ARLINGTON, Texas – Eddie Hearn doesn’t anticipate negotiations for a Canelo Alvarez-Caleb Plant fight to become complicated.
The British promoter expects Alvarez’s position as a fighter who isn’t contractually bound to a network or a streaming service to make matters easier. Hearn envisions DAZN, which has streamed Alvarez’s past six fights, and FOX, which has televised Plant’s past four fights, to make “huge” offers to land their super middleweight title unification fight.
Plant, the unbeaten IBF 168-pound champion, is the only opponent Alvarez wants to face next because he owns the title Alvarez needs to become the fully unified champion in the super middleweight division. Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) won the WBA and WBC belts by beating England’s Callum Smith on December 19 at Alamodome in San Antonio and added the WBO belt when he stopped another Brit, Billy Joe Saunders, after the eighth round Saturday night at AT&T Stadium.
The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, is affiliated with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions. Hearn expects to deal mostly with Plant’s manager, Luis De Cubas Jr., during negotiations for a fight targeted to take place September 18.
“[It’s] not complicated,” Hearn said during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning. “It’s the beauty of Canelo’s decision to be a network free agent. So, it stops politics, it stops anything from getting in the way. The numbers on DAZN tonight were absolutely astronomical. They’re gonna have to and they will make a huge offer for that fight. FOX will also make a huge offer for that fight.
“But he’s, you know, he’s free to make the fights that he wants to make, where he wants those fights to happen. So, for me, I think it’s a very straightforward process. I think that process should start immediately, and I don’t see any complications with his position.”
Hearn doesn’t think his own arrangement with Alvarez will become complex, either. Boxing’s biggest star in the United States and Matchroom Boxing’s managing director both have expressed a willingness to continue working together now that their two-fight contract has expired.
The 30-year-old Alvarez has been pleased with the results of the three fights Hearn’s company has promoted for him over the past five months. An enormous crowd of 73,126 – an indoor record for boxing in the U.S. – attended the Alvarez-Saunders card Saturday night.
“That’s a conversation obviously to be had with Saul,” Hearn said. “I mean, obviously, we had a two-fight deal. It’s been the most incredible experience. I think we’ve done a great job. We all work very well together. Hopefully, we can continue the relationship for a long time.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.