Caleb Plant has twice been seriously considered by Canelo Alvarez for a potential super middleweight clash, but both advances over the last year have come on short notice, and the  28-year-old has proclaimed that he’s not had adequate time to either rest or train for a potentially life-changing fight.

The 168-pound IBF champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) is fresh off a shutout decision win over Caleb Truax in a mandatory defense of his title last month, and he’s now locked in on Alvarez for a September showdown if the Mexican star can successfully get past Avni Yildirim later this month in a mandatory defense of his WBC super middleweight title, and WBO Billy Joe Saunders later in May. 

"People have [Alvarez] as the pound-for-pound king so why would you not put yourself in the best position to get your hand raised in that fight,” Plant told Brian Custer on the Last Stand Podcast. “I think we’re close to making that Canelo fight happen, I think it can be made, he’s saying it can be made, our teams are on board so the Canelo fight will happen."

Alvarez (54-1-2) as well as his trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso have made it clear that the goal is to be the undisputed champion at 168. They’ve both brought Plant’s name into those plans. Should Alvarez beat Saunders, he’d own the WBC, WBO, WBA and Ring Magazine crowns, and only the IBF title would be missing from the mission.

The Tennessee-raised, Las Vegas-based Plant said he deliberately prepared for a potential Alvarez meeting by getting his IBF mandatories with Truax out of the way in advance.

“The IBF is really strict with its mandatories, and the IBF is usually the only sanctioning body that would not excuse mandatories for unification fights or bigger fights,” Plant said. “So we thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and do two back-to-back, that way going forward for the whole rest of the year a mandatory wouldn’t get in the way of me making a big unification fight."

Alvarez eyed Plant last February immediately after the American handled Vincent Feigenbutz in a TKO win for a May fight before the pandemic sidelined Alvarez altogether. Plant stated at the time that he needed to properly allow for his body to rest so he can endure another grueling eight-week training camp.

Alvarez also considered Plant for his recent ring return in December before ultimately ending on Callum Smith. Plant said at the time that five weeks was not enough time or notice to train for a big fight.

One fight Plant isn’t planning for is a meeting with former WBC champion David Benavidez, who has twice relinquished his WBC 168-pound title, once due to substance abuse, the other last year for failing to make weight.

Alvarez won the title Benavidez was forced to vacate during his fight against Smith.

"Of course [Benavidez] feels like he can just jump the line again and get a world title fight, and in his eyes he feels like he’s going to beat me and then get the Canelo fight, but boxing doesn’t work that way. He’s had his opportunities,” said Plant.

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at] or on