Editorial

Something has to give as Alvarez and Plant go head-to-head

As the boxing world prepares for the clash of Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez and Caleb Plant, it’s hard to know which way the fight will swing. Yes, Canelo may well be the firm favourite in the Saul Alvarez v Caleb Plant odds, but Plant’s unbeaten record suggests that he won’t go down too easily.

Boxing occasions don’t come much bigger than this. Unless the fight ends in a draw, we will have an undisputed super middleweight champion on our hands. Canelo is the holder of the WBA (Super), WBC, WBO and The Ring super middleweight titles, whilst Plant comes into the contest with the IBF title in his back pocket.

With both fighters desperate for the bright lights and glamour that victory would bring, you’d imagine it will be a close contest. Canelo undoubtedly has the advantage due to his greater experience and history of performing on the biggest occasions, but Plant cannot be ruled out completely.

After all, winning is a habit, and Plant is yet to taste defeat in his professional career. His last outing was in January, where he defeated Caleb Truax via unanimous decision, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he has retained that winning mentality despite the lengthy gap between fights. Indeed, Plant has only contested two bouts since July 2019, compared to Canelo’s four, so whether that means the American will be fresher or more out of tune remains to be seen.

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Canelo hasn’t lost a professional bout since 2013, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. defeated him, and if anything, that fight has only spurred the Mexican on to become a better boxer. He’ll view the Plant challenge as the defining moment of his career — the chance to fully realise his potential and deliver on the hype that has surrounded him for well over a decade.

Plant has the advantage of being the underdog. Most are expecting Canelo to emerge an easy winner, but that could play into his opponent’s hands. Plant will go from being the firm favourite in most of his recent fights to suddenly being a heavy outsider, and that could have a liberating effect on his performance in the ring.

Of course, Canelo is not one to give away an inch. He’s made a habit of bringing his A-game when everything’s on the line, and this upcoming clash with Plant will be another chance to show the world why he deserves to be the unified super middleweight champion. Canelo lives for the big occasion, and there will be a raucous atmosphere at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this weekend.

There is no love lost between Canelo and Plant, which certainly adds to the excitement. The pair had to be separated at a pre-fight press conference back in September after things threatened to turn violent, and you can expect a similar energy to pervade the arena when they go head-to-head on Saturday.

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Both fighters have something to lose, but also a lot to gain. It promises to be a fascinating tussle, as sparks fly in Sin City.

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