By Brad Slotnick: Promoter Eddie Hearn will be meeting this Wednesday with Canelo Alvarez to begin preparation to start negotiations for an undisputed fight with IBF super middleweight champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant for September 11th.
Alvarez, 30, is coming off of an eighth-round stoppage victory over WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders on May 8th.
The victory added Saunders’ WBO title to Canelo’s WBA and WBC 168-lb straps, which leaves the Mexican star one title short of becoming the undisputed champion in the weight class.
Canelo only needs Plant’s IBF title to become the four-belt champion at 168, but it might not come cheap. Plant has already said that he wants $10 million+ for a fight with Canelo, which is more money than 168-lb champions Saunders and Callum Smith made to fight the Mexican superstar.
Is Canelo buying a belt?
In essence, Canelo would be buying the IBF super middleweight title from Plant, as the fight really does nothing for the career of the former Golden Boy fighter. It’s not the one the public is asking Canelo for. To pay Plant the kind of money he wants for the fight makes no sense, given his weak resume and popularity.
The Canelo-Plant fight could be shown on both FOX pay-per-view and DAZN. That’s something that will be decided soon.
Canelo will decide whether to stick with the September 11th date or move off of it.
What makes it problematic for Canelo to fight on that date, which falls on the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend, is Oscar De La Hoya’s decision to fight on that date.
De La Hoya is fighting an eight-round exhibition match on that date against former UFC champion Vitor Belford on Triller pay-per-view, which could create competition for Canelo’s fight on the same night with Plant.
It wouldn’t be as much of an issue if Plant were more popular, but he’s not. The only thing that Plant has going for him is his IBF 168-lb belt, which Canelo craves. He wants that belt to become the undisputed super middleweight champion.
Hearn says Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) absolutely wants the fight with the unbeaten Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) to capture the final title in the 168-lb division.
“We’ve exchanged some numbers on our side, and I see Canelo on Wednesday to go through everything with him,” said Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show.
“But nothing has changed from the process of getting an offer from DAZN, an offer from Fox, and then deciding what everybody feels is best for the fighters.
“There will be some discussions from both sides; that’s the purpose of this week, to go through the financials and then get things moving,” said Hearn.
Although there are much bigger fights out there for Canelo that would bring in more money and attract more interest, they’re more dangerous ones in which he could get beaten.
Plant has very little power, and his stamina is that of an eight-round fighter.
It’s an ideal opponent for Canelo to showcase his talent and get a sure-thing win like his last two fights against Billy Joe Saunders and Avni Yildirim.
“But after this week, you’re going to see Canelo and Eddie Reynoso getting ready for camp,” said Hearn. “Caleb Plant is the one that everybody wants.”
Hearn’s comment about how “everybody wants” the Caleb Plant fight, he’s talking about Canelo and his trainer Eddy Reynoso, not the boxing public.
Unfortunately, Plant is low on the list of fighters that the fans want to see Canelo fight. They want to see Canelo fight Jermall Charlo, David Benavidez, Demetrius Andrade, Gennadiy Golovkin, Jermell Charlo, Artur Beterbiev and Dimitry Bivol.
Plant is just a belt-holder who has a very similar fighting style similar to Canelo’s last opponent, Billy Joe Saunders. Plant is comparable to Saunders, and he even has the same gassing issues after six rounds.
Plant is different because he doesn’t possess the trash-talking personability that Saunders had going for him, which means that Canelo may need to do most of the promotional work to get the boxing public to watch the fight.