The allure of becoming the first undisputed champion from Mexico was enough motivation for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Having that opportunity come against a bitter rival such as Caleb Plant only gives such a potential feat that much more meaningful.
“All the talk, all the sh!t he says. That’s why (it’s personal),” Alvarez insisted of his upcoming WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO super middleweight championship showdown with Plant. “He crossed the line and maybe too much, that’s why it’s personal.
“At the same time, it’s one of the most important fights for me.”
Little love was lost between Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs) and Plant (21-0, 12KOs) during their continued negotiations for their fight which will take place November 6 on Showtime Pay-Per-View from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Plant didn’t mince his words at any point, shining a light on Alvarez’s positive drug test for Clenbuterol and six-month suspension that came with it in 2018 along with accusing his entire gym—headed by renowned trainer Eddy Reynoso of being dirty.
The comments clearly hit a sore spot with Guadalajara’s Alvarez, as did the words exchanged during their intense staredown which led to a physical confrontation this past September in Beverly Hills to formally announce the fight.
Plant—who has held the IBF super middleweight title since January 2019—took exception to the demands of his divisional rival during the initial negotiation period. Talks stalled to the point of their losing the planned September 18 date, before the two sides were able to pick up where they left off and eventually strike a deal for November 6.
Alvarez will defend his WBC/WBA/WBO titles in the fight, aiming to become lineal champion in a third weight division as he’s done so at junior middleweight and middleweight while also briefly holding the WBO light heavyweight title. A win over Plant will provide Alvarez with his first undisputed championship, along with being the first Mexican and Latin American to accomplish the feat.
No matter the fight or stakes, Alvarez always puts Mexico first and is honored to carry his country on his back ahead of the potentially historic moment.
“They know what I’m going to do in the ring, even more so in this fight,” insists Alvarez, who is coming off an 8th round stoppage of then-unbeaten WBO super middleweight titlist Billy Joe Saunders in May. “When something is personal with me, it’s different. In my mind I have that special thing. It’s going to be a really good night for us.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox