Fight Week: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant: Who will be undisputed?

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FIGHT WEEK

CANELO ALVAREZ AND CALEB PLANT WILL FIGHT FOR THE UNDISPUTED 168-POUND CHAMPIONSHIP ON PAY-PER-VIEW SATURDAY NIGHT IN LAS VEGAS.

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MIKAELA MAYER (15-0, 5 KOs) VS. MAIVA HAMADOUCHE (22-1, 18 KOs)

  • When: Friday, Nov. 5

  • Where: Virgin Hotels, Las Vegas

  • TV/Stream: ESPN+

  • Division: Junior lightweight

  • At stake: Mayer’s WBO and Hamadouche’s IBF titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Janibek Alimkhanuly vs. Hassan N’Dam, middleweights

  • Prediction: Mayer UD

  • Background: Mayer could face her stiffest test yet in the ESPN+ main event on Saturday. The 2016 U.S. Olympian has faced increasingly tough opposition, including Ewa Brodnicks to win the WBO title (UD) in October of last year and Erica Anabella Farias in her first and only defense (UD) this past June. The 31-year-old Los Angeles-area product, a polished technician and good athlete, has been able to outbox even her most-accomplished opponents. Hamadouche, also 31, won the vacant IBF title by outpointing Jennifer Salinas in 2016 and has successfully defended six times, including an eighth-round stoppage of Nina Pavlovic last December. That was the Frenchwoman’s most recent fight, meaning she will have been out of the ring for 10-plus months. Hamadouche is an aggressive fighter, which should make for an interesting style matchup against the slick Mayer. She also has an unusually high knockout rate, which is a product of her style but also might be attributable in part to her opposition. Hamadouche competed in the Tokyo Olympics this past summer. She was eliminated in the first round.

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CANELO ALVAREZ (56-1-2, 38 KOs) VS. CALEB PLANT (21-0, 12 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Nov. 6

  • Where: MGM Grand, Las Vegas

  • TV/Stream: Pay-per-view

  • Division: Super middleweight

  • At stake: Alvarez’s WBA, WBC, WBO and Plant’s IBF titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: Alvarez No. 2

  • Odds: Alvarez 8-1 (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Anthony Dirrell vs. Marcos Hernandez, super middleweights; Rey Vargas vs. Leonardo Baez, junior featherweights; Elvis Rodriguez vs. Juan Pablo Romero, junior welterweights

  • Prediction: Alvarez KO 10

  • Background: Canelo Alvarez has accomplished as much as any active fighter but has never become one thing: an undisputed champion. He will check that off his list if he beats Plant, who holds the only major 168-pound belt that isn’t in Alvarez’s collection. The 31-year-old Mexican, a four-division titleholder and pound-for-pound star, outpointed Callum Smith to win the WBC and WBA belts last December, stopped Avni Yildirm in three rounds in February and added the WBO title by knocking out Billy Joe Saunders in eight in May. He’s 14-0-1 (8 KOs) since he was outpointed by Floyd Mayweather in 2013, his only loss. He’s 16-1-1 (9 KOs) in major title fights. The 6-foot-1 Plant started his career in 2014 as a middleweight but quickly moved up to super middleweight, which makes him a natural 168-pounder. He has excellent skills, honed during a successful amateur career, as well as unusual speed and athleticism. He won his belt by easily outpointing the favored Jose Uzcategui in January 2019 and successfully defended against Mike Lee six months later, Vincent Feigenbutz in February of last year and Caleb Truax this past January. He has fought only twice in the past two-plus years while Alvarez has fought twice this year. Alvarez is a significant step up in opposition for the Las Vegas-based Tennessean, who, of course, has his own chance to make history.

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Also fighting this weekend: Matteo Signani (30-5-3, 11 KOs) of Italy faces Ruben Diaz (26-2-2, 17 KOs) of Spain in a scheduled 12-round middleweight bout in Rome (DAZN).