Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant: Kick-Off Presser!
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(September 21st) Boxing’s consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez and undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant met for an intense stare down that turned into a scuffle Tuesday at a press conference previewing their historic and highly anticipated undisputed super middleweight championship showdown.
During an extended face-off that kicked off the event, the fighters exchanged words and threw glancing blows before their respective teams rushed the stage to separate the combatants, escalating a rivalry that will culminate on fight night in just over six weeks.
Canelo and Plant will battle on Saturday, November 6, Live on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a Premier Boxing Champions event, with the winner stamping his name in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.
Tickets for the live event are on sale and can be purchased at AXS.com. The event is promoted by Canelo Promotions and TGB Promotions and sponsored by Hennessy, “Never Stop. Never Settle,” and Value.
Eddy Reynoso, Canelo’s trainer and manager, and Justin Gamber, Plant’s trainer, joined their fighters on stage at the event in Beverly Hills. Here is what the press conference participants had to say Tuesday:
“You are not on my level and you will see on November 6. You don’t want to fight now, I promise you.
“We come from nothing and we worked hard to be here. For somebody to lie and talk trash about us, that upset Eddy. It is what it is though. We just have to show everyone who we are on November 6.
“Caleb might be on the same level as Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith, but he’s not on my level. I respect that he isn’t here to back down. You can see from today that this is definitely going to be a good fight.
“I know what I need to do and I know a lot about him. He’s a good fighter but I know my skills. My experience is going to give me the edge in the fight. I have faced similar styles to Caleb’s against Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, Austin Trout and Saunders.
“He’s an insecure person and that’s why he came with a lot of excuses about lots of things. I don’t care about it though. I’m just going to do my best on November 6 and win the fight.
“To be undisputed is history for Mexico and for everyone on my team. To be the undisputed champion is just a great thing for my career.
On the on-stage scuffle: “You can say whatever to me, but not to my mom. I’m going to fight anyone who says something about my mom. And he swung first. I just pushed him. He swung first, and I do what I do. He crossed the line.
“It will be over in eight rounds or less. I’m going to knock out this guy. Easy.”
“I know only one thing better than proving people right, and that’s proving people wrong. I’ve been doing that my whole life. As soon as I stepped on the stage, people started talking about what I can’t accomplish and what I can’t do. Where I come from, there is no boxing community. There was no other pro I could look to and say that if he can do it, then I can do it. All I had was my mind and my heart.
“I don’t do this to be famous or to get attention. When I first started, it was just me and my dad. No one thought I’d be standing here today. I can remember him and my grandfather scrounged up a little bit of money to open a little boxing gym. There was just one heavy bag hanging in the corner. But when you really want something, you don’t need all the fancy things. You just need your mind and your heart.
“I know that people don’t believe me when I tell them I’m winning on November 6. All those people who tell me that I can’t do something, you live believable lives and you do believable things. I promised myself that I was going to run this all the way to the top, with no problem crashing and burning along the way. I set out to live an unbelievable life and accomplish unbelievable things. Those people who doubt me are the very reason that I’m here.
“Miguel Cotto’s brother can make you do the chicken dance but I can’t? Okay. Mark my words, on November 6 you will hear the words, ‘And the new undisputed super middleweight champion,’ but you will also hear the words, ‘and still undefeated.’
“Being undisputed would mean a lot. I’ve sacrificed so much to this sport and I’ve been doing this a long time. All that work would come down to one moment. I want my name in those history books and that’s the only reason that I’m here.
On the on-stage scuffle: “We just had some normal back-and-forth banter up there and then whatever happened, happened. It’s none of my concern though. I’m focused and locked in on November 6.”
EDDY REYNOSO, Canelo’s Trainer and Manager
“I think this is going to be a great fight, one where we unify the 168-pound division. As we do with every fight, we’re going to work hard in the gym. We’ve always worked hard in the gym.
"I'm a little upset by how things turned out today, but in the end we will settle things in the ring on November 6.
"The offensive language is what offended us the most. We are respectful people, and we move forward from this with our heads held up high. Now we are going to train well, win the fight and see what comes next after that.
“There are a lot of people who say things on social media but then they don’t show up. Some people want to take down a whole country and a great athlete that represents his country. They talk a lot of trash. You need to work hard though. You need to have guts to work as hard as we do.”
JUSTIN GAMBER, Plant’s Trainer
“I want to thank our whole team for believing in us and getting us this fight that we wanted and this opportunity to make history. It’s been blood sweat and tears, literally, to get here. It’s been a long journey. This fight is not about money, it’s about legacy.
“In 1996, when I was 15-years-old, my favorite fighter was the IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Roy Jones Jr. Every fan back then craved an undisputed champion at 168-pounds and now I train the IBF champion and we’re going to be fighting for all of the marbles.
“Tune in on November 6 and you will see the first undisputed super middleweight champion of the world and he’s from Tennessee. Anything that happened today at this press conference is going to drive us and give us more hunger.
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“It took a couple of tries, but here we are today with the undisputed super middleweight championship on November 6. It’s a real pleasure to be working with our network partners at SHOWTIME for this event. SHOWTIME has a long history of being involved in the sports’ biggest and most important events and that continues with this fight.
“It’s an honor to be working with the pound-for-pound king Canelo Álvarez, Eddy Reynoso and everyone with Canelo Promotions. I’m also thrilled to be back working with everyone on team Plant. I promoted Caleb’s pro debut in 2014 and it’s great to see him up here today in this position.
