LAS VEGAS – In the last ten years, many things have changed for Canelo Alvarez. He went from the hottest prospect in boxing to the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. His bank account has grown exponentially and he is now married with two children whom he loves with all his heart. He also started an extracurricular business with golf and cleaned up his English for his media obligations.
While many things change, one thing remains the same: he loves to fight.
And the best pound for pound fighter in the world not necessarily need a reason to fight. Sure, there are the huge paydays that soar to over $ 30 million per match and the world titles he rallies to continue his journey to become one of the greatest boxers who ever lived. But it’s the WBA (Super), WBO and WBC champion’s adoration for sweet science that gets him back to the square to show off his talent. As he always says, “No boxing, no life”.
However, if you hit the proverbial bull, you will definitely get the horns. Rather than making science sweet, he appreciates the opportunity to hurt his opponent and make him pay for any previous transgressions. And that’s what IBF champion Caleb Plant did ahead of their November 6 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to determine the first undisputed middleweight champion in boxing history.
Canelo and Plant had a scuffle at a pre-fight press conference on Sept. 21 where words were exchanged, hands were thrown, and Plant was left with a cut under his eye. It was rare to see the usual Canelo compound act out of character, but he grew weary of Plant’s implications of being a drug cheater and it all culminated when the IBF champion called the Mexican superstar a “mother-ker” during a stare at the low. .
The incident led to a routine that was canceled at the final press conference on Wednesday, much to Canelo’s chagrin. And even if he continues to look cool like he’s not bothered by the September brawl, it’s pretty obvious he’s drooling at the idea of legally punishing Plant for his sins inside a boxing ring on Saturday night.
“It’s so different when you’re in the ring, so I don’t really take anything from our altercation at the first press conference,” Canelo said on stage. He remained adamant that his emotions will not play a role in the unfolding of the fight. But the more you listen to Canelo talk, the more you realize he is more like a cold-blooded contract killer waiting for his moment to take action.
To be clear, the idea that Canelo would get a chance to make history was initially more than enough to excite him for his fourth fight in 12 months.
“Making history is what I want,” Canelo told a group of reporters after the press conference as he aims to pick up the fourth and final 168-pound title to become the undisputed champion in less than a year. “This is what I do. This is my life.”
Owning 15 major world titles in four different weight classes is already a remarkable feat for a 31-year-old in his prime. But considering he would be the first Mexican boxer to become undisputed, the stakes have never been higher for Canelo, who says becoming undisputed would be the greatest achievement of his career.
“Think, five boxers in boxing history have accomplished this and I will be the sixth, “He said.
But, once again, Canelo loves to fight. There is something a little sadistic about his approach to hurting people. He rarely, if ever, wears his emotions on his sleeve. That was until Caleb Plant convinced him to act out of character.
And Canelo keeps his receipts.
Take, for example, Billy Joe Saunders. Prior to their May clash, Saunders hit Canelo with his words, denigrating him at every turn. Canelo didn’t say much, but he let his hands do the talking when he brutalized Saunders and eventually fractured his orbital bone, which led to a break in the eighth round. Canelo let Saunders do the talking, took a mental note and paid him interest in a brutal display of power punches.
When Gennadiy Golovkin said a few words about Canelo ahead of the 2017 rematch, the Mexican surprisingly met one of the sport’s greatest boxers in the middle of the ring and fought him, winning a decision. He may not have gotten the knockout he wanted, but he made a statement.
Canelo intends to do the same with Plant, and if that means hitting his foe unrecognizable until he or his corner waves the white flag, so be it.
“This is different and a lot more personal because of what happened in Los Angeles,” Canelo said. “All the chatter, all the m … he says. Here because. He crossed the line. And maybe too much. That’s why it’s personal. ”
Canelo has predicted that the break will happen between rounds 7 and 9, which he doesn’t often do when it comes to fights.
“I have nothing to prove to myself, but he will feel what I have to prove to him,” Canelo told Sporting News. “There will definitely be a knockout.”
The enjoyment he feels in that statement is almost frightening as he walks away, smiling.
He knows what he plans to do at Caleb Plant on Saturday night. And it looks like he will enjoy every single moment in the ring where he has to execute his game plan.
“This fight will be history,” Canelo said. “You will witness something you will remember for a long time.”
Something tells us that what we will remember is not who holds those four belts, but how it happens.