Eddie Hearn will start negotiations this week for the September undisputed 168-lb showdown between world champions Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant for the Mexican Independence Day holiday weekend.
The Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn admits that it’s going to be an expensive fight to put together for the superstar Canelo, as the unbeaten IBF super middleweight champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) is in an excellent bargaining position.
Plant, 28, has the final title at 168 that Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) needs to become the undisputed four-belt champion. Knowing that he has the final piece of the puzzle that Alvarez wants for him to make history, Plant is going to ask for the moon & the sky.
Plant wants big money
We’re already hearing rumors that Plant wants $15 million for the fight, and he’s admitted that $10 million is a good ballpark figure. Plant can play hardball with Canelo and possibly get the $15M, maybe more.
It depends on how much the Mexican star values his IBF strap, as that’s pretty much the main thing that Plant has going for him.
There’s arguably a heck of a lot more interest from the boxing world in a fight between Canelo and Jermall Charlo, Gennadiy Golovkin, or David Benavidez than there is a match with Plant.
The fans are not demanding that Canelo fight Plant, and for a good reason. Plant’s resume is filled with moderate-level fighters like 38-year-old Caleb Truax, Mike Lee, Vincent Feigenbutz, and Jose Uzcategui.
It’s pretty clear from taking a glance at Plant’s lackluster resume that he’s been brought along very carefully by his management at PBC. They’ve kept Plant safe and out of harm’s way by not throwing him in with David Benavidez, Charlo, Dimitry Bivol, Gilberto Ramirez, or David Morrell.
Whether Hearn can deal Plant down to $8 million, which is the number that Canelo’s last opponent received, is unclear.
Canelo was in a good position to negotiate for his last fight against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, as the British fighter hadn’t been active with his career and he was a complete unknown in the U.S as far as the casual boxing fans go.
“It’s expensive, but it’s an undisputed fight,” Hearn said to the DAZN Boxing Show on the Canelo – Plant negotiations.
“Caleb should be making a lot of money for that fight. This week, we start those conversations about Caleb Plant,” Hearn continued.
“I’ve got to present the best opportunity to Canelo Alvarez and Louis DeCubas and Al Haymon have to present the best opportunities to Caleb Plant.”
“It’s about the opportunities for the fighters. That’s the natural fight to make next, and hopefully, we can get it,” said Hearn.
Canelo should let the Plant fight marinate
If Canelo wants to drive the price down for the Plant fight, all he needs to do is let the match marinate for a year or two before fighting him.
Eventually, Plant will have to fight a live body like Benavidez, and when that happens, it’s likely to end badly for him. Plant has been lucky thus far with the International Boxing Federation giving high rankings to mediocre fighters instead of the talented ones.
If Plant had to defend against David Benavidez as his IBF mandatory instead of 38-year-old Truax, we’d be talking about a Canelo-Benavidez fight in September.
Of course, Canelo might not have the same type of interest in unifying the division if Benavidez was someone that he had to go through to earn his final belt.
I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. I smell fear. Canelo has shown zero interest in fighting Benavidez all this time, which can only mean one thing. He doesn’t want that smoke.
Again, if Canelo wants to drive Plant’s price down, he needs to ignore him and wait to see what happens when the IBF eventually ranks a talented mandatory like Benavidez for him to face.
I don’t think Plant would ever agree on his own to fight a dangerous guy like Benavidez without him being forced to kicking and screaming.