On Saturday, November 6th, in Las Vegas, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez will take on Caleb "Sweet Hands" Plant in a match for the undisputed super middleweight championship. Canelo has been on a mission to become undisputed at 168 pounds and the only man standing in his way is Plant.
Plant is an undefeated champion at 168 pounds, coming into this bout with a record of 21 wins and 0 losses with 12 wins by way of knockout. In the lead up to the fight Sweet Hands has not had sweet words for Canelo as he seems to firmly believe he is not just as good as the pound for pound superstar, Canelo, but better. So what are the keys to Plant pulling off the upset?
Key #1: A Bitter Jab
Caleb Plant's nickname is "Sweet Hands" due to the speed and fluidity of his punches. Plant needs to make this a bitter sweet night for Canelo and the first way to do that is to keep his jab in the face and body of Canelo. Plant has a four inch reach advantage in this fight with a reach of 74 inches compared to Canelo's 70 inch reach. The reach advantage by itself is not going to phase Canelo but the combination of reach and hand speed may be able to throw off the rhythm of Alvarez. If Plant has a busy jab to goes both up and downstairs. That will be the first step to winning this fight.
Key #2: Make Canelo A Follower
Plant has to make sure he moves around the ring in a smart fashion. When fans see one boxer circling around the ring and the other trying to catch him, they may think the boxer who is following is making the other boxer move but that is not the case. The boxer who is circling around the ring is in control because the other fighter who is following is waiting for the moving boxer to do something before they react. Plant has to make Canelo follow him around the ring by moving side to side and switching up his movement pattern. If the IBF champion can make Alvarez follow him, he can maybe get Canelo to walk into a big shot.
Key #3: Don't get Amir Khan'd
Amir Khan is a former multi-division world champion who is known for his hand speed. On May 7, 2016, Khan moved up to middleweight to take on Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez had trouble with Khan's hand speed and movement for the first few rounds. Canelo was able to adjust in the middle rounds and knock Khan cold out in the 6th round with an overhand right hand. Now, the other thing Khan is known for is having a glass jaw but Canelo has the type of power that can knock out anyone. Caleb Plant has to make sure he doesn't get too comfortable and find himself in the pocket for a big punch like that from Alvarez.
Saul "Canelo" Alvarez is the biggest star in boxing. He comes into the bout with a record of 56 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws, and 38 wins coming by way of knockout. We don't normally see Canelo get into altercations outside of the ring but he was very upset with Plant during a press conference which lead to Canelo pushing Plant and hitting him in the face causing a cut under his eye. How can Canelo channel this aggression into a victory?
Key #1: Timing Kills Speed
Caleb Plant does have the advantage when it comes to hand speed in this fight. Canelo has to make sure he does not get frustrated with Plant's hand speed and is patient enough to get on the inside and do his damage in between Plant's combinations. Nothing slows down quick hands like punches coming back at the boxer with the speed. Alvarez can also make Plant hesitate which will also nullify his speed.
Key #2: I'm a need you to cut it!!
Plant has good hand and foot speed, so he may try to take advantage of that by moving around the ring. Canelo cannot allow him to move freely. The WBA, WBO, and WBC champion has to cut off the ring and force Plant into feeling trapped. When a boxer feels trapped, they are more prone to make mistakes. Canelo with his loads of experience can take advantage of those mistakes and maybe score a knockout.
Key #3: Body , ody, ody, ody!!
Canelo has to slow down Plant. One way to do that is to go to the body with hooks and uppercuts. Alvarez has become a dynamic body puncher throughout his career, scoring several knockdowns with left hooks to the body. If Canelo follows key number two and forces Plant into the corner, those body shots will be open. Those body shots could lead to Plant not being able to move around the ring later on in the fight. Canelo needs to go to the body from start to finish.
This bout has the potential to be a classic as we have the consensus pound for pound number one ranked boxer in Canelo taking on an undefeated champion in Caleb Plant. Plant will be able to bother Canelo with his speed for the first few rounds but then Canelo will adjust to his speed and slow Plant down with body shots. Plant is very determined to prove that he is elite and will give it his best shot but come up short as Canelo wins by unanimous decision. Canelo's experience in these big time bouts will play a role as he is able to keep his cool in tough moments. Even though the decision will unanimous, it will be a close fight as Canelo's wins 8 out of the 12 rounds.