Nearly everything that Caleb Plant has achieved in life has been the result of defying the odds.
It held true when he won his first major title in the pro ranks and will have to be the case again should he land a dream fight with four-division and reigning unified super middleweight titlist Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (56-1-2, 38KOs). Oddsmakers have placed Guadalajara’s Alvarez as a -600 favorite for the yet-to-be-finalized bout that would crown the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion in the three- or four-belt era.
“Those odds are just numbers to me,” Plant told BoxingScene.com upon hearing the opening figures for the targeted undisputed championship. “They were just numbers when I fought Jose Uzcategui. They’re just numbers to me now.
“I can’t control the odds, all I can do is make sure those who believe in me will benefit.”
Plant (21-0, 12KOs) was the betting underdog just once in his pro career. The unbeaten Tennessee native—who now lives in Las Vegas—entered the ring at +161 ahead of his eventual 12-round unanimous decision victory over Uzcategui to claim the IBF super middleweight title in Jan. 2019. Three successful title defenses have followed for Plant, including a 12-round shutout of former champ Caleb Truax this past January behind closed doors at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
A proposed showdown with Alvarez—the reigning WBC/WBA/WBO titlist—would take place with fans in attendance, the first time for Plant since a 10th round stoppage win over Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in his Feb. 2020 homecoming title defense at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
Alvarez has fought three times since the pandemic, all with fans in attendance including his 8th round knockout of Billy Joe Saunders this past May at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The event set the mark for the largest crowd to attend an indoor boxing event, with an announced crowd of 73,126 on hand for the three-belt title unification clash.
In addition to entering as the underdog for such a fight, Plant will likely find himself a man without a country in terms of fans support. Alvarez has become the biggest box-office draw among active boxers in North America and will be the overwhelming favorite among the live crowd as well as home viewers.
It’s just one more obstacle to overcome in a life spent clearing hurdles.
“I feel like I perform best under the gun, when I’m the underdog and the pressure is on,” insists Plant. “That goes for the amateurs, like when I became Golden Gloves champion and again in the pros when I only had 17 pro fights and stepped up to beat Jose Uzcategui.
“When it was time to step up to the plate, I always stepped up and hit a home run.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox