Followers of professional boxing welcomed the recent news that Mexican fighting sensation Saul Alvarez was due to return to action. The sport’s biggest name has been one of the most active world champions over the past two years, so it was no major shock to see his handlers pen in another date, keeping their man busy.
Canelo will meet long-term rival Caleb Plant in September. A definite date and venue are still to be decided, but the rumours at present are the contest will take place in Las Vegas, with Saturday 11 September the chosen date.
The finer details are still to be agreed by both fighters and their teams, but that hasn’t stopped the best sportsbooks in Vegas from responding to the news. Traders have drawn up their early prices and have Alvarez as a hot favourite in the fight winner market to continue his impressive winning streak.
That’s sure to be popular with lovers of the noble art, but there’s serious value to be had if taking on the multi-weight world champion and backing Plant to pull off one of the biggest sporting upsets of the year.
Canelo crushed BJS
Alvarez was last seen in action in May when stopping Englishman Billy Joe Saunders in devastating fashion. Saunders had been picked out by many pundits as the main danger to Canelo. A talented southpaw with fast hands and the power to hurt the Mexican. On paper, he looked a real threat, and the blistering start made by Billy Joe at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington certainly helped win over the doubters.
Many armchair fans, especially those who sat in the United Kingdom, had Saunders ahead on the scorecards and pulling clear heading into the eighth round. Then disaster struck for the Brit as his opponent ramped up the pressure and showed exactly why he had won world titles up to and including the light heavyweight division.
A crushing uppercut landed on the face of the previously evasive Saunders, and it had an instant impact on the champion. It became obvious the blow had caused real damage, and Saunders was pulled from the fight shortly after with what turned out to be a broken eye socket. It’s now unclear if BJS will ever box again due to the damage suffered that night in Texas. Even if he does, he’s unlikely to be the same fighter he was before sharing a ring with the hard-hitting Alvarez.
That win moved Canelo’s record to 56 victories against one defeat and two draws. The sole loss on his record was dealt by Floyd Mayweather Jnr back in 2013 before drawing with Gennady Golovkin four years later. He has since beaten Triple G and won each of his last seven bouts, four by KO/TKO.
Plant no mere opponent
The latest fighter who will attempt to stop the Canelo express train is Plant. He may have already been written off in the betting and by most fans of the sport, but his CV shows he’s no mere opponent. The 29-year-old American brings an unbeaten record with 21 fights from as many starts. Of his victories, the Vegas-based fighter has a dozen stoppages and is seen as one of the hottest prospects in the fight game.
In his last bout, Plant beat Caleb Traux on points over 12 rounds in Los Angeles with the IBF super-middleweight world title on the line. It was a strong performance from the champion who won every round on the scorecards. Will he be able to do it against a fighter of Canelo’s calibre? That remains to be seen, but the betting is dead against him, and backers will find Plant trading at huge odds to win.
Caleb has stopped only two opponents in the last five years, so it appears his best chance of beating Saul would be on points. He does have the speed, skill and footwork to out-box the Mexican, but after the defeat of Saunders, there’s a sense of deja vu about that one. Canelo isn’t just blowing opponents away with his power and relentless attack, he is improving with the passing of every bout, and that strikes fear into possible opponents.