Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez looks to unify the 168-pound division this Saturday against Caleb 'Sweethands' Plant. At 31 years old, Alvarez already owns the WBA, WBC, WBO and The Ring super middleweight titles.
To intensify matters, tempers flared between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant during the pre-fight interactions. At the customary stare-down in front of the cameras and the media, the IBF champ swung for Canelo after being pushed. That prompted the Mexican to return fire with a fast combination.
With the table set for a fiery+ MGM Grand main event this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, let's take a closer look at Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant: Preview
Canelo Alvarez is widely regarded as boxing's top pound-for-pound athlete. Alvarez is unbeaten since his seminal 2013 loss to Floyd Mayweather. Many regard that moment as the beginning of the 31-year-old's climb towards all-time greatness.
Alvarez currently boasts a 56-1-2 record, which includes 38 knockouts. However, he has reached brutal new levels after knocking out three of his last four assignments. He most recently claimed WBO honors by halting Billy Joe Saunders.
The Mexican also recently scored emphatic stoppage wins over Anvi Yildirim and Sergey Kovalev. Having built something of an invincible aura, Canelo Alvarez enters Saturday as the -1000 odds favorite.
Meanwhile, Caleb Plant is determined to upset the boxing world. Plant is unbeaten at 21-0, including 12 KOs. 'Sweethands' has TKO'd two of his last three opponents.
As a prime fighter at 29 years old, Plant must be considered a live underdog at +500 odds. The Tennessee native spent his formative professional years training with Floyd Mayweather's camp and is 4-0 in world championship bouts. Plant defeated former world titleholder Caleb Truax in January to earn his golden shot at Canelo Alvarez.
Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant: Fight breakdown and prediction
Canelo Alvarez holds the overwhelming resume advantage. Simply put, Alvarez has little contemporary equal in terms of competition faced and beaten. While claiming belts from 154 to 175 pounds, Alvarez has gone 17-1-1 in world title fights.
When it comes to performing under pressure, Canelo Alvarez is proven. Knowing this, the relatively obscure Caleb Plant likely showed false bravado in riling up the Mexican. That could prove costly.
We haven't seen Plant's chin tested, but that will certainly change on Saturday. Canelo Alvarez lands devastating counter punches against longer, busier opponents; the only two areas Plant holds an edge over the compact Mexican.
Expect Alvarez to start slow, maybe even losing a few early rounds, to collect data on the more active Plant. However, when the unified champ finds the American's timing, the ring will be cut off and Canelo's punishing shots will begin landing.
Feeling pressured, Plant will try circling off the ropes to re-establish his lengthy jab. However, Canelo Alvarez's ring savvy and body attack will likely set up another big finish later in the fight.
By collecting another highlight-reel stoppage, Canelo Alvarez will complete his 168-pound dominance. This weekend, boxing analysts and fans will likely be hailing Alvarez again, before considering what lies ahead for the sport's main draw.
Prediction: Canelo Alvarez via TKO