Published with permission from World Wide Boxing @Facebook.com
New York – Julio Cesar Chavez has always been considered the greatest fighter to come out of Mexico. He always faced the challenge and took care of business that established a legacy. Opponents came and left to defeat in attempts to take that legacy away from Chavez.
It was a historic run and Mexico will always consider Chavez as their icon.
Now, though, Mexico and the sport of boxing has Canelo Alvarez who continues to build his legacy. Alvarez is expected to continue that legacy Saturday night, but Caleb Plant will attempt to change the plan and unify the super middleweight titles at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay-Per View.
“You will see something; it’s time,” Alvarez said to Plant at the weigh-in Friday afternoon. “He will feel something different, believe me.”
But every expectation is it will be no different from the others that have propelled Alvarez, 31 years of age, as the holder of three titles at 168. Plant holds the other belt and both will attempt to become the sixth fighter to unify in the four-title era, first at super middleweight.
Either way, Alvarez and Plant will make boxing history, unless, of course, the 12-round fight ends in a draw. And from this perspective, since those two controversial fights with Gennady Golovkin, then for the middleweight belts, Alvarez has been dominant.
The legacy has been built. There is that quiet ego of Canelo Alvarez and for many, he is the face of boxing. He is the best pound-for-pound fighter. We never stop talking about this legacy, because Alvarez is that rare category of a modern fighter defending his titles often.
This will be his fourth title defense in 12-months. Get to the record books and recall when a champion has defended his titles four times in a calendar year? But fighting often, living up to expectations of being the best, that has also become a part of this legacy.
Alvarez is now the richest and active fighter on the planet. He is the top free agent, and dictates what network will distribute his next pay-per-view fight. This time Showtime Boxing got the rights, instead of DAZN the streaming network which has made Alvarez tons of money over the past few years.
It was supposed to be a tough fight with Billy Joe Saunders in May, but it became a typical Alvarez TKO, a third title in the division that led to this historic unification of the titles.
In what has become a busy boxing season, five consecutive weeks of showcasing champions and young superstars, Alvarez versus Plant has been anticipated. There is that respect fighters give each other, but deep down these two have a dislike for each other.
The animosity reached a crescendo in September when both came to blows at their Los Angeles faceoff on a podium during the initial press conference. They scuffled a bit and Plant sustained a minor gash below his eye.
Canelo, again, said Plant was a” Mother ******”and it became personal. That animosity has built this into more than a mega fight. This week the final presser, and the weigh-in Friday was calm before the storm.
But you could see what is expected to come, a possible slugfest. And those final hours before the first bell have become the anticipated fight of the year, possibly surpassing Shawn Porter and Terence Crawford in their welterweight title showdown, also in Las Vegas two weeks from Saturday.
Plant believes Alvarez is a fake. He continues to revive the almost year suspension that Alvarez took after testing positive for an illegal enhancement drug.
Of course that controversy is always putting a blemish on the legacy, though those with short memories have put that suspension in the past. The legacy has continued, and overall Canelo Alvarez is always the talk of boxing and the top attraction.
So Saturday night, the legacy is expected to continue. A majority of the boxing public, including the experts, have Alvarez winning this within eight rounds. Some expect a 12-round decision, and if so, the hope is judges get this right.
Plant will box and punch, and he is good at that. But Canelo Alvarez knows how to scout his opponents. He eventually uses his speed and those power punches to the body are difficult to handle. Alvarez weighed in at the limit of 168, and Plant a pound under.
So both are in great shape and Canelo has that determination in his eyes.
Plant said he loves being the underdog.
“You can cheer for him (Canelo) all you want, you can boo for me all you want. Remember, it’s easy to sit on those seats, it ain’t easy to stand up here,” he said addressing the pro Alvarez crowd Friday afternoon after the weigh-in.
But, I expect the same result as we have seen this year in three previous fights. Canelo Alvarez will wear down Plant and go to the body for another finish by the seventh or eighth round.
The legacy will continue, and it’s a matter of time before he is known as the greatest fighter to come out of Mexico along with that other legend named Chavez.
Keep It In The Ring. Be Safe
Rich Mancuso: Twitter @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso Listen to Rich analyze the fight and more about boxing Sunday night with Ricky Ricardo on WIP Sports Radio WIP and on sports radio 66 WFAN NY next Saturday.
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