Tag Archives: Caleb Plant

Caleb Plant Calls Out Jermall Charlo For End Of Year Showdown

Posted on 01/10/2022

By: Hans Themistode

Caleb Plant has always been a man of few words. But, despite keeping to himself, Plant has noticed an unwanted trend.

For a number of months now, WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo has mentioned on numerous occasions that a showdown against Plant was a distinct possibility. Still, while Charlo has been somewhat subtle towards the former IBF super middleweight champion, Plant has grown sick and tired of the noncommittal callouts.

With neither man currently occupying a slot on the boxing calendar, Plant reveals that he’s more than willing to face Charlo towards the tail end of the year.

“You’ve been indirect Jermall Charlo,” said Plant on his social media account. “So I’ll be straightforward. We can figure it out by the end of the year. UR EZ WORK.”

Plant, 29, is still licking his wounds following the first defeat of his career. The Nashville, Tennessee, native was forced to hand over his IBF 168 pound world title to Canelo Alvarez. The two clashed on November 6th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Though Plant fought well, he ultimately succumbed to the power of Alvarez, losing via 11th round stoppage.

Although both Plant and Charlo currently campaign in separate weight classes, the truculent knockout artist has repeatedly stated that he would be more than willing to move eight pounds north to face Alvarez. Now, Plant is hoping that Charlo continues with his plan to move to 168 pounds but for a showdown against himself instead.

For Houston’s Charlo, he’s enjoyed a long and successful title reign at 160 pounds. On June 19th, Charlo made the lone appearance of his 2021 against Juan Macias Montiel. Heading in, Charlo was considered a sizable favorite. But, with the Mexican product unwilling to crumble underneath the bright lights of his first world title shot, Montiel fought a back and forth war.

In the end, despite showing incredible heart and adept skills, Montiel came up short, losing a wide unanimous decision. If the current WBC middleweight champion were willing to drop his world title and make the move to the super middleweight division, Plant has openly offered to become his first fight at 168 pounds.

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Caleb Plant On Anthony Dirrell: “If He Don’t Like Me, He Should Do Something About It”

Posted on 12/22/2021

By: Hans Themistode

If you sat down with Anthony Dirrell and had a candid conversation with him about Caleb Plant, the former super middleweight belt holder’s face will screw up in disgust.

The 37-year-old has never kept his feelings about the Nashville, Tennessee native a secret. In fact, a few days prior to Plant stepping into the ring against Canelo Alvarez, Dirrell couldn’t hold his tongue anymore as he ripped into him.

“How he acts is unreasonable,” said Dirrell to a group of reporters. “It just doesn’t sit well with me. He’s an asshole.”

In addition to Dirrell despising Plant for his overall personality, he heavily chastised him for the level of opposition he’s faced since winning his world title against Jose Uzcategui in 2019.

“He fought bums after he got the belt, period.”

Although Dirrell has expressed his deep disdain for Plant over and over again, the 29-year-old ignored him as he had his eyes set on history. On November 6th, earlier this year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Plant attempted to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time. The one-man standing between Plant and what he believed was his destiny, was pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.

While Plant was considered a sizable underdog heading in, he ignored the betting market and fought Alvarez on mostly even terms. Nevertheless, despite Plant’s will to win, Alvarez proved to be a cut above, stopping the slick hitting southpaw in the 11th round.

As the rivalry between Plant and Alvarez has now officially come to a close, the former IBF super middleweight titlist has turned his attention towards Dirrell. Heading into his showdown against Alvarez, Plant did his best to ignore the critiques of his fellow former titlist. However, while he mostly kept quiet, he heard Dirrell’s words loud and clear.

“It seems like he’s had a lot to say about me,” said Plant during an interview with FightHype.com. “If he don’t like me, he should do something about it.”

Ironically enough, Dirrell was last seen in the ring on the same night as Plant. The rough and rugged contender registered a fourth-round stoppage victory in the co-main event of Plant vs. Alvarez against Marcos Hernandez. Following the win, Dirrell audaciously called for a showdown against Alvarez.

In spite of his callouts, Plant is convinced that he hasn’t done enough to warrant a shot at the pound-for-pound star. If, however, Dirrell wants to prove himself worthy of a matchup against Alvarez, Plant believes a showdown against himself makes all the sense in the world.

“He feels like he deserves the Canelo fight but his last two fights he’s fought middleweights, one of them he had a draw against,” continued Plant. “He made out good this last fight but everyone knows how good of a fight I put up against Canelo. They know how well I did. If he wants to prove he’s worthy of that fight then beat me.”

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Caleb Plant Would Love To Face Jermall Charlo: “Anywhere, Anyplace, Anytime”

Posted on 12/16/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Caleb Plant is still licking his wounds and sulking over his defeat at the hands of Canelo Alvarez. The two squared off on November 6th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with every single super middleweight title on the line.

Heading into their contest, Plant was considered a gargantuan underdog. In the eyes of many, the Nashville, Tennessee native was simply in over his head. However, from the moment the opening bell rang, Plant earned his respect. The 29-year-old flashed moments of brilliance. In the tenth round, in particular, Plant landed a seven-punch combination, with the final blow snapping back the head of Alvarez.

While Plant ultimately fought the pound for pound star on even terms for most of their contest, his success came to a sudden end in the 11th. Alvarez cornered his man in the penultimate round before dropping him with a left uppercut. Shortly after, the Mexican product finished off the previously undefeated IBF super middleweight titleholder.

Although their contest took place less than two months ago, Plant has already been spotted back in the gym. While he could opt to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor, he would much rather sharpen his tools as he sifts through possible opponents for his next ring appearance.

“I don’t wanna lose momentum,” said Plant during an interview with FightHype.com. “I know I put up a great showing, so I just want to get right back to work and keep the momentum going. Keep fighting big names.”

