By: Sean Crose
ESPN is reporting that negotiations between Canelo Alvarez’ team and Caleb Plant’s team are now dead in the water. There had been a report earlier in the week that the hoped for super middleweight title unifier was close to dead. Now the matter appears to be confirmed. Details, frankly, are sparse, aside from the general “he said/she said” nature of such matters. The question now is who, if anyone, Canelo will end up facing in September, a traditional time for him to fight. Canelo had wanted to become the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world, but with the bout with Plant not happening, that goal simply isn’t going to come to fruition – at least for the time being.
The negotiations between Canelo, arguably the most popular fighter on earth, and Plant, a talented member of the very tight knit PBC universe, were always going to be difficult. Promotionally speaking, Canelo is essentially a free agent, though he is currently aligned with promoter Eddie Hearn. In an age of a very divided sport of boxing, it’s understandably hard for two parties to come to agreement on things. When a major fight – and all of Canelo’s battles are major fights – is in play, matters naturally become even more intense.
To make matters worse, loyalty to fighters, broadcasters and promotional outlets is strong among contemporary fans. Expect many accusations to be tossed around during the next few days by people that really don’t know what the truth is. This is problematic, of course, as the main goal should be to make good fights, not to point fingers and vilify. No matter. Social media has allowed the sport of boxing to consist – to a large degree, at least – of a series of fiefdoms. This, in turn, gives certain parties breathing room to double down when things like high stakes negotiations take a bad turn.
As for what’s next, Canelo can once again jump up to light heavyweight to face a titlist there. He’s already bested Sergey Kovalev at light heavyweight, and there’s certainly some interesting fights to be made in that division. Canelo can also agree to a third fight with arch nemesis Gennady Golovkin. Although Golovkin fights at middleweight, there’s little doubt the man would be willing to meet Canelo at a catch weight. The red haired star, in other words, has lucrative options. Plant, at least for the time being, doesn’t seem to. Boxing, though, is nothing if not a sport of twists and turns.