Caleb Plant found Canelo Alvarez’s rationale for shoving him about as believable as his upcoming opponent’s explanation for why he tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug in 2018.
Alvarez stated Tuesday during a press conference to promote their November 6 bout that he initiated contact with Plant as they talked trash because Plant used the word “motherf-----.” The Mexican icon took that as an insult directed at his mother, though Plant assured reporters afterward that he didn’t use that common American curse word in the context Alvarez alleged.
Plant pointed out, too, that Alvarez uttered that same slur during a heated exchange with Demetrius Andrade and his father/trainer, Paul Andrade, at the post-fight press conference following Alvarez’s stoppage of Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 in Arlington, Texas.
“I mean, I think most guys go into the fight against him feeling like they’re already gonna lose,” Plant told a group of reporters after their press conference at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California. “And um, my goal here today was not to overcompensate and go in the complete opposite direction. I just let him know I’m gonna win. And then, you know, ‘You motherf-----, you gonna,’ you know, he was saying the same thing to ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade. ‘I’m gonna kick your ass, motherf-----.’
“But if someone else says motherf----- to him, then they’re talking about his mom? You get what I’m saying? It’s the same sh!t that he said to ‘Boo Boo’ Andrade, right? Motherf-----. So, but then all of a sudden, when I say it, I’m talking about his mom. So, nah, that don’t add up. Does that add up? No.”
The 31-year-old Alvarez, whose native language is Spanish, has become more comfortable speaking English publicly before and after his past few fights. He has long understood English well, though it is possible, of course, for the common meanings of words to become confused in translation.
“He can say whatever he wants to say to me, but not to my mom,” Alvarez told Showtime’s Brian Custer when asked during the press conference why he pushed Plant. “Because I’m gonna [knock] out everybody who say something to my mom. You know, and he swing first. I just push him, but he swing first. Then just, I do what I do.”
Alvarez’s two-handed shove knocked Plant backward several feet. Plant then stepped toward Alvarez and tried to slap the WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion with his left hand.
Plant’s open-handed attempt grazed Alvarez’s face. Alvarez countered with a left hand that seemed to land, though not within plain view of Showtime’s camera shot, and an open-handed right that struck Plant on the side of his head.
Las Vegas’ Plant, the IBF champion, suffered a cut beneath his right eye because his sunglasses gashed his skin when Alvarez’s left hand hit him. Neither Plant nor Alvarez believe Plant’s seemingly significant cut will cause a postponement of their 12-round, 168-pound championship unification fight, which is scheduled for six weeks from Saturday night.
Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs), who is consistently listed as at least an 8-1 favorite, and Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) will headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.