At the moment, the super middleweight division isn’t bereft of talent. But while Plant could chase showdowns against the likes of David Benavidez and Anthony Dirrell, he has his eyes set on Jermall Charlo.

“I love that fight. Anywhere, anyplace, anytime.”

Currently, Charlo resides one weight class lower in the middleweight division. But, regardless of their weight discrepancy, Charlo has stated on numerous occasions that he would be more than willing to drop his WBC middleweight crown in order to take on Alvarez at 168 pounds.

Nevertheless, the Mexican native has sauntered his way to the cruiserweight division. Should Charlo decide to move up in weight regardless, Plant would love to welcome him. And while he refrained from going into details on how a matchup between them would play out, Plant gave an unambiguous answer when asked who would win.

“Me getting my hand raised, no doubt.”

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Caleb Plant: “I’ll Lick My Wounds And I’ll Be Back”

Posted on 12/13/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Caleb Plant listened to his naysayers doubt his abilities in the ring. Following a super middleweight title reign that lasted two and a half years, Plant walked into his showdown against Canelo Alvarez as a significant underdog.

Yet, despite the ongoing notion that he would be blown away by Alvarez in only a few rounds, Plant experienced significant success. The two tangoed in front of a jam-packed crowd at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 6th.

In addition to fans and media pundits believing that Plant would be outclassed, Alvarez himself looked Plant square in the eyes during a pre-fight press conference and warned him that he was not “on his level.”

Still, from the moment the opening bell rang, Plant more than held his own. During an explosive sequence in the tenth round, for instance, Plant rattled off a five-punch combination that saw Alvarez visibly frustrated. While the former belt holder would ultimately lose his world title to Alvarez via 11th round stoppage, he’s proud of the gutsy performance he put forth.

“I feel like I went in there and put up a helluva fight,” said Plant during an interview with FightHype.com. “I won a handful of those rounds. Regardless of who you were picking to win, I know I won a handful of those rounds. It could’ve been 6-4 either way, it could’ve been 5-5 but I got clipped. It happens in boxing.”

Although Plant believed he was fighting on even terms with the pound for pound star, the scorecards were slightly more favorable in the direction of Alvarez. Judge Patricia Morse Jarman scored it 96-94 in favor of Alvarez. Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld on the other hand, viewed their contest even more lopsidedly in favor of Alvarez, turning in scorecards of 97-93 and 98-92 respectively.

Ultimately, in order to leave the MGM Grand Arena as an undisputed world champion, Plant was in desperate need of a knockout. Although he attempted to up his aggression in the penultimate round, Alvarez made him pay.

With a little more than two minutes remaining in the 11th, Alvarez landed a crushing right hand while Plant was against the ropes. The Mexican star would then follow up his assault with a left uppercut. The force of the blow immediately sent Plant to the canvas for the first time in his career. While he would peel himself up off the deck, the Nashville, Tennessee native crumbled to the canvas again, thanks to the offensive onslaught of Alvarez.

Although Plant was acrimonious with the results, he refuses to allow the first defeat of his career keep him down for long.

“I just got to go back to the drawing board. I’ll lick my wounds and I’ll be back.”

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Caleb Plant Believes Showdown Against Canelo Alvarez Was Close Before Stoppage: “It Could’ve Been 6-4 Either Way”

Posted on 12/06/2021

By: Hans Themistode

For months on end, Caleb Plant listened to his naysayers dismiss his chances against Canelo Alvarez. The two clashed with all of the super middleweight marbles on the line on November 6th, at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this year.

Though Alvarez stated time and time again that Plant was in over his head, the former IBF 168 pound titlist proved otherwise. In the early goings, Plant used an extremely tactical game plan, boxing and moving, while using short offensive spurts to string together combinations.

Despite his success, Plant ultimately succumbed to the power of the Mexican star in the 11th round. In the opinion of the 29-year-old Nashville, Tennessee native, their contest was up for grabs before things came to a sudden end.

“It could’ve been 6-4 either way,” said Plant to a group of reporters. “It could’ve been 5-5. I feel like I was winning a lot of those rounds. I know I put up a great fight but I got caught in the end.”

The dramatic ending Plant eludes to, came after putting together one of his more stronger rounds. The slick-hitting star dug his feet into the ground in the 10th and blasted away at Alvarez while both men stood in the middle of the ring. Still, even with the momentum firmly in his corner, Alvarez changed the tide in the following period.

With Plant backed into a corner in the penultimate round, Alvarez landed a crushing left hand and then quickly followed up his attack with a left uppercut. Plant, as a result, hit the deck for the first time in his career. A few seconds later, Alvarez rushed over to his foe, landing several unanswered shots until referee Russell Mora waved off their contest.

Even with their contest taking place a month ago, Plant can remember the fight-ending sequence. As well as what he did wrong.

“I was pulling out and I had my hands tight but it kind of came to the inside.”

From the moment Plant signed his name on the dotted line to face Alvarez, he explained that becoming an undisputed world champion has always been his lifelong dream. While he believes he was mere minutes away from having that dream realized, he refuses to sulk on the sidelines for an elongated period of time.

In terms of when the former titlist can expect to be back in the ring, he’s unable to reveal a specific date. That said, Plant assures everyone that he won’t spend much time licking his wounds.

“By the first quarter of next year. I want to keep things moving.”

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Bernard Hopkins: “I Didn’t Even Know Who Caleb Plant Was, He Basically Got His Ass Whopped”

Posted on 11/12/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Making history usually comes with shocked faces and incredulously raised eyebrows but for Bernard Hopkins, there was nothing out of the ordinary about it.

This past weekend, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Canelo Alvarez navigated tricky waters against Caleb Plant to become the first super middleweight champion of all time. Though Plant was a considerable betting underdog, he performed well early on.

Despite showing incredible boxing ability, he ultimately succumbed to the power of Alvarez, losing via 11th round stoppage.

Long before the two swapped fists in front of a jam-packed Vegas crowd, Hopkins had difficulty recognizing who Plant was. While Plant had held his IBF crown for well over two years, Hopkins simply shrugs his shoulders as he continues to admit that before Plant stepped foot inside the ring with Alvarez, he was unfamiliar with his work.

“I didn’t even know who Caleb Plant was,” said Hopkins to a group of reporters. “Seriously, I heard of him but I didn’t know what the guy looked like. I wasn’t familiar with his style and ability.”

Regardless of Hopkins being oblivious to the skillset of Plant, the newly inducted Hall of Famer is surprised by the praise he’s now receiving. According to most pundits, Plant was expected to see his demise in the early portion of their contest. However, it was the 29-year-old who actually frustrated Alvarez to no end.

At the time of stoppage, all three judges’ scorecards were in favor of Alvarez but by reasonably close margins. Judge Patricia Morse Jarman, in particular, scored it 96-94 in favor of Alvarez.

With Plant receiving kudos for giving Alvarez a tougher than expected fight, Hopkins is beside himself. In his opinion, the former titleholder shouldn’t be on the receiving end of such high recognition for losing via stoppage.

“He basically got his ass whopped. Do you get rewards for getting your ass whopped?”

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What’s Next For Caleb Plant?

Posted on 11/08/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Caleb Plant should hold his head up high, even in defeat.

Even with the 29-year-old suffering the first loss of his career at the hands of Canelo Alvarez this past weekend, his name and stature took a considerable leap forward. In the eyes of many, Plant was simply overmatched and in over his head. And while he ultimately came up short, he showed a ton of heart and incredible skill.

Now, after dropping his IBF super middleweight title, the rebuilding process will soon begin. With the end of the year just around the corner, we don’t expect to see Plant in the ring until the first quarter of 2022. The question now turns to, who should he take on next?

Could Plant take on a soft touch to get his feet wet in his ring return? Sure he could. Should he? Absolutely not. Plant has all of the momentum in the world and if he expects to get back into the title hunt, he needs a big fight in his return to the ring. So who exactly should he take on? Keep reading to find out.

Jermall Charlo

Jermall Charlo knows the move to the super middleweight division is an inevitable one. After winning world titles at both 154 and 160 pounds, it appears as though Charlo isn’t able to get the sort of fights that he craves.

So, with the likes of Demetrius Andrade, and Gennadiy Golovkin out of his grasp, Charlo could be on his way to the super middleweight division. In fact, he’s openly admitted that he would have no problem making the move to face Alvarez.

While Charlo could ultimately get his wish, it would make a ton more sense for him to move up and face an established 168 pounder like Plant before facing Alvarez. As for how they match up, it’ll be Plant’s pure boxing ability against Charlo’s aggression and power. Sign us up for that one.

Anthony Dirrell

This one seems like the most logical choice.

Before Plant stepped through the ropes against Alvarez at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Anthony Dirrell scored the performance of the night. The now 37-year-old registered a clean one-punch knockout over fringe contender Marcos Hernandez.

Not only did Dirrell steal the show but there’s also a storyline behind a matchup between himself and Plant. Just a few days before the event took place, Dirrell openly admitted that he “hates” Caleb Plant. In addition to that, Dirrell also called him out on several occasions.

Will Dirrell still be interested in facing Plant considering that he doesn’t have a world title anymore? That could play a factor. However, if Dirrell is willing to settle his differences with Plant in the ring, this would be the perfect matchup to make for both men.

David Benavidez vs. Kyrone Davis winner

In terms of which fight would bring the most eyeballs to the television screen, this one would be ranked number one.

For a number of years now, both David Benavidez and Caleb Plant have hurled insults at one another. From Benavidez stating that he’ll hurt his fellow 168-pound contender to Plant poking fun at Benavidez for losing his WBC title on two separate occasions, their issue with one another has reached its breaking point.

Simply put, this is a fight that has to happen. But, with Benavidez set to take on Kyrone Davis on November 13th, we can’t simply dismiss the chances of Davis. After all, he did score a split decision draw in his most recent contest against Anthony Dirrell.

Still, while Davis should be respected, Benavidez is considered an overwhelming favorite. If he’s able to do what most are expecting, a matchup between himself and Plant makes all the sense in the world.

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Teofimo Lopez Wants To See Jermall Charlo Take On Canelo Alvarez

Posted on 11/08/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Teofimo Lopez was in awe as he sat in his ringside seat.

The unified 135-pound titlist was thoroughly impressed as he witnessed history at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend. On the night, Canelo Alvarez would go on to solve a trickier than expected puzzle in former IBF super middleweight champion, Caleb Plant. With the win, Alvarez became the first undisputed 168-pound titlist of all time.

With Lopez scheduled to defend his WBA, WBO, and IBF super lightweight world titles against mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. on November 27th, the 24-year-old admits that Alvarez has inspired him.

“Canelo man, he’s just on another level,” said Lopez during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He’s only getting better. This definitely gives me that motivation, even more.”

Alvarez, 31, was viewed as a sizable favorite well before he stepped into the ring against Plant. With the former titlist giving Alvarez all he could handle, Lopez was pleasantly surprised by the way things were playing out. However, as Alvarez began dragging his man into the deep end, Lopez was left amazed as the pound-for-pound star registered the knockout win in the 11th.

“I had it 4-2 halfway into the fight. He won another round, I think about seven or eight but after that, Canelo started adapting more and more.”

Like always, immediately following his victory, Alvarez was afforded all of two seconds to enjoy the results before being peppered with questions surrounding his next possible opponent. Though the Mexican native doesn’t have a clear-cut opponent in mind, he has mentioned facing the likes of Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, Gennadiy Golovkin, and current unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev.

Even with Alvarez admitting that he won’t begin thinking about his next foe until at least January of next year, Lopez believes he knows who would be his most difficult challenge to date.

