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Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant is dead…for now

May 8, 2021; Arlington, TX; Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders during their May 8th Matchroom boxing bout at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
29
Jul

The road to undisputed is officially dead – for now.

Canelo Alvarez, boxing’s biggest star, and Caleb Plant were expected to fight on September 18, in Las Vegas, on a “PBC on FOX” pay-per-view (first reported by The Ring). However the deal is now off.

ESPN was first to report the new revelation.

Rather than a bout that would have unified all four super middleweight titles, Alvarez, The Ring champion, was set to earn a career-high $40 million and Plant, who was tabbed to make a career-high $10 million, will face a new opponent in the fall.

Sources reported to The Ring on July 13 that PBC likely wanted the Mexican superstar to ink a multi-fight deal to box on their platform. Per ESPN, there were two offers, one containing the Plant fight, while the other was a two-fight deal that included a stay-busy contest in Mexico.

The unbeaten Plant, ranked No. 2 by The Ring at super middleweight and holds the IBF version of the 168-pound title, criticized Alvarez, who holds the WBA, WBC and WBO titles as well, during a phone conversation with ESPN on Tuesday evening.

“His bark is bigger than his bite,” Plant stated. “Canelo was offered the highest guarantee of his career: He was set to make $40 million plus Mexican TV rights and his Hennessy sponsorship. No problem; let’s fight. We gave it to him. Then they wanted upside of gate and pay-per-view revenue. No problem; let’s rumble.

“It was always agreed that it was a [title] unification, no rematch for either fighter. Towards end of negotiations, they asked for a rematch when they lose. No problem; you can have the rematch as well. I just wanna fight.”

According to Plant (21-0, 12 knockouts), 29, he agreed to his side of the contract weeks ago with no quarrel about money. There was also a one-way rematch clause as part of the deal, to which he didn’t object. This meant the clause would only be initiated if Alvarez lost.

Caleb Plant (left) takes it to Vincent Feigenbutz. Photo by Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Caleb Plant (left) takes it to Vincent Feigenbutz. Photo by Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

However the Nashville native who trains out of Las Vegas, took exception to an apparent injury clause.

“One that is absurd: If I get injured or sick, then he gets a late replacement for the same amount of guaranteed money but if he gets sick or injured, then we gotta wait for him,” Plant added. “We’re at seven-and-a-half weeks from the fight. We’ve lost valuable time that should be spent promoting and drug testing for a fight of this magnitude.

“I question whether legacy or money is their real motive. We’ve been waiting for him to get done with his wedding, shooting his TV show, his golf tournament and now have tried to give him everything he wants and more to make this fight. I’m more than willing, able and ready to fight Canelo Alvarez on any date. Those are the real facts and if anyone has something to say differently, we have the paperwork to prove it.”

If Alvarez does not fight on September 18, it would mark the third year in a row that he has not fought on Mexican Independence Day Weekend. However as The Ring reported on July 13, DAZN had previously contacted former unified middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin about potentially stepping up to face Canelo in a trilogy bout.

“Ready, willing and available,” the Kazakh responded.

Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) and Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) fought to a highly controversial draw in their first encounter in September 2017 and a rematch was scheduled for the following May. That fight was initially canceled when Canelo twice tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol but after months of mudslinging from both sides, Alvarez would eventually win the second fight via majority decision in September 2018.

Furthermore The Ring learned on July 16, per sources, that the 39-year-old Golovkin was training as if he were already scheduled to fight Alvarez. On the other hand, ESPN is also reporting that Canelo has also shown interest in moving up to 175 pounds for the second time to take on undefeated light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) on DAZN.

In his sole 175-pound bout to date, in November 2019, Alvarez knocked out former titleholder Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round to capture the Russian’s WBO title.

Alvarez initially signed a two-fight deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing but that agreement expired following Canelo’s eighth round stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders, on May 8, in Texas. That opened the door for Alvarez to explore greener pastures but unfortunately hit a major roadblock.

It would seem like a return to DAZN is possibly in store for Canelo.

 

 

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