LAS VEGAS – The brighter the lights, the better Caleb Plant promises he will perform.
Boxing’s spotlight will never be brighter for the unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion than the night of November 6. Plant assured a small group of reporters prior to the Manny Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugas pay-per-view show Saturday night that he’ll handle his showdown with Canelo Alvarez accordingly.
“I mean, I’m willing and ready to take it wherever it has to go to get my hand raised,” Plant said when asked if he would welcome a “brutal” fight versus Alvarez. “But don’t be surprised if it’s easier than y’all think.”
Plant’s boxing ability, ring IQ and athleticism have helped him amass a 21-0 record, including 12 knockouts, and become a champion in the 168-pound division. He’ll obviously take a huge jump up in competition, however, when he meets Mexico’s Alvarez at a venue to be announced in Las Vegas.
The 31-year-old Alvarez is considered by many experts as the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) has won world titles in four weight classes and officially has lost just once – a 12-round majority decision to undefeated Floyd Mayweather nearly eight years ago.
The 29-year-old Plant, meanwhile, has beaten a comparatively low level of opposition since he out-pointed Venezuela’s Jose Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) to win his IBF belt in January 2019. He has beaten overmatched Mike Lee (21-1, 11 KOs), mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (33-3, 29 KOs) and former IBF champion Caleb Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC) in his three title defenses.
Alvarez has defeated two previously unbeaten 168-pound champions – Brits Callum Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) and Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) – in two of his past three fights. He owns the WBA, WBC and WBO titles and is determined to become the first fully unified super middleweight champion in boxing’s four-belt era.
Plant, a Las Vegas resident raised in Ashland City, Tennessee, has taken offense to those that have questioned his odds of winning against Alvarez in their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event.
“I mean, I like my chances in any fight,” Plant said. “If I didn’t believe that I can win, y’all wouldn’t have these cameras in front of my face right now. And, you know, you guys have made plenty of fight predictions before and you guys have been wrong. But you know how many times I’ve been wrong? None.
“And ever since I started boxing, from my first tournament that I went to, people telling me what I can’t be, what I can be. You know, I don’t belong in this sport, I’m never gonna become a world champion. And it seems like the more people tell me I couldn’t, the more I believe in myself. And at this point, every comment or every time someone says that you can’t do it, I feel like I’m just even more right. You know what I’m saying? So, I’m just ready for the fight.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.