UPDATE [4:00 P.M. ET]: Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez has since confirmed the bout is set for November 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Boxing is now closer than ever to crowning its first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion.
BoxingScene.com has learned that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Caleb Plant are in the advanced stages of finalizing all terms for a desired four-belt super middleweight showdown. As first reported by ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger, sources with knowledge of such talks indicate that both sides have agreed on all major points surrounding the bout which will headline a Pay-Per-View event eyed for November.
Additional terms have yet to be revealed, regarding Alvarez’s commitment to PBC or even a specified location. According to the ESPN report, the deal in place only calls for one fight between Alvarez and PBC although with the potential for future business together given PBC’s roster of super middleweight talent.
For now, the priority is getting this fight over the line—which is not yet official at least until formally announced by Alvarez, whose Canelo Promotions will serve as among the lead promoters for the event.
The bout is rumored to land in Las Vegas, though a venue has not yet been specified.
Allegiant Stadium—home to the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders—is booked on Nov. 6, Nov. 13 and Nov. 20. T-Mobile Arena—home to the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights and also where Alvarez has previously appeared on five occasions—is booked on Nov. 6 and Nov. 13, while Nov. 20 is an open date for the annual NCAA Roman Main Event college basketball tournament that takes place Nov. 19 and Nov. 21. MGM Grand Garden Arena is open Nov. 6 and Nov. 13 but is booked on Nov. 20.
Should the fight land in Vegas, it will mark Alvarez’s first fight in the boxing capital since his Nov. 2019 eleventh-round knockout of Sergey Kovalev to win the WBO light heavyweight title at MGM Grand.
Guadalajara’s Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs) and Plant (21-0, 12KOs)—a native of Ashland City, Tennessee who now lives and trains in Las Vegas—were previously in talks for a targeted September 18 date at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A deal was believed to have been reached before negotiations quickly went south at the eleventh hour. It was decided by Alvarez that more time was needed, thus walking away from previous plans to fight on the Saturday surrounding Mexican Independence Day. With that decision comes the third consecutive year that Alvarez will not fight on the prominent Mexican holiday weekend.
Still, the sport’s pound-for-pound king remains the most active elite fighter in the sport as this will mark his third in 2021 and fourth overall in less than a year.
Alvarez was out for more than thirteen months following a nasty and very public divorce with Golden Boy Promotions following a ten-year working relationship. The two parties went their separate ways last November, with Alvarez having spent his last three fights aligned with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing outfit beginning with his twelve-round, unanimous decision win over then-unbeaten WBA “Super” 168-pound titlist Callum Smith last December in San Antonio. Alvarez—a four-division champion—also netted the vacant WBC super middleweight title, whose mandatory he satisfied following a third-round stoppage of Istanbul’s Avni Yildirim this past February in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Both bouts aired live on DAZN, as did his WBO title-winning eighth-round injury stoppage of unbeaten Billy Joe Saunders. The bout took place in front of the largest-ever U.S. indoor crowd for a boxing event, selling 66,065 tickets for their May 8 title unification bout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The win over Saunders marked the sixth straight appearance on DAZN for Alvarez dating back to his third-round knockout of Rocky Fielding in his December 2018 platform debut.
The fight with Plant will mark Alvarez’s first on PPV since his majority decision win over Gennadiy Golovkin in their September 2018 middleweight championship rematch. The bout took place at T-Mobile Arena, as did their first fight exactly 52 weeks prior which ended in a disputed twelve-round, split decision draw. Both fights did big business, producing a combined $51,533,350 in ticket sales—good for the third and fourth largest live gates in the history of boxing in the state of Nevada.
Both fights also cracked the one million PPV buy threshold, generating more than $210,000,000 in PPV revenue between the two events. The rematch sold a reported 1,100,000 PPV buys, the last U.S.-based boxing event to sell more than one million units. Alvarez also sold a reported 1,000,000 PPV buys for his twelve-round shutout of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May 2017 preceding the two fights with Golovkin. The rematch left Alvarez as the reigning middleweight champion as well as just the third fighter in the 21st Century—and the first since Floyd Mayweather in 2012—to headline three consecutive PPV events in the U.S. selling one million or more buys.
The best performing boxing PPV events in the U.S. since Alvarez’s market exit have both featured exhibition bouts in the headlining act. Mike Tyson and Roy Jones generated a reported 1,600,000 buys for their eight-round exhibition atop a Triller PPV show in Los Angeles last November, while Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul reportedly sold 1,000,000 buys for their fake fight which headlined a Showtime PPV event this past June in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Among sanctioned pro bouts topping a PPV telecast, the best performing event post-Canelo came last February. The rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder generated north of $68,000,000 in PPV as the main event of a show jointly produced and distributed by ESPN+ and Fox Sports.
Alvarez not only has the chance to reinvigorate the market but also make history for the super middleweight division. He is currently just the second boxer in divisional history to hold three of the four major titles, joining Hall-of-Fame former two-division champ Joe Calzaghe on that exclusive list. The division has never had an undisputed champion in either three- or four-belt era.
Calzaghe is the only fighter in the division to have won all four major titles. He was forced to vacate the IBF belt prior to his April 2007 title defense versus Peter Manfredo, retaining the WBO title. Calzaghe became the lineal champion along with dethroning WBA/WBC titlist Mikkel Kessler later that November before moving up to light heavyweight to finish his career.
Plant enters the fight attempting the fourth defense of the IBF belt he claimed in a twelve-round, unanimous decision win over Jose Uzcategui in January 2019. The bout topped the inaugural installment of PBC’s renewed series on FS1, serving as the network’s most watched boxing match.
The unbeaten super middleweight celebrated his two-year anniversary with his most recent win, a twelve-round shutout of former titlist Caleb Truax this past January in Los Angeles. The bout aired live on Fox, as did preceding title defending knockout wins over Mike Lee (July 2019) and Vincent Feigenbutz (February 2020) for Plant, who will make far and away his biggest career payday in the upcoming showdown with Alvarez.