BACK TO K-9 KIM’S CORNER

By Steve Kim Updated on November 04, 2021

Plant's Day of Reckoning

As IBF super middleweight champion, Caleb Plant, heads into his assignment versus Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, not many are tabbing him to win the other three belts that currently sit around the waist of the Mexican superstar.

The original odds had Plant around a 7-1 underdog, currently those odds are now 10-1. Meaning that almost all of the betting money has gone with Alvarez, who has the WBC, WBO and WBA titles.

And for good reason, Alvarez is the consensus number one fighter in the world, and is seemingly at the top of his game. His recent form (which has seen him fight three times since last December) has given no indication that he's declining in any way as a fighter.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime Sports

But the 29 year old Plant, remains unbowed by the challenge that awaits him.

“This is personal for me, but every fight is personal for me. I’ve sacrificed a lot for this sport and dedicated myself completely, so anybody who’s getting in the way of my goals makes it personal to me. No matter who it is," said Plant, who believes his long angular frame, and reach will give Alvarez problems.

“There are a lot of things that I possess that are going to give him issues in the fight. Every fighter says this is their best camp, but I am honestly saying that. I’ve had no injuries, amazing sparring and I’m ready to rock," said Plant, who has a mark of 21-0( 12 KOs). But while he has a perfect record, many raise a legitimate question -- is he battled tested enough for the likes of Alvarez?

Does facing the likes of Mike Lee, Vincent Feigenbutz and Caleb Truax prepare you for this daunting assignment? 

Also, how will Plant react to being on the biggest stage in the sport? He's fought before at the MGM Grand (versus Lee on the early portion of the Manny Pacquiao-Keith Thurman undercard) but never with the whole world watching.  While many boxers before have said that it's always just two fighters inside a ring, they will admit afterwards, these type of events are different.

Plant noted: “There have been some guys who lost before the bell even rang against Canelo. I think that’s why he’s so irritated with me. Some guys just come in and are there to hand over their belt, get their check and leave. Anyone who knows me, they know I’m only here for those belts."

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/ Showtime Sports

At the official press conference to announce this fight last month, Alvarez shoved Plant as they faced off in Beverly Hills. It's clear that the Mexican superstar is agitated by some of the words that have come out of his mouth. Nobody really knows what all that means as it relates to the actual fight this weekend.

The question is can Plant earn enough respect with his punching, to make his boxing more effective? And can he keep the shorter Alvarez at bay with his long jab? Tactically there are things he can do to make it a difficult night, but you wonder if he can hold off Alvarez for all 12 rounds.

You could say that with the payday he's getting, that Plant has already won, hitting the boxing lotto that is a Canelo fight. But Plant says he's here for much more than that. For him, this is chance to not just be another belt-holder, but someone who will be remembered one day. 

“I have a lot of respect for this sport. I’ve dedicated myself to this sport and sacrificed every day. I want my name in those history books. November 6 is a big step toward that goal."

 

DIAZ-HANEY

On Wednesday it was formally announced that the bout between WBC lightweight titlist, Devin Haney, and Joseph Diaz, would be taking place on December 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on DAZN.

This is a solid fight between two young boxers in their physical prime, and an interesting clash of styles.

 

I want to applaud Diaz for going through with this assignment. Many other boxers may have been persuaded to just wait for Ryan Garcia (who was supposed to be his next fight, till he pulled out with a hand injury) and the money that comes with it. Well, Diaz and people negotiated a financial deal to their liking for the Haney bout, and now have a chance to score a big victory that could lead to even more lucrative things down the line.

Waiting around for Garcia to actually show up to a fight is a riskier proposition than facing Haney -- and you don't make any money doing that.

BIVOL-ZURDO?

A fight that I've called for is one between current WBA light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol, and former WBO super middleweight titlist, Gilberto 'Zurdo'  Ramirez. While there was some chatter about these two clashing in the late fall, they will instead be performing in back-to-back weeks in December.

I've been told by Vadim Kornilov that Bivol will be fighting in a card in Russia on December 11, while Ramirez is slated to headline a Golden Boy Promotions card the following Saturday.

Kornilov made it clear that they are more than willing to face Ramirez on their date, and that there would be a substantial purse that came along with that. But realistically, there's no way that his management or GBP would green light that. 

Moving ahead, it's clear that both Bivol and Ramirez are angling for a future shot at a certain redhead from Mexico. The difference is that Bivol has a major belt -- yes, those matter, ask Plant -- while Ramirez does not. In a perfect world, they would face one another, with the winner moving ahead in the Canelo sweepstakes. 

 

FINAL FLURRIES

Isaac Cruz has been officially announced as the replacement for Rolly Romero to face Gervonta Davis on Dec. 5....I wouldn't be surprised if a sanctioning body elevates Jaron Ennis to number one in their welterweight rankings....Nonito Donaire-Reymart Gaballo will take place on Dec. 11 at 'the War Grounds' in Carson. That same evening, ESPN will have Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey from the Garden in New York....Roman Roy of 'Succession' gets me to laugh  more than any character on TV.... 'the Dark Side of the Ring' on the WWE steroid trials was a really good episode....To put it bluntly, for many combat sports fans, the undercard for Canelo-Plant will be the UFC card, up until the main event on Showtime PPV....I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com...

About Author
Plant's Day of Reckoning
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for UCNlive.com.
  • Was a boxing reporter for ESPN.com from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.