Wednesday, September 27, 2023  |



Caleb Plant says he will make Canelo Alvarez respect his boxing skills

Caleb Plant, the IBF super middleweight titleholder.
Fighters Network

The super middleweight division is boiling over right now. Canelo Alvarez, The Ring’s and BWAA’s No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, is on a mission to scoop all of the major belts.

Alvarez is a runaway freight train and there doesn’t seem as if anyone can stop him.

Over the weekend, Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 knockouts) did some housekeeping by devouring WBC mandatory challenger Avni “The Turkish Wolf” Yildirim by third-round stoppage. Alvarez, the Ring Magazine, WBC and WBA super middleweight world champion, will next face WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) in May.

And if that works out, as it should, the last man standing in Alvarez’s path will be IBF 168-pound king Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs).

Plant saw what transpired last Saturday night and was embarrassed by Yildirim’s showing.

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

“Canelo did what he had to do and he got the job done, unfortunately, and I’ve been doing this for a long time and know what I’m looking at, but (Yildirim) really didn’t come to win,” Plant said. “Maybe a part of him came to win, but when he got in front of (Canelo), he laid down. Then, he quit on his stool.

“It was pretty disappointing. Canelo’s dance partner sat on his stool. He got star struck and gave Canelo too much respect. I saw some things there in Canelo that I can exploit. But we’ll have to wait until the bell rings. In September, we’ll make this fight happen. It’s what I want. It’s what he wants. Soon enough, I’ll get in there and show you all.”

Plant said his next fight will be against Alvarez in September.

“I’m not looking to be believed. I’m not looking at having a believable career. I’m looking at having an unbelievable career”– Caleb Plant

“Sweethands” is coming off a dominating performance over Caleb Truax in January. Plant won almost every second of every round. He says the look ahead is clear for the next six months. He has no plans on taking an interim tune-up fight from now until September 11, which most likely will be the date for Alvarez-Plant.

“As of now, I’m aiming for September and I got some rounds in in January. I had a great camp going into the fight, so September looks like the date,” Plant said. “I’ve had some injuries here and there, but I’m feeling good right now.”

Plant also knows the general feeling about his chances against Alvarez.

“It doesn’t really bother me, because I’ve heard it my whole life,” Plant said. “People said before I turned pro, I heard I couldn’t do this and that. Then I would go out and accomplish it. When I told people, I would be a national amateur champion, they wouldn’t believe me.

“When I told people, I’m going to the Olympics, and I wound being an Olympic alternate in London, they wouldn’t believe me. When I said one day that I would become a world champion, they wouldn’t believe me. I’m not looking to be believed. I’m not looking at having a believable career. I’m looking at having an unbelievable career.”

Plant said he would rather show fight fans what he’s able to do than talking about it. He’ll fill up his time preparing for Alvarez. He’ll get himself involved in a pre-camp routine in preparation for an eight-week training camp.

“I want to give fans the fights that they want and make history,” Plant said. “I respect Canelo as a man. But if he wants me to respect his boxing skills, he’s going to have to make me do that. I don’t care what he respects. Come September, he’ll find out first hand. I’ll make him respect me.”

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Magazine/ since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.


The Canelo-Charlo clash is the cover story to the September 2023 issue of The Ring. Art by Richard T. Slone