In the end, Canelo Alvarez got his man.
Boxing’s top star and Caleb Plant have agreed to terms and signed contracts to meet in a November 6 pay-per-view unification fight.
The fight will be presented by PBC along with Canelo Promotions.
The deal ends weeks of stop-and-start negotiations between ESPN’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer and PBC founder Al Haymon. Alvarez, who holds three 168-pound titles, and Plant, who holds the other belt, will clash to be crowned undisputed super middleweight champion.
“I am very excited to have this fight before me. I am happy because I am going to make history, and in my career that’s exactly what I want to do — leave my mark in boxing,” Alvarez said in a statement released Thursday. “I can’t wait to see all my fans on November 6.”
The bout was initially being eyed for Sept. 18 in Las Vegas, but at the eleventh hour, the deal fell apart. Alvarez then entered talks for a light heavyweight title challenge from Dmitry Bivol, but before a deal could be completed, the Mexican great decided to delay his return until November so he could focus on a full training camp in San Diego.
Alvarez, 31, also wanted to focus on the man he wanted all along: Plant. More so than the man, really, is what Canelo wants to be: undisputed.
“The project since we got to 168 was this: to be the first Latino and Mexican to be undisputed. It is something that I have been projecting for more than one year,” Alvarez’s trainer Eddie Reynoso told ESPN. “It is the advantage of being a free agent and having an excellent relationship with all the promoters; you can negotiate any fight and this benefits boxing. I am very happy because we are doing a great job in sports as a coach and administrative as a manager. We are going to work hard to win and continue to write history in Mexican and world boxing!”
After Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) shattered Billy Joe Saunders’ orbital bone in May, a ninth-round TKO to collect a third 168-pound title, he delivered a message to Plant: “I’m coming, my friend.”
Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), ESPN’s No. 3 boxer at 168 pounds, is the first Haymon champion to earn a crack at Alvarez, but he might not be the last. The deal between Canelo and PBC is for one combat, per sources, but there’s reason to think Alvarez will continue to face off against boxers from the stable. David Benavidez, ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight, is aligned with PBC, as is Jermall Charlo, the middleweight champion who plans to jump to 168 at some point.
Alvarez’s last three fights were streamed on DAZN and promoted by Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom. Although Hearn won’t be involved with the promotion of the event, sources said, he’s expected to work on behalf of Canelo Promotions.
Alvarez will have his opportunity to be called undisputed. So, too, will Plant, who will be seeking something far more: to prove he’s for real in his first legitimate challenge, but also the best in the world.