Caleb Plant quite literally slapped the face of boxing during a heated faceoff last month.
And the IBF super middleweight titleholder will seemingly have to turn up the aggression tenfold if he’s going to defeat the unified 168-pound champion Nov. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The question is how can Plant possibly upset Canelo? Will his sound sweet science skills be enough to nip Alvarez on points through 12 rounds?
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Only if Plant can hurt Canelo at some point seems to be the prevailing thought.
Mike Tyson and former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez spoke about it on “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” during this past summer.
“The type of people that could actually give Canelo problems are the ones that got power and the ones that will actually sit there and fight,” Benavidez offered at the time. “Not the ones that are going to run around and make it to the 12th round. You have to actually sit there and fight and you have to go through hell.”
Tyson seemed skeptical about whether Plant has it in him to do just that.
“I think Caleb is going to panic of a heart attack when he gets in and doing that fancy stuff (referring to movement),” Tyson said, “and the guy keeps coming.”
Added Benavidez: “Caleb Plant is not going to be able to keep him off him. You need power. You think a person with 12 knockouts with  fights is going to keep Canelo off of him? It’s not going to happen.”
It’s a thought that makes sense. Plant is not known for his power. He’s known for his high-tier boxing skills and ability to hit and not get hit, punching and slipping punches smoothly toward a 21-0 record.
One has to think that Canelo will walk right through Plant’s movement and jab to attack the 29-year-old’s body and head. Unless if “Sweethands” can turn his jab into a power jab and come behind that stick with combinations that make Alvarez think twice about moving forward. If Plant can demonstrate that he's more of a boxer-puncher than he's given credit for, then we could have ourselves a more intriguing fight than expected next Saturday night.
That, to nobody’s surprise, is a big if, though. I agree with Tyson and Benavidez in saying that power is needed to defeat Canelo. The fact that Plant has never been known for his power triggers a huge obstacle in the American being able to upset the Mexican sensation.
Of course, Plant believes his other attributes will push him toward victory.
“There are a lot of things that I possess that are going to give him issues in the fight,” Plant told reporters Wednesday as part of his media workout.
Plant’s co-trainer Justin Gamber echoed those sentiments.
“The physical attributes Caleb has over Canelo will make a difference if we use them the right way,” Gamber said. “There have been a lot of guys against Canelo who haven’t been able to use their attributes. Luckily we have the skills to use our height and reach the right way and I expect Caleb to do that on fight night.”
Plant vows that the moment and scope of the biggest fight of his life won’t get to him.
“There have been some guys who lost before the bell even rang against Canelo,” Plant said. “I think that’s why he’s so irritated with me. Some guys just come in and are there to hand over their belt, get their check and leave. Anyone who knows me, they know I’m only here for those belts.”
Plant added: “He says the first few rounds will be tough, but I’m saying all the rounds are going to be tough for him. He’s got a tall order in front of him.”
If Plant can prove that he can hurt Canelo, he just may be right. An undisputed reign as super middleweight champion — not to mention etching his name in history — hangs in the balance.
The Canelo vs. Plant fight will not air on DAZN. However, The DAZN Boxing Show will be in Las Vegas during fight week for live episodes, exclusive interviews and more.