With his mandatory out of the way and virtually every major player on a level playing field these days, Caleb Plant is more than ready to revisit past business.
The unbeaten super middleweight titlist was scrutinized for his being dismissive of what he considered a faux offer to face Mexico’s Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (53-1-2, 36KOs) on relatively short notice. The question was posed to Plant mere minutes after his most recent title defense, a 10th round knockout of Vincent Feigenbutz this past February in a long-overdue homecoming in Nashville, Tennessee.
At the time, Alvarez was still in negotiations for a May 2 fight that would eventually go to another unbeaten 168-pound titlist in England’s Billy Joe Saunders. Rumors swirled of the opportunity being presented to Plant, who was dismissive and skeptical of the intentions of the other side.
“That’s a fight that I would love to have now,” Plant insisted during a recent interview on ‘The PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) Podcast’ with Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal. “After fighting Feb. 15, I wasn’t fighting anybody May 2. It doesn’t matter now because nobody [fought] May 2 (due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic).
“Even before all that, they weren’t going to fight me anyways. They were going to fight Billy Joe Saunders. They didn’t even make an offer to me and my team. It was a secondary person who reached out and, um, you know, we said no we’re not doing that. They didn’t offer money, we didn’t price ourselves out.”
Plant’s last fight came after having trained through the holidays, after which the only thing on his mind was catching up on some of the things he was forced to sacrifice in order to be ring-ready. The contention all along was a willingness to accept a real offer for a fight in September—one of two preferred dates for Alvarez, who regularly targets the weekends celebrating Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and Mexican Independence Day (September 16)—and any point beyond then.
“It was nine weeks after I just fought, that’s just not realistic,” notes Plant, who has served as an unbeaten titlist since last January. “I think a lot of people were confused, saying I needed rest from the fight when I didn’t take punishment. But if you know boxing, you know it’s not about resting from the fight it’s about resting from training camp. Running, sprinting, doing miles, being abstinent, making weight. All the things you’ve excluded from your life for eight weeks, you want back in your life.
“I’m no up-and-comer, or prospect or contender. I’ve solidified myself as one of the very, very top in my weight class. I don’t have to just jump on any unreasonable offer that’s thrown to me.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox