Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Caleb Plant are officially set for their historic showdown.
As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, a deal has been reached for the two best super middleweights in the world to collide later this fall to crown the division’s first-ever undisputed champion. The fight now has a confirmed date and location, with Alvarez himself confirming the event to take place on November 6 in Las Vegas.
A venue was not specified, although the date places the Pay-Per-View event at MGM Grand Garden Arena given the other surrounding sites are booked for that day.
“This November 6, we will put Mexican boxing on top,” Alvarez announced via his official Instagram page Thursday afternoon. “Let’s go for the belt that we are missing.”
Guadalajara’s Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs) will put his WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight titles on the line, while Plant (21-0, 12KOs)—who hails from Ashland City, Tennessee but now fights out of Las Vegas—defends his IBF title. The winner will emerge as the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion in the three- or four-belt era.
Alvarez—a former junior middleweight and middleweight lineal champion and light heavyweight titlist—officially became a title claimant in four weight divisions following his twelve-round, unanimous decision win over England’s Callum Smith last December at Alamodome in San Antonio. Alvarez had a secondary version of the WBA super middleweight title, which he upgraded to WBA “Super” title status along with claiming the WBC belt in the win over the previously unbeaten Smith.
The feat left Alvarez as just the third boxer in history to claim true title status at junior middleweight, middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight, joining ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns. Leonard—who also reigned as welterweight champion—achieved the status under dubious circumstances, insisting on a 168-pound weight limit for July 1988 challenge of WBC light heavyweight titlist Donny Lalonde to allow the vacant WBC super middleweight title to also be at stake.
Hearns—also a former welterweight titlist—and Alvarez both won their titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175 by fighting specifically in each weight division.
Plant enters his first title unification clash along with his debut as a PPV headliner. The unbeaten 29-year-old has held the IBF belt since outpointing Jose Uzcategui in January 2019, since making three successful defenses. In his most recent start, Plant earned a twelve-round shutout win over former titlist Caleb Truax this past January in Los Angeles.
Alvarez became a three-belt super middleweight titlist in a span of less than five months. The Mexican icon defeated Smith to win the WBA/WBC belts, which he successfully defended in a third-round stoppage of WBC mandatory contender Avni Yildirim just ten weeks later at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The same amount of time elapsed by the time Alvarez added the WBO super middleweight belt to his collection, coming in an eighth-round stoppage of unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders this past May at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The bout with Plant will mark Alvarez’s long-awaited return to Vegas and the PPV market. His last fight in Sin City came in November 2019, scoring an 11th round knockout of Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO light heavyweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena in wrapping up his Fighter of the Year campaign.
Six months prior came his three-belt middleweight title unification win over Daniel Jacobs atop a May 2019 show at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The wins over Jacobs and Kovalev both aired on DAZN, two of six straight fights on the platform beginning with his December 2018 knockout win over WBA “World” super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
Alvarez last appeared on PPV in September 2018, outpointing Gennadiy Golovkin to win the WBA/WBC middleweight titles along with re-establishing middleweight championship lineage. The bout generated a reported 1,100,000 PPV buys, down from their first fight one year prior—a disputed twelve-round, split decision draw that sold 1,300,000 PPV units.
Since the rematch win over Golovkin have come six fights on DAZN, four of which have taken place at super middleweight. The win over Saunders left Alvarez as just the second boxer in history to simultaneously hold three of the four titles at 168, joining unbeaten Hall of Fame former two-division champion Joe Calzaghe on that exclusive list.
The WBA/WBC/IBF super middleweight titles were never fully unified since the division’s inception in 1984 with the first-ever IBF super middleweight title fight. The WBA recognized the division in 1987, followed by the WBC and WBO in 1988.
In addition to undisputed championship status, the winner will emerge as the first lineal champion since Hall of Fame-elected Andre Ward abdicated the throne in 2016 to campaign at light heavyweight.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox