Saul Alvarez v Caleb Plant: Ring king Canelo will KO the last of the contenders to his crown

Boxer Saul Alvarez
Saul Alvarez brings a 65% knockout average into this fight

Canelo is hot favourite to unify the division by adding Plant's world title to his collection and Frankie Monkhouse has found a way to back the Mexican at odds-against...

"Canelo boasts a fearsome 65% knockout average, but four of his last five fights have gone into the second half of the contest"

Saul Alvarez v Caleb Plant
Sunday, 05:00
Live on BT Sport Box Office

One of the greatest boxers of his generation and the most active champion in years returns to the ring this weekend. Saul Alvarez faces undefeated opponent Caleb Plant at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, on Saturday. Victory for the Mexican would see him cement his legacy as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, securing a legacy.

Canelo stands on the edge of greatness as he aims to unify the world super-middleweight division by taking out the last remaining contenders to his crown. If he can deal with Plant the way he has 56 of his previous 59 opponents, Saul will be recognised as the number one attraction in boxing since the retirement of Floyd Mayweather in 2015.

Alvarez is a hot favourite to do just that, and most pundits and fans believe it's more a case of how he wins rather than if he wins. Standing in his way is an unbeaten American fighter in Plant who knows a shock win here would make him an overnight sensation. Sweethands has nothing to lose in the gambling capital of the world and everything to gain.

Saul out to settle a score

There's bad blood in this one, with the usually quiet and reserved Alvarez drawn into a war of words and threats with Plant. Both the Mexican and American have promised knockouts, clashing at press conferences and meetings during the build-up.

Is it just another attempt to hype the pay-per-view fight, or is there genuine needle between the two? It's impossible to tell from our angle, but Canelo is a man that does his talking in the ring. He's not one for public spats, and it doesn't suit him much. He seems genuine in his predictions and determined to see them through.

This will be Alvarez's third fight of the year and fourth in less than 12 months. For a champion operating at his level and the restrictions caused by the pandemic, that's an astonishing feat. He's a gladiator who loves to fight, loves to test himself and take on the best.

Since beating Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight in November 2019, Canelo has out-pointed Callum Smith, stopped Avni Yildirim in three then got rid of Billy Joe Saunders inside eight rounds. As a fight fan, it's impossible not to respect that, and he's showing no signs of slowing down or growing tired of winning.

There were no surprises in the pre-fight betting, with Alvarez a predictable solid favourite to continue his hot streak of form. Betfair Exchange users can back the Mexican champion at odds of 1.132/15 for career win number 57, but there's better to be had predicting how he'll triumph. Alvarez by KO/TKO is 1.664/6, or a points with can be backed at 3.65.

Plant's playing to win

Plant is an unbeaten world champion with the skills to beat most fighters in and around his division, but he'll enter the MGM on Saturday almost unnoticed. That's the Canelo factor. Saul's the main man and the fighter they're all there to see. That may put some off, but it will suit Caleb perfectly.

Not only will he thrive off the underdog tag, but he has been allowed to prepare and sharpen his skills without much attention from the media. The IBF champion may be seen as little more than an opponent, a fighter waiting to be added to Canelo's ever-growing list of victims, but the 29-year-old won't see it like that. He's in Vegas, ready to gamble but is playing to win.

He brings a perfect professional record of 21 wins from as many fights, with a dozen of those victories coming inside the distance. The 6ft 1inch orthodox boxer was last seen in action beating Caleb Truax on points in Los Angeles back in January of this year, which is about normal for a champion, but by his opponent's standards, it's inactive.

Caleb has won six of his last eight on the scorecards and was a convincing victor over Truax, according to the judges. It's unlikely he'll want to stand and trade with Alvarez early on.

The current betting available to Betfair Exchange users appears to be harsh on Plant, but he was always going to carry big odds into this bout like most of the Mexican's opponents. Plant to win is trading at 10.09/1 with the KO/TKO 21.020/1 while another points cheer is 15.5.

Canelo means business, and he'll show it

This is an important fight for Canelo on paper as it will see him unify the division with a win, but Plant isn't even the best fighter he's faced in the last year. Having already beaten the size of Smith and the skills of Saunders with strength and a superior boxing IQ, what can Plant bring to the table that Canelo hasn't seen before? Not an awful lot, if anything.

I don't like saying a fighter can't win, as all boxers and boxing fans understand anything can happen in this beautiful sport. It can change in the blink of an eye. We were all reminded of that when no-hoper Andy Ruiz knocked out Anthony Joshua to become heavyweight champion of the world.

This isn't AJ. This is the once in a generation fighter Alvarez. He'll be too strong, skilful, and fast for Plant, walking him down in the middle rounds.

Canelo boasts a fearsome 65% knockout average, but four of his last five fights have gone into the second half of the contest, Billy Joe in round eight being the quickest of those. Take this fight to follow that trend and finish in rounds 7-12.

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