THOUGH everyone else in and around his division seems desperate to land a fight against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant has an altogether different approach to securing the most lucrative opportunity in the sport.
He wants the Canelo fight on his terms – and all in good time. This means Plant, having retained his title with a 10th round stoppage of mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz on Saturday night, won’t be rushed into giving Canelo a shot at his title on May 2, the designated date of Canelo’s next ring outing, and won’t be bending over backwards if and when it eventually happens.
“That means taking half a month off after a three-and-a-half-month camp and then go right back to work, right? Just so they can try and get me when I’m overworked,” Plant said to The Ring.
“You control the narrative, you control the media. (Golden Boy) will make an offer knowing that I just fought so when we say no, then it seems like I’m ducking him. Don’t let them fool you.
“I’m a world champion; I’m a world-class fighter — I’m on my time. Don’t be fooled. We’re gonna get to him; (he has) fights left on his contract.
“Why doesn’t he go beat Billy Joe (Saunders, WBO champion) and Callum (Smith, WBA champion) and become unified and then I’ll whoop on (WBC titlist) David (Benavidez) and I’ll become unified. Then we can fight for all the marbles.”
It’s refreshing to hear a champion back himself like this and not yield to the star power of Canelo, a man who, like Floyd Mayweather before him, has the entire sport dancing to his beat. Who knows, he may one day later regret it, but, for now, good on Caleb Plant for sticking to his guns and believing there is more to boxing than obscene paydays.
On the subject of Floyd Mayweather, The Associated Press recently shunned the money man formerly known as ‘Pretty Boy’ in favour of naming basketball superstar LeBron James their Male Athlete of the Decade.
Mayweather, a world champion in five weight classes, was apparently upset to have been overlooked and said he should not only have been named Male Athlete of the last decade but the one before that, too.
“I love LeBron James but when we talking about Athlete of the Decade, that’s me,” Mayweather told Drink Champs. “We talking about from 1996 to 2020 – and I’ve never received Athlete of the Decade. At the top of Forbes and I’m my own boss. No Gatorade behind me, no Sprite behind me, no Nike behind me. These are billion-dollar companies and we like to call it placement. So, if they paying, you get what you want if you’re paying enough. Just honestly, I’m the Athlete of the Decade – and last two decades, actually.”