KEY POINTS

  • Canelo Alvarez's dominance over Caleb Plant can be traced back to his loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013
  • Alvarez broke through Plant's shoulder roll defense mainly with left hooks to open up his combinations
  • The victory over Plant has given Alvarez the distinction of the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez left no doubt in anyone’s mind that he truly is one of the greatest boxers of his generation and it is all thanks to fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In September 2013, a 23-year-old Alvarez was riding a 42-fight win streak with one draw and was slated to face Mayweather in a super fight of epic proportions billed as “The One.”

It was highly anticipated as Alvarez was believed to be the one who would break Mayweather’s undefeated streak, but it turned out into a masterclass that the young upstart would learn from.

Being the master tactician that he is, Mayweather allowed Alvarez to take control of the center of the ring and be more aggressive.

Veteran fight fans would note that this is how Mayweather would operate in order to pick apart his opponent’s game plan.

Alvarez gladly obliged and would pay for it throughout the whole fight.

The then 36-year-old was employing his shoulder roll defense to perfection, making Alvarez miss multiple times before firing quick shots that surprised the youngster.

Whenever he would lunge forward and attack, Mayweather got him right where he wanted him after evading Canelo’s shots and hitting him with hard counters.

The lack of head movement from “Canelo” was appalling, yet made little to no adjustments to it as the fight dragged on.

Alvarez’s lack of top-tier opponents and relative inexperience at that level reared its ugly head and manifested itself in a majority decision in favor of Mayweather, with judge C. J. Ross controversially scoring it a 114-114 draw.

His most recent dominance of Caleb Plant was the culmination of what he had learned in fighting Mayweather.

Caleb Plant, Saul Alvarez Saul "Canelo" Alvarez lands a flush uppercut to Caleb Plant's face during their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena at Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mikael Ona

Eight years removed from that fight, Alvarez is now wiser and more intelligent with his punches.

Plant tried to use Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense against Alvarez, but he had it scouted as early as the first round and made him pay with counters.

Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Caleb Plant Saul "Canelo" Alvarez throws a left uppercut into the side of Caleb Plant's face in their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Photo: Mikael Ona

Noticing that Plant has a tendency to keep his chin up the air and a hole in the midsection of his defense, Alvarez took advantage of it and battered Plant with multiple left hooks to open up his combinations.

Alvarez also took away Plant's reach advantage by repeatedly going right up into his space and battering him with combinations at a whim.

Saul Alvarez Saul "Canelo" Alvarez gets up into Caleb Plant's body, forcing him to cover up in their November 6, 2021 fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Photo: Mikael Ona

This is in stark contrast to his jab-heavy attack plan against Mayweather and he fully bought into this change against Plant, finishing him in the 11th round via knockout.

Now reigning as the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion, Alvarez will get to celebrate his latest accomplishment while waiting for his first challenger.