They came to blows at a presser, they’ve exchanged plenty of nasty words, and before it all, Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant underwent a long and at times very tense negotiating period. Now, for all the super-middleweight belts, Canelo and Plant will go at it on November 6 in what for many is the most interesting fight still to come here in 2021. Canelo had a good deal of shared bad blood with Gennady Golovkin when they fought their two big fights, yet the Mexican superstar says that no-one has ever turned his blood as bad as Plant has managed to do.
“This is new for me, I’ve never had as much bad blood with an opponent than this one,” Canelo has said of the fight with Plant. “Yes, this is the most animosity that I’ve had heading into a big prize fight.”
So what is it about Plant that has so angered Canelo? Maybe it’s the way Plant has said, again and again, that he will, without any doubt beat Canelo? Maybe it’s because Plant has said he will “teach Canelo a lesson” when they meet in the ring? Maybe there is just something in Plant’s body language, or in his personality, that Canelo simply cannot stand? Bad blood, though, can bring out the best in a fighter and it can play its part in making a fight a great one. Canelo is determined to knock Plant out, while Plant, not a big puncher, is determined to outbox Canelo, to teach him that lesson. Bad blood can also make a fighter who is carrying too much of it fight the wrong fight, to make critical mistakes.
Have we ever seen Canelo lose his cool during a fight? Perhaps not, but maybe it could happen on November 6. Canelo doesn’t like Plant, that is abundantly clear, but might Alvarez’ very powerful, perhaps all-consuming desire to punish Plant, to render him unconscious, see to it that Canelo tries too hard, that he makes mistakes? We’re used to seeing Canelo be all business on the night, and he may well take care of business in a cool, calm and calculated fashion next month. Or has Plant managed to get under Canelo’s skin like no other man has, to the extent that the red mist will descend on November 6?
Will Canelo fight angry against Plant, and if he does, to whose detriment will it be? Maybe Canelo will indeed fight with hate in his heart but maybe it will serve him well and he will indeed dish out quite a hiding to Plant? Or maybe Plant, a fast and clever boxer of the highest order, will taunt Canelo some more, will get even further under his rival’s skin, and maybe Plant, 21-0(12) will be successful in making Canelo, a fighter who will not settle for anything other than a KO win, make those mistakes and then make him pay?
Canelo, 56-1-2(38) is the favourite to win, but some good judges do see this fight as Canelo’s toughest test yet at 168 pounds. In short, will Plant bring out the best or the worst in Canelo the methodical, cool as ice pressure fighter?