Canelo Alvarez has made it clear that he plans on moving forward to fight IBF 168-lb champion Caleb Plant if he successfully defeats WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders in their unification fight on May 8th at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
With Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs), his situation is different, much different if he’s victorious against Canelo in their headliner on DAZN on May 8th.
Saunders expected to fight Canelo in a rematch if he wins
If Saunders wins this fight, it’s almost a dead certainty that he’s going to have massive money offered to him for an immediate rematch with the red-headed superstar Canelo.
Heck, it wouldn’t be surprising if WBA/WBC super middleweight champion Canelo (55-1-2, 37 KOs) doesn’t already have a rematch clause in the contract with the 31-year-old Billy Joe, even though their fight is a unification and not title defense.
Saunders can make more money fighting Canelo a second time than he will by facing IBF 168-lb champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs).
The reality of the situation is that the U.S boxing public won’t be excited to see a fight between Saunders and Plant, as neither of them is stars in the States. Saunders is an unknown, and Plant isn’t a household name. A fight between Billy Joe and Plant won’t bring in any fans other than a second Canelo-Saunders fight.
You can argue that Saunders would get way more attention by fighting former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez than he would in battling Plant in for the undisputed super middleweight championship. Plant’s fighting style is so ugly to watch.
Even with Canelo, he would be better off NOT fighting Plant and focusing instead on fighting David Benavidez, Gennady Golovkin, Jermall Charlo, or Demetrius Andrade. Obviously, Canelo wants no part in fighting any of those guys, and you can understand why. Out of all those fighters, the only one that Canelo will likely wind up fighting in 2021 or 2022 is Andrade, and the only reason for that is because he looked so awful in his recent fight last Saturday against Liam Williams.
The only reason Canelo wants to fight Plant is for ego purposes and more likely because it gives him an official excuse not to fight the guys that fans want to see him fighting. We’re talking about Benavidez, Charlo, Golovkin, Andrade, Artur Beterbiev, Edgar Berlanga, and Dmitry Bivol.
Those are the fighters that boxing fans want to see Canelo fight, not Caleb Plant. It’s a rare bird that prefers to see Canelo fight Pant over the fighters mentioned above.
There would be a potential for Canelo to lose fighting those guys. You can’t say the same thing about a fight between Canelo and the light-hitting ‘Sweet Hands’ Plant. That’s another gimme for Canelo, which is probably why he wants that fight so badly.
If Alvarez thinks he’ll be validated in the eyes of fans if he becomes the undisputed champion at 168, he’s dreaming. The fans won’t care.
The whole undisputed nonsense will over the heads of the casual boxing fans, who have no idea who the champions are. They won’t focus on being told that Canelo’s fight with Plant is for the undisputed super middleweight championship.
Additionally, the hardcore boxing fans won’t be impressed with Canelo fighting Plant because they see Caleb as a paper champion and not the real thing.
They view David Benavidez as being superior to Plant, so Canelo won’t get credit if he beats Plant to become the undisputed champion at 168.
For Saunders, this is his Super Bowl in taking on Canelo, and the best thing he can hope for is to beat him and then get a lucrative rematch. It makes no sense for Saunders to move on to face IBF strap-holder Plant if he gets past Canelo.
Even Saunders’ British boxing fans would prefer to see him face Canelo in a rematch than they would in watching him take on Plant for the undisputed championship. Plant is an unknown in the UK, so it’s a waste of time for Saunder to fight him.