LAS VEGAS – Caleb Plant is beyond pleased that renewed negotiations led to a deal for him to challenge Canelo Alvarez on November 6.
The undefeated IBF super middleweight champion is equally enthused that he has been afforded more than enough time to prepare properly for the biggest fight of his career. The more negotiations for their proposed September 18 showdown became problematic last month, the less time Plant would’ve had to train if they had agreed to fight that night.
Plant passed last year on an opportunity to fight Alvarez on comparatively short notice. Callum Smith jumped at a comparable chance to face Alvarez, who dominated Smith in their 12-round fight for Smith’s WBA belt and the unclaimed WBC championship December 19 at Alamodome in San Antonio.
England’s Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) barely had a month to train from the date their deal was consummated until fight night.
The 29-year-old Plant isn’t just certain that he is better than Smith, he knows he needs a complete camp to give himself every opportunity to knock off the fighter viewed by most experts as the best, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
“I’m not doing this for the money,” Plant told a group of reporters prior to the Manny Pacquiao-Yordenis Ugas pay-per-view show Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena. “If I was doing this for the money, then I woulda jumped on a five-week camp, with four weeks to train, like Callum Smith did. I’m not in this for the money. I really want my name in those history books. That’s why, you know, I’ve worked so hard. And like I said, I sacrificed a lot. I want to be in those history books, and that’s why I’m doing this.”
Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), a native of Ashland City, Tennessee, wasn’t sure once negotiations stalled for their September 18 bout when the fight that he wants most would be revisited.
Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) briefly considered a fight with WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs). At the moment, though, the Mexican icon wants to become boxing’s first fully unified super middleweight champion of the four-belt era more than anything else.
Guadalajara’s Alvarez and Las Vegas’ Plant will fight for Alvarez’s WBA, WBC and WBO 168 pounds crowns and Plant’s IBF belt.
“I mean, like I said, I thought we had a deal [for September 18],” Plant said. “I thought it was going through. And it came back, and it blew up. But, you know, here we are. So, I wasn’t too discouraged because, you know, nothing ever happens for me just how I want it to. You know, or for anybody, for that matter. You know, there’s always gonna be bumps ahead, you know, and bumps in the road. So, I knew it would happen no matter what. I just didn’t know if it would come back around this early. But it did, and I’m happy it did.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.