Oddsmakers don’t figure Caleb Plant to end the incredible run enjoyed by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, though still give him a better chance than his predecessors.
The unbeaten IBF super middleweight titlist has been inserted as a modest +400 underdog to dethrone Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs), the reigning WBC/WBA/WBO champ who has opened as a -600 favorite in such a fight according to BetOnline.ag. Demand has increased for such a showdown in the immediate aftermath of Alvarez’s 8th round stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders to unify three titles Saturday evening at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Alvarez entered the ring as a -650 betting favorite, bet down from -800 as punters took a risk on Saunders who was arrived on fight night as a +475 underdog according to William Hill Sportsbook. Alvarez defended his WBA/WBC titles for the second time while claiming the WBO belt that Saunders (30-1, 14KOs) held since May 2019.
A showdown with Plant (21-0, 12KOs) would represent the opportunity to crown the division’s first-ever undisputed champion in the three- or four-belt era. Alvarez became just the second super middleweight in history to own three belts, joining Hall-of-Fame former two-division champ Joe Calzaghe who also held the WBC/WBA/WBO belt as well as the lineal championship following his Nov. 2007 win over then-fellow unbeaten titlist Mikkel Kessler.
Plant has held the IBF title since claiming a 12-round unanimous decision win over Jose Uzcategui in Jan. 2019, the lone time in his pro career that he has entered the ring as the betting underdog (+161 by fight night). The Ashland City, Tennessee native—who now fights out of Las Vegas—has made three successful title defenses, including a 12-round shutout over former titlist Caleb Plant this past January in Los Angeles.
Alvarez has won major titles in four divisions and is widely regarded as the sport’s pound-for-pound king. The boxing superstar from Guadalaraja, Mexico became the unified WBC/WBA super middleweight champ following a 12-round win over Callum Smith last December at Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Alvarez was a -700 favorite by the opening bell, while Liverpool’s Smith was a +500 underdog despite entering as an unbeaten long-reigning titlist.
Talks between Alvarez and Plant have yet to resume following serious conversation in late 2020. Alvarez and promoter Eddie Hearn are expected to reach out to representatives at Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) in hopes of securing such a fight in time for Mexican Independence Day in September.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox