Ten rounds as a quiet July turns the corner into what should be a busy August . . .
10. So what really happened between Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez and Caleb Plant? ESPN reported this week that talks for a September fight between the two were “100% dead.” Álvarez, 31, had hoped to lock in a full 168-pound unification fight against Plant, 29, with September 18th as the targeted date. On Thursday I asked Eddie Hearn, who works closely with Álvarez, what the sticking point was in the negotiations.
“Well, the easy answer to that is that all the terms requested weren’t agreeable on various sides,” Hearn told Sports Illustrated. “We made an offer to PBC to do the fight on DAZN. PBC made an offer to Canelo Álvarez to do the fight on Fox. I discussed that offer with [manager/trainer] Eddy Reynoso and Canelo. We agreed to move forward with that offer. At that point, as my conversation with Saúl went, I’m his promoter. I’m on the team, but effectively I’m not promoting the show because it’s a PBC show, which I have no problem with, because legacy is more important at this point.
“And when the contracts came through, it wasn’t agreed on both sides. I’ve seen the comments from Caleb Plant. I’m sure Saúl’s got his own opinions of those comments as well, but the important thing is it couldn’t be agreed and it couldn’t be agreed for September the 18th.”
9. So what’s next for Álvarez? Hearn has offered up Dmitry Bivol, a 175-pound titleholder, as a potential opponent, while keeping the door open that a Plant fight could be revisited. I asked Hearn if Bivol was the frontrunner now that negotiations with Plant had stalled.
“Not necessarily, but that’s definitely a strong option,” Hearn said. “Before the Plant offer was effectively accepted, Dmitry Bivol was the fight that we, as in DAZN, were pushing as an alternative. Dmitry Bivol was on board with that flight. I think it’s a very good fight.
“There are some other options at 168 pounds, but Dmitry Bivol was certainly a fight. Canelo’s got a knack for facing champions and I think he loves to do it. And Dmitry Bivol is a great champion at 175 pounds, so that would definitely be an option. But again, when we talk about time frame in seven weeks, Dmitry Bivol is in training, but there’s going to be some point where Dmitry Bivol turns around and says, ‘Look, I’m out for September 18th.’ And that is probably very soon to be quite honest.”
8. And what about Gennadiy Golovkin? The timing would seem perfect to revisit talks for a third fight between two of boxing’s biggest stars. Golovkin, who has not fought since last December, is planning a late December showdown with middleweight titleholder Ryōta Murata. But he has been seeking an opponent to face before that. After close, compelling bouts between the two in 2017 and ’18, there would be significant mainstream interest in a third. I asked Hearn, who has worked with Golovkin, if Canelo was considering a GGG fight.