MIAMI GARDENS, Florida – Eddie Hearn thinks Canelo Alvarez might be unbeatable now that Hearn has watched his past two fights from ringside seats.
Of the two titleholders Alvarez must beat to become boxing’s undisputed super middleweight champion, however, Hearn is certain that Billy Joe Saunders has a better chance to upset the Mexican icon than Caleb Plant. Hearn, whose company promotes Saunders and Alvarez, believes that the smart, skilled southpaw could trouble Alvarez with his defense, footwork and boxing ability when they meet May 8 at a venue to be determined.
The British promoter assessed Saunders’ chances versus Alvarez during an interview with BoxingScene.com following Alvarez’s technical-knockout victory over Turkey’s Avni Yildirim on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium.
“I think it’s a really tough fight,” Hearn said. “I was actually watching the fight there tonight, thinking about that fight, and thinking about the movement of Billy Joe. Do you know what I mean? Canelo, he has good feet, but Billy is gonna be spinning out everywhere. I actually think it’s gonna take [Alvarez] a long time to get a hold of him.
“I think it’s by far the toughest fight for Canelo in the division, a tougher fight than Caleb Plant, because Billy’s fast and he’s got better foot movement and speed than Plant. Plant is a good fighter, but I just feel that Saunders is definitely the toughest fight for him in the division.”
If Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) defeats Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) in their fight for Alvarez’s WBA and WBC 168-pound titles and Saunders’ WBO belt, he is expected to pursue a showdown with Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), the IBF champ, for some time in September. An Alvarez-Plant fight would then determine the sport’s undisputed champion in their division.
The right-handed Plant, of Ashland City, Tennessee, is not expected to box before at least learning if the Alvarez fight would be available to him in September. Alvarez, 30, will fight for the third time in less than five months when he faces Saunders.
“I think Canelo will get past Billy Joe,” Plant told BoxingScene.com. “But I do think that Billy Joe has some attributes. Mentally, he’s not going to lay down – at least not right off the bat.”
Assuming Alvarez wins, Plant would be ready to accept the biggest fight of his career.
“I’ve been saying that I’m looking to become undisputed,” Plant said. “I’ve been saying that I wanted the Canelo fight. Hopefully, we can get in there soon and make it happen. The stars are now aligned for me to do what I’ve always set out to do as a kid, which is to become undisputed champion.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.