KEY POINTS

  • Caleb Plant should not feel any hint of shame for losing to Alvarez
  • The 29-year-old has the skills to be at the top of the division, but lacked the polish to fend off Canelo Alvarez's attacks
  • This fight should be Plant's career-changing fight, similar how Alvarez bounced back mightily after losing to Floyd Mayweather

All the smack talk between Caleb Plant and Saul "Canelo" Alvarez finally came to a head last Saturday, November 6, and the former IBF champion should keep his head high.

Plant was aggressive in the early going, pushing the pace on Alvarez and getting him to be more defensive while employing a shoulder roll defense similar to that of Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s.

Caleb Plant, Saul Alvarez Caleb plant lands a rare jab on Saul Alvarez in their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mikael Ona

Recognizing that Alvarez had difficulty breaking Mayweather’s defense in their fight, Plant leaned heavily into this game plan as he hoped that his opponent’s aggressive nature will allow him to land some clean shots.

The problem for Plant here is two-fold: Alvarez had learned from his mistakes in fighting Mayweather and the American is not as proficient as Mayweather is when it comes to doing the shoulder roll.

The 29-year-old did not fully commit to the shoulder roll defense as he mixed it up with a standard high-guard defense and lacked the proficiency that Mayweather has.

Moreover, he would lean back but would neglect the little things like using his forearm to block the jabs and rolling with the punches.

Alvarez took advantage of this and threw lead left hooks repeatedly right into the upper midsection of Plant’s body and right hands over the top of his shoulder, forcing him to open up and be susceptible to combinations.

All of these things would culminate towards him being knocked down for the first time in his career and the subsequent sequence towards the knockout finish in the 11th round.

Going up against a fighter as elite as Alvarez is no easy feat, and Plant did his best to hang in the ring with the very first undisputed champion of the super middleweight division.

To Plant’s credit, Alvarez is not an easy problem to solve and he did have his moments in the fight after tagging him with counters, but not any hard shots that made "Canelo" move away from his game plan.

There is a reason why he was a champion prior to facing Alvarez, but the 31-year-old Mexican was simply just levels above him in terms of skill in the ring.

Getting his first-ever career loss to one of the sport’s greatest fighters is nothing to be ashamed about and Plant deserves more than enough credit for taking Alvarez’s shots for the better part of 11 rounds.

What Plant should take away from this fight is that his boxing foundation is sturdy enough to hang with Alvarez, but he lacks the polish to truly contend at that level.

Caleb Plant, Canelo Alvarez Caleb Plant lands a right hook on Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mikael Ona

If losing to Mayweather was Alvarez's career-changing fight, Plant should see this loss the same way.

The greatest fighters in boxing history know how to bounce back from a loss, and Plant does have the tools to compete for titles, but at least now he knows which facets of his game need more practice.

Canelo Alvarez Saul "Canelo" Alvarez" lands a punch through the guard of Caleb Plant in their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mikael Ona