The following experts made their choice ahead of Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant on Saturday night in Las Vegas:
To begin with, I was intrigued by Caleb Plant. I like his fighting style, quick strikes, fearlessness. But I look at his resume and see one big win over Jose Uzcategi. Even if we are generous and consider the victories over Mike Lee or Caleb Truax significant, there is nothing that could be assumed – beyond hopes or predictions – that Plant is ready to compete with such enormous talent as Canelo Alvarez, let alone defeat him. I believe that Canelo is even underestimated, despite the fact that, in my opinion, most people think that he is now the best fighter in the pound for pound category. His resume should be celebrated even more. I believe that Alvarez will become the best boxer of the post-Floyd Mayweather era, and no matter how I look at the fight with Plant, I cannot think of a scenario in which he does not win. In fact, I think he punishes Plant early on the body, knocking out sometime in the middle of the round. The peak here is round 9, but I could have seen it before.
– Greg Bishop, Sports Illustrated Senior Writer
I love this super middleweight fight on paper, but I’m wondering if Caleb Plant is really ready for it after just 21 pro fights (and has fought once or twice a year since 2017). We have an experienced full-fledged fighter who loves to patiently beat his opponents against a naturally larger, athletic club player with a good jab. Plant should be able to give Canelo Alvarez problems with his sideways movement, quick hands and quick wit, and I think he will compete with the Mexican star in the first half of the fight, but I don’t believe he will do it without paying. price. Alvarez will get his shots on the first bell. As technical and athletic as Plant is, I don’t think he’s as agile as he or his supporters think. He appears to be “nimble” and quick-witted against the level of opposition he has been with, but Jose Uzcategi, Caleb Truax, Vincent Feigenbutz and Rogelio “Porky” Medina – the best fighters on Plant’s resume – are built for his style and talent. They are hardworking, one-dimensional, straightforward marching fighters with medium speed and reflexes. Alvarez is not going to “chase the zombies” of Plant without even a prick, as Truax did in Plant’s last fight. Alvarez will guide him with purpose and strategy. It will target the body. He’ll jab when needed. He’ll be ready to answer authoritatively when Plant lets go of his hands. Each hit will be delivered with speed, timing, precision and maximum effort. By the middle of the round, Plant will literally feel a huge difference in his experience level. I expect Alvarez to take over the final rounds and maybe even extend the punishment due to their displeasure, but he will try to finish it before the final call. Canelo stopped at the end of the round, probably after the ninth round.
– Doug Fisher, Editor-in-Chief, Ring Magazine
There is nothing that Plant does that Alvarez has not seen before and has not succeeded against. Plant has good legs and will make Alvarez work, but the body punches and Alvarez combinations are not like what Plant has seen before. I expect Alvarez to wear the Plant and stop him in the last quarter of the fight. Alvarez by TKO in the ninth round.
– Kevin Iole, Yahoo Sports Boxing and MMA Columnist
Seek out Planta to make good use of your height, reach, and hand speed advantages, especially early in the fight. The biggest concern is endurance, as Plant disappeared in the final rounds against Uzcatega and showed disinterest in fights with opponents who were unable to challenge him. Canelo will certainly have Plant’s undivided attention from start to finish, so it won’t be a problem here. In terms of nostalgia, Julio Cesar Chavez was undefeated and finished second in the pound-for-pound rankings when he helped open the MGM Grand with a title defense in January 1994. His opponent was a longtime Tennessee outsider with a thin resume – the late Frankie Randall. We saw how that night ended, and history, which is long overdue to repeat itself. Start by decision.
– Jake Donovan, Senior Writer at BoxingScene.com
Canelo is not the best fighter in the world for nothing. He has fought a variety of styles to suit everyone and has an unrivaled resume among active fighters. As good as I think Plant is, nothing tells me he has enough grip to make Canelo respect him. And if Canelo doesn’t like you and you can’t earn his respect, he will let you down and hit you. Plant’s only hope is that Canelo throws away a few rounds and comes off with a long jab to prevent Canelo from escaping, making an unpopular decision. But this is unlikely, as punches to Canelo’s body will be the key to slowing Caleb’s movements and ultimately allowing him to hit a late finish. Caleb will not leave, but he will be rescued. Canelo won by TKO in the ninth round.
– Andreas Hale, Senior Combat Sports Editor, Sporting News.
