Fireworks in LA as fighters attempt to raise the stakes in super-middleweight clash



Fireworks in LA as fighters attempt to raise the stakes in super-middleweight clash

While the outside noise grows ahead of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Caleb Plant, the sportsbooks have hardened their opinion that the undisputed super-middleweight championship clash is a very much one-sided affair.

There were a few fireworks at the first pre-fight meet up between the pair but according to the gambling firms the fireworks in the ring will be coming from only one set of gloves with the sportsbooks having Canelo as a very hot 1/10 (-1000) to win the contest – bet $10 and get $11 back if Canelo wins. Plant, however, is very much the outsider with odds of 11/2 (+550) for the Tennessee fighter to pull off a shock, reports 2.

The pre-fight PR machine was in full swing in Los Angeles for their first official head-to-head and, unsurprisingly, there was little sign of mutual respect and the only indication that either fighter offered their best to the other’s family was when Canelo, 31, claimed Plant had insulted his mom.

With two heavyweight world championship fights hogging the spotlight it would have been controversial if nothing happened on stage in Los Angeles; Canelo duly obliging the watching media as the testosterone levels hit red.

A few verbals were followed by a mini-scrap as the two fighters decided not to wait six weeks until the first bell is rung, instead trading blows on stage. Canelo seemed to react to something that was said and aggressively shoved Plant backwards before the American threw a punch; Canelo reacted with a punch of his own, with security stepping in to separate the pair.

While it was all good for the watching cameras with plenty for the media to write and report on, the outcome was that Plant ended with a cut beneath his right eye, and the last thing promoters will want would be an injury causing the fight to be postponed.

“You can say whatever to me, but not to my mom,” Canelo said afterwards, continuing to claim slurs about his mother were thrown, a fact denied by Plant. “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.”

And to remind everyone what the duo were actually there for, Canelo added: “It will be over in eight rounds or less. I’m going to knock out this guy. Easy.”

Canelo stares down Plant at press conference

The betting is indicative of the opinion that Canelo, a four-weight world champion, is regarded as the No 1 fighter in the world.

Unbeaten in 15 fights since his only career loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, he holds the WBA, WBC and WBO belts.

Plant, 29, holds the IBF title, the only remaining belt outside of Canelo's grasp, and is unbeaten in 21 fights, but has not faced anyone of Canelo’s class in his career. He took the belt with a unanimous points win over Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui in January 2019, successfully defending his title on three occasions.

Canelo faced some unwelcome ridiculing at the press conference regarding his failed drugs test in 2018 – he tested positive for prohibited substance clenbuterol and was banned for six months, a punishment that was reduced from one year.