“I believe Charlo. That fight would definitely be big. Charlo is a dog. He goes out there and wants to make the fight happen. He never backs down. That could be a great fight. That could be a fight where it’s like toe to toe.”

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Caleb Plant: “I’ll Be Back, I Showed I Belong On The Top Level”

Posted on 11/08/2021

By: Hans Themistode

Some called it arrogance, others believed it was hubris. Yet, in the mind of Caleb Plant, it was simply confidence.

As the 29-year-old Nashville, Tennessee, native marched his way through a large spattering of boos at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past weekend, he was fully convinced that he was mere moments away from shocking the world. Standing across the ring from Plant on the night, was pound for pound star Canelo Alvarez.

As the opening bell rang to signal the start of their undisputed super middleweight showdown, most were expecting a quick and easy night for Mexico’s Alvarez. However, as their contest began unfolding, Plant proved to be a far more difficult opponent than many were anticipating. Although the former IBF 168 pound titlist ultimately came up short, losing via 11th round stoppage, his self-belief hasn’t waned one bit. In fact, it’s only grown.

“I’ve bent most the world to my will and done it with nothing but passion and skill,” said Plant on his social media account. “I’ll be back.”

Alvarez, 31, repeated time and time again during the pre-fight build-up that Plant was not on his “level.” Yet, the former belt holder gave the newly crowned undisputed super middleweight champion fits throughout most of the first half of their showdown.

Although the end result was the one Alvarez was ultimately looking for, he went into detail about his exasperation.

“To be honest with you, yea, I was a little frustrated,” said Alvarez during his post-fight interview. “In the second half of the fight, it was exactly how we envisioned it. In the end, we came out with the win. That’s all that matters really. In the end, even though the frustrations were there in the first five rounds, the second part, was ideal.”

While Plant thoroughly outboxed him early on, Alvarez began finding his rhythm down the stretch. He pounded away at the body of Plant in the 10th, before ultimately finishing him off in the following round.

Alvarez landed a picture-perfect right hand at the beginning of the period and quickly followed it up with an uppercut that saw Plant hit the deck. The elusive former world titlist climbed back to his feet soon after but would reacquaint with the canvas after a string of shots from Alvarez.

Though he’s disappointed in the way things played out, Plant believes that he etched his name near the top of the division with his performance.

“I showed I belong on the top level and I’ll be champion of the world again. I’ve never been scared to go big or go out on my shield. Thank you to all the fans and all my supporters.”

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Canelo Alvarez Opens Up On Win Against Caleb Plant: “To Be Honest With You, I Was A Little Frustrated”

Posted on 11/07/2021

By: Hans Themistode

On the outside looking in, Canelo Alvarez appeared just fine. The pound-for-pound star sauntered his way to the ring late last night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was loudly greeted by a vociferous crowd.

Before the opening bell rang, Alvarez seemed cool, calm, and collected. However, as his undisputed showdown against previously undefeated belt holder, Caleb Plant, unfolded, Alvarez’s emotions began boiling over.

Time and time again, Alvarez found himself chasing Plant around the ring. Even when the Mexican star appeared to have his man cornered, the 29-year-old Plant easily maneuvered his way out of harm’s way.

Throughout it all, Alvarez kept his poker face on as he continued to hunt and stalk Plant all through the night. With that said, in a moment of pure candor, Alvarez reveals that he grew more and more agitated as he swung at nothing but air in the first half of their contest.

“To be honest with you, yea, I was a little frustrated,” said Alvarez during his post-fight interview. “Especially in the first five rounds.”

Despite his exasperation, Alvarez remained calm. While Plant proved to be one of the more elusive fighters he’s ever come up against, the Nashville, Tennessee native began slowing down considerably in the second half of their contest. The consistent body attack of Alvarez forced Plant to breathe heavily through his mouth and the fast feet he’s become known for were nonexistent.

As Alvarez began catching up with his man, he landed thudding blows as a result. At times, Plant firmly stood his ground and attempted to go toe to toe with the heavy-hitting Alvarez. In round nine, in particular, Plant registered a ton of success. He blasted Alvarez with a five-punch combination during the midway point. He then followed that up with a strong jab at the end of the round that snapped the head back of Alvarez.

Still, Plant’s breathing labored. As he became a more stationary target, Alvarez took full advantage in the 11th. He pinned his man against the ropes, connected with a strong right hand, before dropping Plant with an uppercut. Moments later, after crawling to his feet, Alvarez closed the show with a string of hard shots that saw Plant hit the deck again.

With both the win and all four major world titles at 168 pounds in Alvarez’s possession, the Mexican star reflects on the ebbs and flows of his showdown against Plant.

“In the second half of the fight, it was exactly how we envisioned it. In the end, we came out with the win. That’s all that matters really. In the end, even though the frustrations were there in the first five rounds, the second part, was ideal.”

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Pursuit of Supremacy: Starring Saul Alvarez and Caleb Plant (Part III – Legacy)

Posted on 11/06/2021

By: Kirk Jackson

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

Considering this weekend’s blockbuster event, featuring pugilists skilled at telling stories with their fists, both competitors aim to produce a memorable experience and leave a positive lasting impression.

This historic battle will be for the WBA, WBO, and WBC titles held by super-middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KO’s) and for the IBF title belonging to Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (21-0, 12 KO’s).

Alvarez aims to become the first-ever boxer from Mexico, to gain recognition as undisputed champion in any weight division, in the alphabet/multi-belt era.

“To be undisputed is history for Mexico and for everyone on my team,” said Alvarez to reporters. “To be the undisputed champion is just a great thing for my career.”

“This is very important for my country of Mexico. It’s important for me to become undisputed. It’s one of the most important fights of my life. I’m taking it very seriously and it means a lot to me.”

Plant wants to continue his unconventional path towards prominence.

He understands despite his championship accomplishments, he still isn’t regarded as one of the best fighters in the world and wants to cement his standing. He wants unification, he wants glory, he’ll leave everything in the ring to seize greatness.

