Eddie Hearn revealed on Wednesday that WBA light heavyweight champion Dimitry Bivol is the “frontrunner” as the replacement opponent to fight Canelo Alvarez on September 18th in case the negotiations with Caleb Plant fail to be revived.
Most fans would agree that Bivol is a much better fight for Canelo than Plant, but it’s far riskier. Bivol has excellent technical skills, and more importantly, his conditioning is one of his strong suits.
In contrast, Plant has shown stamina problems, gassing out against Jose Uzcategui and Caleb Truax in the second half of those fights.
Hearn promotes Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs), and he’s already started discussions with him to replace Plant. It’s a difficult fight for Canelo, but it’s one that he can do if he puts together the perfect game plan.
Bivol isn’t someone that Canelo will beat with the low work rate that we saw from him in his last fight against Billy Joe Saunders.
For Canelo to beat Bivol, he’s going to need to increase his punch output, and he can’t assume that he will knock this guy out.
Bivol can take a punch, as seen in his wins over Joe Smith Jr and Jean Pascal. Smith hits harder than Canelo and has a higher punch output. Bivol had no issues dealing with his shots.
The Canelo vs. Plant negotiations is currently dead after the two sides reached an impasse over contractual disagreements.
Plant unhappy with Canelo’s sickness clause
IBF super middleweight belt-holder Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) is unhappy about the injury & sickness clause that Canelo wants in the contract, which would involve him getting the same money if Caleb pulls out of the fight for one of those reasons.
With Plant having injury problems involving his left hand, which he complained about after his recent fight against Caleb Truax, Canelo isn’t taking any chances.
Plant told ESPN that his negotiations with Canelo fell apart because of his “ridiculous requests. One that is absurd – If I get injured or sick, he gets a late replacement for the same guaranteed money. But if he gets sick or injured, we gotta wait for him.”
Of course, Plant would have to wait if Canelo got sick or injured. Plant will not get $10 million by moving on and facing another fighter if Canelo is sick or injured.
I mean, if Plant wants the $10M, he’s got no other choice but to wait. This is the fight Plant needs for him to get a career-high payday, and if he doesn’t take it, he’ll never get another opportunity like this.
As most boxing fans believe, it’s only a matter of time before Plant is dethroned as the IBF 168-lb champion.
With David Benavidez ranked in the top 10 with the International Boxing Federation, Plant will surely lose his title once the IBF drops the bomb on him by moving David up to #1, which is clearly where he should be right now.
The three fighters the IBF has ranked above Benavidez, Evgeny Shvedenko, Aidos Yerbossynuly, and Jose Uzcategui are ones that he’ll likely easily beat.
From Canelo’s point of view, he can basically make the same money as he would fighting anybody against Plant, 28, because he doesn’t have a huge fanbase. It would be a different story if Plant had the popularity of Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Obviously, Canelo would be losing out on many PPV buys if Plant was as popular as Mayweather and he had to pull out of the September 18th fight due to an injury or illness.
Dimity Bivol talks have begun
“There have been some discussions with Dmitry Bivol. Over the last few weeks, that’s a good fight. 175 pounds, you know, there are other options,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show on a potential replacement opponent for Canelo to fight on September 18th.
“He’s constantly for the champions, and you’re 175lbs. Joe Smith, you got Beterbiev, but I think Bivol would be that front runner. You know, he was certainly a guy that I put forward again.”
“I want to spend just one day in the world, the planet of Oscar De La Hoya. It’ll be a fun place!”
It’s a win-win for Hearn if Canelo fights Bivol, as he’s had problems trying to find big-name fighters to face the talented Russian. Hearn is looking forward to Bivol eventually facing IBF/WBA 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev, but that fight likely won’t happen until 2022, if at all.
It would be a huge plus for Bivol’s career if he were to defeat Canelo, as it would bring a lot of attention to him. Whether Canelo would want a rematch, Bivol could wind up making a great deal of money in two fights against him.
If a fighter like Plant can get a $10 million payday against Canelo, Bivol is worth at least that if not, given that he’s arguably more talented.
You couldn’t put Plant in with Bivol in a fight and assume that he would do anything but lose to the Russian fighter. But at the same time, Bivol’s talent might keep him from getting the fight with Canelo. This isn’t the type of fighter that you face on seven weeks’ notice.
To have a decent chance of beating Bivol, Canelo will need to training for at least three months, and even then, he might be over his head.
Hearn was quiet about what the major disagreement is between Canelo and Plant. Still, he already let the cat out of the bag a couple of weeks ago by saying that PBC wanted Alvarez to agree to a three-fight deal in exchange for them letting him fight Caleb.
Canelo isn’t going to sign away a year of his career to fight the IBF belt holder Plant.
Canelo vs. Plant isn’t any different from the Mexican star’s recent fights against Billy Joe Saunders, Callum Smith, and Rocky Fielding in terms of fan interest. Plant brings anything more than those guys did.
Plant is more popular than Avni Yildirim, but he’s not a bigger name than Canelo’s opponents Daniel Jacobs or Sergey Kovalev.