Caleb Plant pointed out Canelo Alvarez’s performance-enhancing drug ordeal in person Tuesday afternoon.
The unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion emphasized again during their press conference what he Tweeted about nearly two weeks earlier. When Showtime’s Brian Custer, the moderator of their press conference in Beverly Hills, California, asked Plant if he believes Alvarez is “a cheater,” Plant didn’t hesitate to respond.
“Did he get suspended for six months?,” Plant said.
Custer answered affirmatively because Alvarez served a six-month suspension imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission in April 2018 after Alvarez twice tested positive for clenbuterol, a banned substance according to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. The Mexican icon’s suspension caused a four-month postponement of his rematch with rival Gennadiy Golovkin, whom Alvarez beat by majority decision in September 2018 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“OK. Did he test positive?,” Plant asked. “So, you don’t have to ask me. It’s not a, ‘Well, he said he is,’ and, ‘he said he ain’t.’ It’s not up for discussion. It’s not what I say. I’m not making this up. I’m not, you know, I don’t want this to be in our sport, so this ain’t something that I want. It’s not what I said – it’s what the commission said. It’s what the banned substance list said. So, you can’t take that up with me. You have to take that up with him.”
Alvarez has contended since his failed test was revealed in March 2018 that clenbuterol entered his system from contaminated meat he ate in his home country of Mexico. Plant, who will box Alvarez on November 6 in Las Vegas, doesn’t believe Alvarez’s excuse.
The Ashland City, Tennessee, native previously stressed Tuesday that boxing’s PED epidemic needs to be addressed.
“I think that’s too apparent in our sport today,” Plant said. “This is a dangerous enough sport for people to be popping positive for things. And, you know, by the way, I don’t think he got punished. So, um, but yeah, there’s no room for that in our sport. You know, cheating, people don’t cheat out of confidence. People cheat out of fear. And you know, he went to [a hearing], and he got suspended for six months. So, it is what it is. He’s a cheater.”
Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s longtime trainer and manager, took exception to Plant’s comments while they sat on stage Tuesday at the Beverly Hilton.
“Well, those are people that hide [on] social media, [from that] point of view, and say things,” Reynoso said, according to Showtime’s translator. “But then they don’t put up. You know, some are bitches in this sport and they wanna take down a whole country, and also a great sports athlete that represents a country, like in Canelo’s [case]. And they talk a lot of sh!t.”
Reynoso cursed in Spanish several times while explaining that his four-division champion’s career has been built on hard work, not PEDs.
“You need to work hard,” Reynoso said, “and you need to have the balls to work as hard as [we] do.”
Plant interrupted as Reynoso’s final comments were translated.
“I have the balls to work hard, without testing positive for an illegal substance,” Plant said. “Why don’t you have the balls to work hard, without testing positive for an illegal substance? The question was about the drugs. And the only thing you’ve talked about is blah, blah, blah, bullsh!t, sweeping it under the rug.”
Alvarez repeatedly yelled for Plant to “shut the f--- up” as he Plant spoke to Reynoso.
“Or what?,” Plant replied. “Or what? All right, then wait [until] November 6th, and shut the f--- up then.”
The 31-year-old Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) is consistently listed by Internet sports books as at least an 8-1 favorite to defeat the 29-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs). They’ll fight for Alvarez’s WBA, WBC and WBO belts and Plant’s IBF crown in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.