“Being undisputed would mean a lot. I’ve sacrificed so much to this sport and I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Plant. “All that work would come down to one moment. I want my name in those history books and that’s the only reason that I’m here.”

“I know that people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m winning on November 6. All those people who tell me that I can’t do something, you live believable lives and you do believable things.”

“I promised myself that I was going to run this all the way to the top, with no problem crashing and burning along the way. I set out to live an unbelievable life and accomplish unbelievable things. Those people who doubt me are the very reason that I’m here.”

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare

While it’s too early to ultimately predict the legacy of each fighter, this match can hold as a solid mark of reference when reviewing in time. There is much at stake for each fighter. Even though Alvarez has positive promotion and narratives spun in his favor across most mass media, there are critics who still question the validity of some of his accomplishments and standing within the sport.

Some of these questions are valid; they make for great debate and dialogue, especially when these topics are given the proper context and analysis. In a way, this fight for Alvarez is a fight for validity of sorts.

For Plant, he looks aesthetically pleasing as a fighter, but considering the lack of numerous great names across his resume compared to Alvarez, the question is how will he look against one of the elite, premier fighters of the sport?

Keys to Victory for Saul Alvarez:

• This is the biggest fight of Plant’s life and it is paramount for Alvarez to apply physical and mental pressure.
• Plant will be best served fighting at distance, so Alvarez must close the distance effectively and efficiently.
• Cut the ring off and control the ring real estate.
• Take the air out of Plant’s tires; attack the body and sap the speed and stamina from Plant.
• Neutralize Plant’s “Sweet Hands” primarily be negating the effectiveness of his jab. Slip and counter the jab; implore effective upper body movement.
• Practice patient hostility. Provide the constant threat of attack and rely on his advantage of experience.

Keys to Victory for Caleb Plant:

• Be attentive and active.
• The jab is key. The jab will have to be strong, stiff, and quick. At times, jab will have to come in bunches to minimize Alvarez’s counterattacks.
• Establish the proper distance to maximize his skill set; fighting from the outside and utilizing his superior height and reach.
• Continuing with the theme of mastering ring real estate, stay off the ropes and do not become a stationary target.
• Plant must punch Alvarez hard enough to earn Alvarez’s respect. He must operate to which he always presents a threat.
• Adaptability is crucial, as Alvarez is vastly more experienced. Plant will have to display dynamic abilities at different times to disguise his offense.

There are many questions that will be answered this weekend. It’s possible, even more questions will arise depending on the outcome and fashion.

One of those questions is will the business of boxing prevail?

The “business” is Alvarez. He is one of the faces of the sport. Perhaps, viewing from cynical but logical lens, from a business standpoint, it makes greater sense for Alvarez to win. Translation, if the fight is close, Alvarez will get the benefit of the doubt. Erislandy Lara, Floyd Mayweather, Gennady Golovkin can attest to that.

Plant must be honest with that reality and must be extraordinary to win and upset the business of boxing and throw off the ecosystem.

Not many, if any, are picking Plant to win. Alvarez is listed by Caesars Sportsbook as a 9-1 favorite to win their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event tonight. Super-middleweight contemporaries Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez openly expressed their disdain for Plant leading up to this fight.

Another super-middleweight contemporary and most recent foe of Alvarez has his take on the fight.

“I don’t think he’s (Alvarez) the invincible man. I think that Plant’s got a very good boxing brain, he just needs to maintain his distance. Make sure you’re out of distance, don’t just think you’re out of distance because that’s the difference when you’re in with world level and elite level. He’s gotta make sure to be on his game all the way, I think he’s gonna give Canelo a good fight,” former two-division champion Billie Joe Saunders explained to Talk Sport.

“He’s obviously gotta keep it at long distance. Keep it very busy for the first six rounds and finish strong. He’s gotta certainly maintain that jab. Being orthodox – I was southpaw and that causes more problems – so he’s open to more counters obviously than what I would’ve been.”

“You’ve gotta maintain your range at safe distance and box nice, and hopefully the judges score the true boxing scorecards, rather than the name of Canelo.”

There are more lucrative options for Alvarez and for the business of boxing after this fight – should he walk away victorious.

Whether it’s undefeated two-time WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez, undefeated two-division (junior middleweight, middleweight) champion Jermall Charlo, even possibly undefeated two-world title (IBF, WBC) welterweight champion Errol Spence.

There’s a key parable, from a fictional character, Peter Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” as that derives from the Christian bible verse of Parable of the Faithful Servant (Luke 12:48): “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

That’s why a lot may be asked of Alvarez. Greatness operates on different standards. More is asked, more is required – fair or unfair. People want to see the best competition possible; at least we’re told that’s what the standard should be, correct?

Fair competition, elite competition, the best facing the best, on equal footing. Establishing clarity in such a murky current dynamic.

Tracing back to Alvarez, how does he want to define his legacy, and how does this fight and accomplishment of unification (should he win) impact that?

Mass media imposes the narrative Alvarez is already an all-time great. That may be a true statement however, critics can point to plenty of discrepancies that can dimmer the light on his legacy.

Alvarez is an outstanding fighter; highly skilled, aesthetically entertaining to watch, extremely focused, tough, gritty, works extremely hard on his craft, those are facts. The history of catch-weights, allegations of PED usage, failed drug tests, preferential treatment from sanctioning are facts as well.

May not be enjoyable information to digest, but the pill of truth isn’t always easy to swallow.

The winners tend to write history, along with claiming fortune, fortune in the form of currency, or in the form of glorious achievement. The pursuit of supremacy.

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Jermall Charlo Pulling For Caleb Plant Against Canelo Alvarez: “Get That Dub”

Posted on 11/06/2021

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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Pursuit of Supremacy: Starring Saul Alvarez and Caleb Plant (Part II – Reign of Terror)

Posted on 11/06/2021

By: Kirk Jackson

There’s a famous proverb, known by many fans of the Marvel Universe, recognized in mass from a pop cultural standpoint.

“With great power, comes great responsibility,” as some refer to this as one of Peter Parker’s (Spider-Man) core principles – with how he deals with juggling work life, school life, social life, crime-fighting life, in attempts to make the best decisions in which requires a lot of sacrifices.

There are various versions, storylines, interpretations of the character, but as a whole, he is known for displaying his strong moral standing, because he realizes he has the power to make a difference, good or bad.

So, with great power comes great responsibility and, in some cases, with great power, comes corruption.

When you’re in a position of power and hold leverage for a situation, whether that form of leverage is your likeness, name, talent, a service provided, or product, you are in a prime position to dictate the terms of engagement.

It just so happens Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KO’s) has ruled boxing with iron gloves for several years now.

Whether it’s mass media outlets, or sanctioning bodies, there appears to be a lack of transparency, when applying rules to Alvarez, comparatively as these same rules apply differently towards his contemporaries. And granted, that’s what happens across all avenues of business, social standing, and life in general.

When you have a gift, talent, skill, something that everyone else admires or covets, they will treat you differently. The point isn’t to discredit or to state fault in Alvarez’s position. He has the right to operate how he wants.

But shedding light on these distinctions and pointing out the hypocrisy amongst mass media, promotional companies, networks, and sanctioning bodies is important. There is a double standard when it comes to some of Alvarez’s transgressions compared to other great fighters and athletes.

Considering he is the main face of boxing, earnings-wise and in regard to pound-for-pound standing. He holds a great deal of power with that standing, although Alvarez wouldn’t be the first fighter in history to control the boxing space.

Dating back to the lineage of boxing kings from the past, they each etched their course across the landscape as well.

Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather, Alvarez’s former promoter Oscar De La Hoya – each fighter at some point in their respective careers were viewed as among the best, generated the most money, were considered torchbearers of the sport and held a lot of power and influence. Alvarez now fills that void.

In a sense, it’s similar to LeBron James of the National Basketball Association.

Granted, James is far removed from being the best player in the league currently, but due to his long-term standing in the league, accomplishments, money invested behind him in advertising, and in turn, the money generated from him, he maintains much power and influence within the league.

Same with Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers with the National Football League.

Certain athletes, because of their gifts, are privy to certain benefits. From a business owner’s perspective, why wouldn’t you want to listen to what your product/moneymaker is saying? It goes without saying.

With the power to generate money, comes the power to manipulate – or control the landscape. This has been true to form for Alvarez on numerous occasions.

As stated, Alvarez has the power and many acknowledge him as the king of the sport. But is he abusing his power?

There have been issues past and present, regarding performance enhancing drugs, catch-weights, rehydration clauses, picking and poaching weaker opposition, choosing the right time to face the perceived stronger opposition, etc.

Critics of “Canelo” lament that he is the beneficiary of convenience for every match-up.

And many people look past these controversies, as they do with one of the current heavyweight champions.

One can only guess which motives inspire some to look past these discrepancies.

For example, the notion of conveniently catching guys at the right time – that label and assertion is always cast on Floyd Mayweather, the last reigning cash cow of boxing. Why isn’t the same standard applied to Alvarez?

Is it due to promotion and to how he is portrayed by the media and perceived by the masses? Is Alvarez warranted the benefit of the doubt due to his perceived style of fighting? Is it the culture from where he descends from, to where at least in boxing circles, he is afforded that benefit? Or are there other variables? Let’s dive a little deeper.

Notable Alvarez Opponents:

• Miguel Vazquez (twice)
• Carlos Baldomir
• Lovemore N’dou
• Kermit Cintron
• Shane Mosley
• Erislandy Lara
• Miguel Cotto
• Amir Khan
• Liam Smith
• Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
• Gennady Golovkin
• Daniel Jacobs
• Sergey Kovalev
• Callum Smith
• Billy Joe Saunders
• Floyd Mayweather
• Austin Trout

Just off names and appearance alone, that’s an amazing resume, right? 17 world champions, minimum of three Hall of Fame fighters on that list.

Question is, what is the condition of the fighter leading into the match-up? Is there a special stipulation in the match-up, like a catch-weight or rehydration clause? How did the fight actually turn out?

Honestly looking at the list, Jacobs looks like one of the few fighters who would be considered in or near their physical prime, at the time when he faced Alvarez.

Others include Lara, Trout, and arguably Golovkin as not being too far removed. Critics may also point out, Lara and Golovkin respectively, have strong arguments for having defeated Alvarez across their encounters.

Mayweather earned a majority decision against Alvarez, despite most observers acknowledged witnessing a virtuoso and dominant performance from the 36-year-old fighter. The smaller, older fighter, who moved up in weight for their historic clash.

Although, for some reason many people believe Alvarez at 23-years-old at the time was too young and at a disadvantage over a smaller, 36-year-old.

But forget that, the first Hall of Fame caliber fighter Alvarez faced was Shane Mosley a few years prior. For Mosley, after losing to Mayweather, drawing with Sergio Mora, and then losing to Manny Pacquiao, what business did a 40-year-old Mosley have in the ring with a 21-year-old Alvarez?

Yes, for the business of boxing the move is understandable and it’s intelligent from the team of Alvarez. But when people try to bypass that victory as a top-notch achievement, it’s questionable.

Let’s see, as recent as this year, Alvarez went up against his former sparring partner turned challenger, Avni Yildirim. Leading into that fight, Yildirim had not been in the ring since he lost a technical split decision to Anthony Dirrell two years prior in February 2019.

Yildirim had been named to the mandatory position as a result of the controversial nature of his loss to Dirrell, however, he had remained sidelined due to injury and the COVID-19 pandemic. The fight itself was not a pleasing display aesthetically, as it looked as though Yildirim showed up just to show up.

