Caleb Plant has always relished the underdog role, though never more so than ahead of the biggest fight of his pro career.
It’s no surprise that Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez is favored to prevail in their upcoming undisputed super middleweight championship clash which takes place November 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Guadalajara’s Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs)—who holds the WBC/WBA/WBO titles—is already a -1200 favorite to defend his belts and add Plant’s IBF title to his collection in their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event.
Doing so would land Alvarez as the first Hispanic boxer in history to claim undisputed status in the three- or four-belt era, along with having defeated three unbeaten titlists to accomplish the feat. Alvarez handed the first loss to England’s Callum Smith in winning the WBA and vacant WBC titles last December, while unseating unbeaten WBO titlist Billy Joe Saunders this past May in Arlington, Texas.
Plant (21-0, 12KOs) goes further back into Alvarez’s career in search of proof that no task is insurmountable.
“Miguel Cotto’s brother can make you do the chicken dance but I can’t? Okay,” Plant noted during a tense press conference held Tuesday afternoon at The Wilshire Gardens on Beverly Hilton property in Beverly Hills, California. “Mark my words, on November 6 you will hear the words, ‘And the new undisputed super middleweight champion,’ but you will also hear the words, ‘and still undefeated.’”
The ‘chicken dance’ comment was in reference to Alvarez’s clash with Jose Miguel Cotto—the older brother of former four-division champion Miguel Cotto—in their May 2010 encounter also at MGM Grand.
Alvarez was two months shy of his 20th birthday heading into the fight, which marked his U.S. debut though enduring an early scare when he was rocked by a left hook midway through the opening round. It was the closest that he has ever come to being knocked down, flooring Cotto in the second round en route to a ninth-round stoppage.
Alvarez, now 31, has since exhibited a granite chin while racking up championships in four separate weight divisions and establishing himself as the universally regarded pound-for-pound king. The lone loss of his career came in September 2013, dropping a twelve-round decision to Floyd Mayweather who is widely regarded as one of the best in boxing history. Alvarez was also held to a disputed twelve-round draw in his first fight with then-unbeaten middleweight titlist Gennadiy Golovkin in September 2017, taking a majority decision in their rematch one year later.
Thoughts of his own accomplishments along with general disdain for Plant prompted a smile from Alvarez during his rival’s time at the mic, which came minutes after they engaged in a brief on-stage scuffle.
“You keep laughing, motherf-----,” Plant noted to Alvarez. “You know when you’re gonna find out? The same time everybody else found out. You know when that was? When it was too late. That’s exactly when you’re gonna find out. Mark my words, bitch. And (looks at Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s trainer), you’re a bitch, too. The only difference between you and him, he a fat ass bitch and you a bitch.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox