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Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant kickoff their Nov. 6 brawl with a brawl

Fighters Network

A fight almost ruined “the fight” between unified WBC/WBO/WBA and Ring super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and undefeated IBF super middleweight titlist Caleb “Sweethands” Plant.

During SHOWTIME Sports’ Tuesday kickoff press conference in Los Angeles, the Alvarez-Plant staredown turned into a mini-brawl, which was ignited by Alvarez shoving Plant, and Plant swiping a left back at Alvarez. Sunglasses went flying and the two went flailing, with Plant leaning into Alvarez, and Alvarez chopped at Plant’s neck with his right hand.

Both teams quickly rushed to the stage to separate the two fighters, who needed to be restrained and towel off—literally. It appeared Alvarez had a small cut on his left forearm around his elbow. Plant had a small, hook-shaped cut on his right cheek, which he said came from his sunglasses.

Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 knockouts) is the Ring’s pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter and super middleweight world champion, and Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) is the Ring’s No. 2 super middleweight Plant.

Plant has railed and continued to rail against Alvarez being a “cheater.” Then, when both fighters had their chance to speak, Plant raged further about Alvarez’s past when he was suspended for six months on April 18, 2018, by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for the banned substance clenbuterol in February 2018, which Alvarez attributed to tainted meat consumed in Mexico.

It got nasty fast between the two fighters, stirring both teams to come up quickly to break them up (Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME®).

Plant, 29, Ashland City, Tennessee, went into his personal history and what he’s overcome in his career. Alvarez, 31, Guadalajara, Mexico, bristled when Plant began dropping slang to him.

“I don’t need you guys to believe in me, I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Plant said. “So, mark my words, November 6, you will hear the words, ‘and the new undisputed super middleweight.’ The only difference is, right after that, you’ll hear the words, ‘and still undefeated.’

“Mark my words.”

When Plant saw Alvarez grinning, Plant asked, “Do you think that’s funny?”

“Well, keep laughing, keep laughing motherf—ker, because you know when you’ll find out, real soon,” Plant said to Alvarez. Alvarez took it personally when the “mf” reference was used, saying, “Don’t say motherf—ker, don’t say anything about my mother.”

Then Plant called Alvarez “a bitch,” and pointed to Alvarez’s trainer and manager, Eddy Reynoso, and said, “The only difference between you two is that you’re a fat ass bitch, and you’re a bitch.”

After some more cursing, Plant blurted out, “And you’re a drug cheat. You’re a cheater. You’re a cheater. You went to trial. You got suspended for six months.”

Alvarez countered with “Don’t make excuses before the fight. Whatever you say. See you November 6.”

Canelo, who predicted he will end Plant within eight rounds, said during his mic time that “You’re not at my level and you will see November 6. You know what I do and you will see November 6.”

During the brief Q&A session, Showtime’s studio host Brian Custer asked Plant and Alvarez what happened to start the brawl.

Caleb Plant suffered a cut on his right cheek from his sunglasses, he said, during the melee (Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME®).

“Because he’s a bitch,” Plant said. “This is a dangerous enough sport and people don’t cheat out of confidence they cheat out of fear. It is what it is. He’s a cheater. It’s not what I said. It’s what the commission said. You have to take it up with them.”

Reynoso countered with “You need to work hard.”

To which Plant said, “I have the balls to work hard, without testing positive for illegal substances. Why don’t you have the balls to work to work hard without testing positive for illegal substances?”

What apparently stirred Alvarez was when Plant said something about his mother. “He can say what he wants to say, but not about my mom,” Canelo said. “For me this is history, it’s history for Mexico and everybody on my team.”


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.


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