“Canelo holds three titles, while Caleb owns the fourth title in the 168-pound division. They’ll battle to become the first undisputed champ in the four-belt era. History will be made on November 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President, SHOWTIME Sports
“2021 has been a phenomenal year for SHOWTIME Boxing. It’s one of our most prolific years in recent memory. SHOWTIME has delivered 17 live boxing events so far this year, with several more to come. Eight world championship fights, multiple world title unifications and now two fights for the undisputed title as a very good year for SHOWTIME becomes a great year for SHOWTIME. SHOWTIME is the home of big fights. It’s the most trusted and longest-tenured network in boxing. There is no other network making a more meaningful or more significant commitment to the sport of boxing. We are the home of boxing’s biggest and best fights.
“We are proud to welcome Canelo Álvarez back to SHOWTIME. We also welcome Caleb Plant for his SHOWTIME debut. It was almost nine years ago – September 15, 2012 – that Canelo made his debut on SHOWTIME in a thrilling fight against Josesito Lopez. Nine years is a long time. That was a very young Canelo Álvarez and a very young Eddy Reynoso. That started an impressive run of fights in which Canelo demonstrated his willingness, desire and demand to take the toughest fights available. Together back in 2013, we set a record at the time for the biggest pay-per-view of all time as we helped launch Canelo as boxing’s newest pay-per-view star. Now nine years later, we are proud to welcome him back for this mega fight.”
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly owned subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc., owns and operates the premium service SHOWTIME®, which features critically acclaimed original series, provocative documentaries, box-office hit films, comedy and music specials and hard-hitting sports. SHOWTIME is available as a stand-alone streaming service across all major streaming devices and Showtime.com, as well as via cable, DBS, telco and streaming video providers. SNI also operates the premium services THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as on demand versions of all three brands. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.
Pound-For-Pound King Álvarez
And Undefeated Champion Plant Set For Historic Undisputed Super Middleweight Title In a Premier Boxing Champions Event Live On Showtime PPV From the MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, Saturday, November 6th!
(September 20th) Boxing’s consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez will face undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant in a historic showdown on Saturday, November 6, live on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.
Canelo, a four-division world champion, will look to capture undisputed status for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career as he returns to SHOWTIME where he made his pay-per-view main event debut in September 2013. The unbeaten and supremely talented Plant attempts to earn a career-defining victory and keep his perfect record intact as he makes his fourth world title defense. The winner of the November 6 bout will stamp his name in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.
“This is the most highly anticipated fight of the year and rightfully so,’’ said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Canelo Álvarez has proven to be one of the best boxers in the sport today and he is seeking to become the first ever undisputed super middleweight champion. And Caleb Plant, who is a skilled technician in the ring and extremely confident in his abilities, wants to make history and not become a footnote. Both men will bring fire and determination into the ring and the eyes of the sports world will be focused on the action at MGM Grand on the evening of November 6.’’
“We are very happy to have been able to reach an agreement for this fight as we look to make history in becoming the first undisputed champion of Mexico or Latin America, and just the sixth man in the history of boxing,” said Canelo’s manager Eddy Reynoso. “We are going to train very hard, focus on growing the sport of boxing and plan to lift up the name of Mexico.”
“In one of our most prolific years to date, SHOWTIME has delivered 17 live boxing events in 2021 so far with several more to come. None more significant, however, than November 6,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, SHOWTIME Sports. “We are proud to welcome Canelo Álvarez back to SHOWTIME, now as the consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the sport’s biggest draw. We also welcome undefeated world champion Caleb Plant to the network as both men chase a historic, undisputed world title in the most anticipated fight of the year.”
Having already captured world titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175-pounds, Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) has amassed a Hall of Fame resume at just 31-years-old. The fighting pride of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Canelo began his quest for the undisputed super middleweight championship in December 2020 by defeating then unbeaten Callum Smith to capture the WBA and WBC titles. Most recently, Canelo added the WBO belt via a stoppage victory over previously undefeated Billy Joe Saunders in May. November 6 will be Canelo’s first attempt at an undisputed title.
Under the guidance of Reynoso, his renowned coach, Canelo has faced and triumphed over a long list of elite fighters since turning pro at just 15-years-old in 2005. Shane Mosley, Gennadiy Golovkin, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto and Sergey Kovalev are among them. Canelo’s lone professional defeat came against undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather in September 2013.
"At the end of the day, this is what I want to do with my career, make history,” said Canelo. “These things, like becoming the first to be the unified champion at 168 pounds, is making history. To potentially be one of the few who holds this prestigious honor in any weight class makes me very happy. For my country, this would be a huge accomplishment. I want to be remembered as one of the greatest in the history of the sport."
The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) captured his world title and burst onto the 168-pound scene by defeating Jose Uzcategui in January 2019. Plant was the underdog coming into the Uzcategui fight. He quickly set the tone scoring two early knockdowns on his way to a clear unanimous decision victory. It was an emotional night for Plant, who had dedicated his championship win to the memory of his late daughter, Alia, who passed away in 2015.
A native of Ashland City, Tennessee, Plant now lives and trains in Las Vegas, guided by his trainer Justin Gamber, along with his father and co-trainer Richie Plant. Caleb has successfully defended his title three times, dominating Mike Lee to earn a third-round stoppage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in July 2019. He then earned a TKO victory over Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming bout in Nashville in 2020. Most recently, Plant bested former super middleweight world champion Caleb Truax, winning a unanimous decision in their January clash.
“On November 6, the world will witness boxing’s first ever crowned undisputed super middleweight champion,” said Plant. “When my hand is raised in victory, the world will know then, that I’m the new face of boxing. Everyone should order the PPV now and get their popcorn ready, because I’m about to put on a performance that will go down in history as one of the best ever. This man is in trouble.”