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Canelo vs Plant Staff Picks

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez aims to add Caleb Plant’s IBF super-middleweight title to his WBA Super, WBC and WBO titles on Saturday night at the MGM Grand is Las Vegas in a rare ‘four-belt’ unification showdown.

Canelo is currently – by near unanimous consensus – boxing’s pound-for-pound king and the sport’s premier superstar. The 31-year-old Mexican has already fought three times in the last 12 months, routing Callum Smith on points before ruthlessly disposing of the over-matched Avni Yildirim in three and smashing tricky southpaw Billy Joe Saunders in eight.

The 29-year-old Plant – meanwhile – is unbeaten but unproven, with a thin 21-fight CV, although he has defended his IBF crown three times since wresting it from Jose Uzcategui in 2019.

Can the Tennessee native upset the odds in one of the biggest fights of the year, or will Canelo once again emerge triumphant en route to apparently inexorable greatness?

Boxing Social’s intrepid band of writers and podcast guests attempt to predict the outcome…

If Plant had faced a series of quality opponents to build properly towards Canelo this would be a far more compelling match-up. I do think he is a really skilful fighter but the gulf in resume and activity makes this challenge way too big a leap. I’ll take Canelo by KO in the ninth. – Phil Rogers.

Canelo wins as he pleases. The Mexican could demolish an entire garden centre so Plant won’t be a problem. Canelo in seven. – Mark Butcher.

I can’t see Plant offering much in the way of a challenge, other than brief moments of slippery footwork and success on the back foot. Canelo to win by TKO in nine. – Craig Scott.

You can understand why Plant’s full of confidence. He’s a world champion, he’s boxed well, he’s looked good. He’s got a good style, fast hand, he’s tricky, he’s awkward but the evolution of Canelo has just been something else. The Floyd Mayweather fight was the most important fight of his career and that’s when his evolution started. From that fight on he’s taken lessons from every fight and improved for the next one.

But he has taken any lessons from the last two or three fights because he’s there now. He’s mastered it. There’s no more lessons for him to learn. The only thing he can’t do is dance like a Sugar Ray Leonard. I think Plant gets knocked out around rounds eight to ten. Whatever Plant does Canelo will have an answer for. I wouldn’t be shocked if Plant dives in with a left hook and Canelo catches him with a left hook or an uppercut as he walks in and falls flat on his face. – Barry Jones.

I give Plant less [chance against Canelo] than Billy Joe Saunders. Plant and Saunders are similar boxers in the way that they operate – not massive punchers and slick. No disrespect to Plant but I just don’t see how Canelo loses this fight. He’s on a roll, the momentum is all with him and he’s got the tools to win. This fight has been a bit of a masterclass [by 

Plant] in terms of how to promote yourself into people thinking you’ve got a chance. It’s not an even fight for me at all. Plant isn’t winning on points and he isn’t going to chin Canelo either. I think it will be similar to the Saunders fight and Canelo will stop Plant in the championship rounds. Plant will give everything and he won’t go down without a fight but he’ll get stopped. – Declan Taylor.

One of the criticisms of Canelo used to be about his inability to cut off the ring at times. But in the Saunders fight he was on Saunders from the first round and was immediately in position to land his shots. I don’t really see any weaknesses in Canelo now. He’s mastered the art of being a 12-round fighter. In contrast, after four or five rounds in the Truax fight Plant’s feet really slowed down. I’d be surprised if Plant sees the final bell. – Rob Tebbutt