From the very beginning, I was firmly convinced that Canelo would win this fight. I am a fan of plants. He is a great fighter, he has skills and a good guy, and choosing against him is not at all a blow to him. I just feel that while Plant is the best super middleweight like Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders, the other two Canelo title holders won easily last year, Canelo is now the # 1 boxer on the planet and is on a different level than all of them. I’m not sure what kind of weapon Plant has enough to surpass Canelo’s excellent and varied arsenal to win seven rounds. It’s not a difficult choice for me. Canelo with a late knockout in a dominant performance.
– Dan Raphael, Fight Freaks Unite
While Plant has some characteristics that make him difficult (his high boxing IQ, height and legs), Canelo is a fighter who is at his peak and has the distinct advantage of being the most active boxer in the world. class in this sport. … While others are grappling with ring rust, the Mexican star has no such problems. Plant is unable to keep Alvarez, and in the end he will be exhausted. I like Alvarez with a knockout in the tenth round.
– Steve Kim, 3 Knockdown Rules
Canelo calls the fight personal. Maybe it is, or at least it was in all the pushing, pushing, and calling names for most of the pre-fight hype. But the struggle itself will be clinical. Canelo is nothing short of intentional. He studies his opponent early, makes a diagnosis in the middle of the round, and then starts breaking him late. This is what he did to Billy Joe Saunders, leaving the British super middleweight in his chair, broken and beaten after eighth. Expect him to do the same with Caleb Plant, who has agile legs and hand speed but doesn’t have the strength he’ll need to stop Canelo from another clinical beating.
– Norm Frauenheim, author of 15Rounds.com and Ring Magazine.
The plant has all the tools to get Alvarez excited. Hard, sharp blow. Fleet of feet. And an advanced boxing grip that helps him get out of trouble. But Alvarez is the best fighter in the world for a reason, and he has the same full arsenal as in boxing today. It may take several rounds to figure out the tempo and rhythm of Plant, but he will adjust accordingly and find the desired result by the middle of the round, combining his skill, ingenuity and strength. Alvarez by unanimous decision.
– Sam Gordon, sports reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The plant cannot be underestimated. He’s big, smart and sophisticated. But this is a huge step for him when you look at the one he beat. Canelo and coach Eddie Reinoso are agile enough to change plans in the middle of a fight if needed. I see a very interesting fight in which Canelo wins with a unanimous but non-runaway decision.
– Mark Wicker, columnist for the Southern California News Group
Caleb Plant possesses some of the qualities of the fighters that worried Canelo Alvarez the most. His legs are fast. His hands are too. He’s elusive. He has the physical means to defeat Alvarez. Which, of course, does not mean that he will do it. Plant was champion for almost two years, but it still remains a mystery. His only notable win was against Jose Uzcategi. Alvarez will be a significant step forward in his class. While Plant is certainly able to get through the first few rounds, I doubt he can get through 12 rounds without making a big mistake. Plant was always tiring and sloppy at the end of the round. Alvarez is supposed to take advantage of one of these mistakes and score a late stop.
– Dylan Hernandez, Columnist for the Los Angeles Times
The plant has an advantage in height and arm span, and is also a terrific athlete. He has good speed, heart, confidence and boxing skills. However, as a fighter, he lacks experience and still needs to prove that he is on the same level as Alvarez on the big stage. It usually takes a Mexican champion several rounds before he can spot his opponent’s vulnerable corners and get very aggressive. It is unlikely that Plant will harm Canelo, who has proven to be able to withstand large impacts. Canelo will punish Plant with a lot of punches and try to finish him off in the last rounds. If Plant has a good plan, he can pull out a very unlikely disorder, but I don’t think that will be due to the IQ and experience of his opponent. I see Plant win about four rounds and go the distance. Canelo by decision.
– Edward Cauich, sports editor for the Los Angeles Times en Español.
Could the incision reopen under Plant’s eye? The scar was visible during the week of the fight, and it could play in Alvarez’s favor. A stop for the seventh round can be in the cards if so. If contraction is not an issue, I expect the fight to last longer and Canelo will win by TKO in the tenth round. Plant has a high IQ in the ring and is a highly skilled player, but I doubt he can hold up against a fighter like Canelo. He has yet to fight someone close to his strength and abilities.
– Jad El Reda, sports editor for the Los Angeles Times in Spanish.