Delving further into the resume, Amir Khan moved up two weight classes to face Alvarez. With no disrespect intended towards Khan, as he was an excellent fighter in the lower weight divisions, possessing excellent hand speed, boxing ability, and a huge heart, he was also renowned for having a shaky chin.

The fight went as anticipated, Khan started fast and won the early rounds according to most observers, only to get caught with a vicious right hand from Alvarez, stopping him cold in round six.

Again, that’s an example of Alvarez doing what he is supposed to do, as far as knocking out the competition – and it was a highlight reel level knock-out. The only problem, is at that particular time, Alvarez was being pressed by a fighter near his weight class, who happened to be regarded as the premier champion of that division.

Alvarez was focused on moving up from junior middleweight but was fighting at a catch-weight. Some referred to the weight class as the “Canelo weight.” There was a point where he had five consecutive fights at his preferred 155-pound catch-weight.

But the fighter in question, pursuing Alvarez for years was Gennady Golovkin. They eventually shared two controversial, entertaining bouts that will remain staples in middleweight history for years to come. Their saga is a whole story in itself.

Another notable fighter in pursuit of Alvarez for many years is Demetrius Andrade. In spite of sharing the same promotional banner for a short time and providing great incentive, he was never able to secure a fight with Alvarez.

When Alvarez stated he wanted to unify the middleweight division, Andrade was the last piece to the puzzle but for whatever reason the fight never manifested.

Examining Alvarez’s trip up north from middleweight post-Golovkin, detractors may point to Alvarez’s selection of Rocky Fielding and Sergey Kovalev as carefully picked opponents, en route to the easiest path to a world title across super-middleweight and the light-heavyweight divisions.

Analyzing Alvarez’s match-up against former light-heavyweight champion Kovalev, it can be argued, out of all of the opponents across the super-middleweight and light-heavyweight landscape, Kovalev was the easiest target.

Kovalev, while an outstanding fighter during his glory years, looked battle-worn in recent fights. Which is evidenced by his struggles after losing to Andre Ward for a second time in 2017. You can look good in defeat and bad in victory.

Kovalev looked different after the Ward fights and Eleider Alvarez didn’t help when he stopped Kovalev in their 2018 encounter. Kovalev would exact revenge a year later, but the aging champion may have aged a tad more after fighting the young challenger Anthony Yarde the same year.

And according to CompuBox, Kovalev landed 223 of his 686 punches (32.5%) while Yarde landed 132 of his 575 punches (23%), which to the point was the most punches any fighter has landed on Kovalev.

The fight against Yarde was towards the end of August, right after that, Kovalev fights Saul Alvarez in November of the same year.

He signed up for it, he’s a grown individual, he was financially compensated. But do you notice a trend here?

After the fight, Kovalev suggested that he had always been unlikely to win the fight, due to the grueling schedule of back-to-back training camps which resulted from the short period of time between the Yarde and Alvarez fights. Nonetheless, he had agreed to fight Alvarez regardless due to the high financial incentive, which was reported to be $12 million.

“I was tired after round six, because I had my last fight very close to this one, but it’s okay, it’s a new experience for me. Canelo is really a great champion. A little bit right now, I didn’t recover from my last fight. But it’s okay. Thanks for the fight Canelo, I have big respect for him. He made history,” Kovalev said in a post-fight interview.

Call it sour grapes if you want, but there is truth to those assertions.

To the victor goes the spoils. People remember the wins and gloss over circumstances and underlying variables. When given greater context, the wins appear somewhat inflated with value. When you win, oftentimes you can afford to write history the way you want it to be remembered.

Aside from nitpicking resumes, there have been questions lingering about performance enhancing drugs and Alvarez’s camp. Some of these question marks stem from positive tests in the past.

Alvarez tested positive for two drug tests after his first bout with Golovkin. There was a large fallout from the test, as the rematch with Golovkin was called off initially before being rescheduled to a later date.

Oscar Valdez, who is a current super-featherweight champion and part of Alvarez’s camp recently tested positive for the banned substance phentermine, leading into his title defense this past September.

Victor Conte recently interviewed with AHKi TV and provided excellent information about PED usage in the sport.

Conte is the founder and president of Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), a sports nutrition center in California. He now operates Scientific Nutrition for Advanced Conditioning (SNAC Nutrition).

The interview is very informative, obviously, some of this information pertains to the big fight between Alvarez and Caleb Plant.

Another takeaway from Conte’s interview is the claim that fighters now are not using steroids, they’re using synthetic testosterone. Which can be more difficult to catch, depending on the organization conducting the testing.

The interview also expands on a few notions that will be expanded on in the following tweets:

Fortunately, both Alvarez and Plant are enrolled in The Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing.

But if a fighter were using PED’s and held off on signing a contract for a proposed fight, that may stipulate drug testing for a certain period of time, it’s possible that the fighter may purposely delay signing the contract, to get the PED’s out of their system.

When the time comes for testing for that proposed fight, albeit they are no longer using the enhancements during training, they’ve already reaped the benefits. It’s fair to suggest, the agreement for drug testing is just for optics.

The commissions from each state, the sanctioning, various organizations all have varying motives. Essentially, it would be extremely difficult to operate under full transparency regarding drug testing.

There might always be a cloud that follows Alvarez, whether that’s fair or not. For the most part, it has not affected his professional career to the point where he is derailed from his position.

Most of these organizations do not care. Many media outlets and personalities do not care. Many fans do not care, as long as their fighter is winning. Or as long as their country and what or who they perceive as their cultural representee is winning.

Alvarez plays chess while the rest play checkers. Web-slinging superheroes don’t exist in the real world.

Navigating through the politics of boxing, meticulously carving his path, crafting his image, all while honing his physical skills, he elevated to the top of pound-for-pound list and established a firm hold as one of the top money earners in all of sports.

When you master the game, you establish trends and rules for everyone else to follow. In a position of authority and while maintaining leverage, one has the ability to exploit situations to their advantage. While in a position of power, why would one concede any advantages? Maintaining leverage is extending your reign.

Great superstars like De La Hoya, Leonard, Mayweather, and Manny Pacquiao have exercised such options during their reign. Alvarez continues to flex his muscles during his sovereignty.

Is he abusing his power or exploiting a flawed series of systems? Is there a fighter, who is going to do anything about it and supplant the ruler?

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Caleb Plant Takes His Shot At The Crown

Posted on 11/05/2021

By: Hector Franco

Boxing’s most prevalent superstar and pound-for-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) steps back in the ring this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. On this occasion, he will be taking on Nashville, Tennessee’s Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), for the undisputed super middleweight championship. 

Plant has held the IBF super-middleweight title since January 2019 and made three defenses of his championship. 

For Alvarez, who holds the remaining titles in the division, including the WBC, WBA, and WBO titles, he will be fighting for the fifth time at super middleweight if you don’t count his 164.5 catchweight match with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017. 

Alvarez, who has been headlining PPVs for close to a decade, now may feel like the bout with Plant is another day at the office. While the undisputed super-middleweight crown will be on the line, the Mexican superstar has faced more accomplished competition multiple times throughout his now 16-year career. 

At almost 60 professional fights with titles in four-weight classes at just 31-years old, Alvarez is already a lock for the boxing Hall-of-Fame. He is now competing against himself and history. 

“The goal is to be an all-time great,” said Alvarez at the final press conference. “I’m so proud of the journey I’ve taken to achieve that. I’m not going to stop until I’ve tried my best to reach that goal. Only one thing is going through my mind, and that’s winning. Everything else is outside of my control. 

“I only care about what’s going to happen inside of the ring Saturday night.” 

When a fighter is the most significant moneymaker in the sport, he has the leverage to fight whom he chooses and when he chooses with a plethora of options. There have been numerous examples of the pound-for-pound crown being challenged by fighters who were massive underdogs. 

Over the last two decades, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao were the main headlining attractions in boxing, each taking on formidable opponents that very few thought had a realistic chance of winning. 

“I’ve been the underdog before,” said Plant. It’s a place I like to be. I like people rooting against me. It gives me extra motivation, but when you’re fighting for undisputed status, you don’t need much more motivation than that.”

The question will be, what kind of opponent will Plant be? 

Will he be similar to fighters like Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto, who proved the odds correct to be the underdogs they were by putting in tepid efforts against Floyd Mayweather? 

Alternatively, will Plant be more like an Antonio Tarver who pushed Roy Jones Jr. to the brink in 2003 or Marcos Maidana putting in such a valiant effort against Mayweather that an immediate rematch was made? 

Since winning a closely contested rematch over Gennadiy Golovkin in 2018, Alvarez has elevated his game putting on one dominant performance after the other. However, he has yet to step in the ring again with someone on Golovkin’s level since facing the Kazakhstani puncher. 

While Alvarez has been stellar as of late, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been tested in the past in fights that could have been scored against him. 

“He looked beatable against Lara,” said Plant on the PBC podcast. “He got schooled by Floyd Mayweather. He lost the first fight Triple G, and it was a really close fight the second time. It was a really close fight with him and Kovalev as well.”

Plant’s resume is lacking compared to Alvarez and numerous of his opponents. Still, he has the mentality and skillset to make a fight with the four-division champion more than competitive. 

Boxing history has shown many challengers for the crown at boxing’s best, but few have been able to take the opportunity to grab the proverbial brass ring to make the crown their own. 

Moving up your level of competition can be akin to climbing a mountain. Alvarez currently sits on top of that mountain. 

When Plant takes his shot at the crown, will he be able to breathe at the mountaintop? Or will the air prove to be too thin?

“People are going to say what they’re going to say,” said Plant. But I get the final say, and I can’t wait to prove everything in the ring.”

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Caleb Plant: 167 – Canelo Alvarez: 168 – We Have A Fight

Posted on 11/05/2021

By: Hans Themistode

The last time Canelo Alvarez came nose to nose with Caleb Plant, the two got it on right then and there. Not only did the pair decide to swap fists well before their November 6th showdown, but a deep hatred towards one another soon followed. Roughly a month and a half later and nothing has changed.

Plant, the IBF super middleweight champion, weighed in first. He was stoic in his demeanor as he stepped into the scales. Moments later, 167 pounds were read out loud. As Plant posed for pictures while showing off his physique, a shirtless Alvarez paced back and forth behind him.

Once Plant stepped off the scales, Alvarez soon followed. He confidently waited in front of a frantic media crowd before 168 pounds was confirmed as his official weight.

Under normal circumstances, both fighters would stand toe to toe with one another before squaring off the following night. However, considering that the two went blow for blow the last time they faced off, officials refused to allow them to get within a few feet of one another.

Despite the distance, both Plant and Alvarez jawed nonstop. On numerous occasions, Plant could be seen pointing in the direction of Alvarez as he grew more and more agitated. The Mexican star, in turn, appeared to be muttering several curse words under his breath as he physically attempted to push his way towards Plant but to no avail.

With the built-up animosity, Plant has vowed to put an end to the title reign of the pound for pound star. In doing so, he would become the division’s first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time. But while Plant has exuded an enormous amount of confidence, Alvarez has done the same. Not only has the Mexican native promised to deliver an explosive knockout in eight rounds or less, but he’s also claimed that Plant isn’t on his “level.”

To most, including the betting public, Alvarez is a considerable favorite. With an eighth-round stoppage victory over Billy Joe Saunders in May earlier this year, Alvarez has said time and time again that becoming the first undisputed champion of Mexican descent would mean the world to him.

In the mind of Plant, however, Alvarez’s dreams will go up in flames. The 29-year-old IBF belt holder has made three successful defenses of his world title, including a one-sided beating against Caleb Truax earlier this year.

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