After a two-year hiatus, Las Vegas welcomes back one of its adopted sons this weekend. It is fitting that an undisputed championship is on the line as future Hall of Fame boxer Canelo Alvarez faces the popular Caleb Plant, who hails from Tennessee. In a city known for big gambling, the MGM Grand Garden Arena plays host as Alvarez puts up his WBC, WBA and WBO super-middleweight belts as the stake for Plant’s IBF title.
Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) is making his 13th appearance on The Strip. His previous showings have been at the top of the bill or as the co-feature. For a 31-year-old fighter arguably at his peak and with vast big-fight experience, nothing will surprise him. In comparison, Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) has made just two visits to the fight capital, both on the undercard. The hullabaloo of a massive fight week in the desert will present a huge learning curve for Plant, 29, one he must deal with if he is to have any chance of springing the biggest upset in the history of the weight division.
The last 11 months have been busy for Alvarez. He easily outpointed Callum Smith in December to add the WBA title alongside the WBC belt he won two years earlier when blowing away Rocky Fielding in three. In February he fit in an easy bout against Avni Yildirim, forcing a retirement in three. His last appearance in May was very impressive as he took his time to work out Billy Joe Saunders, bringing proceedings to a conclusion with an injury retirement after eight rounds and relieving Saunders of the WBO title. Even though this will be his 60th bout, Alvarez looks like he is still improving and retaining the hunger to win. If successful this weekend, surely a move up to the light-heavyweight division will be next.