good as he is, Ellerbe doesn’t believe Canelo is unstoppable. “This guy’s not invincible,” he tells FightHub. “Do I think Caleb Plant’s going to beat him? Yes, he’s going to beat him.”
“Guys rise to the occasion,” Ellerbe says. “This is the fight of his life and he’s going to rise to the occasion.”
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