Canelo Álvarez not only fulfilled his promise of becoming the first undisputed 168-pound super middleweight champion in boxing Saturday night, but Canelo also inflicted the pain and damage on Caleb Plant he promised before the fight.
Like Billy Joe Saunders after fighting Álvarez, Plant was taken to the hospital after falling via TKO in the 11th round of their fight in Las Vegas on Saturday. Álvarez was already touted as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world before handing Plant his first loss. But in a world that moves so quickly, the next question is one of simplicity.
The big-money fight waiting for Álvarez would be the third bout with Gennadiy Golovkin. But with GGG turning 40 next April, the window for this fight is closing quickly. Golovkin’s only loss came at the hands of Álvarez in 2018, although many viewers of that fight thought GGG should have been the victor in that rematch. Their first fight happened one year earlier and ended in a 12 round split draw. If this fight happens, GGG will likely need to move up to 168 pounds from 160 for it.
Jermall Charlo could also be the next option for Álvarez. He is seen as a fighter in the prime of his career and could be ready to jump from middleweight to super middleweight. Charlo voiced his desire to face the winner of Canelo-Plant, so now, with that settled, it’s time for Álvarez and the PBC to sit down at the negotiating table.
We often talk about boxing failing to give its fans the fights they want when they want them. Charlo is undefeated, and if he can stay unblemished en route to a potential showdown with Álvarez, that would undoubtedly be a mega fight. Now it’s up to the powers that be to make sure it happens.
Canelo’s other options include David Benavidez, Ryota Murata, and even Demetrius Andrade, although right now, Andrade stepping into the ring with Álvarez is a much longer shot than the other fighters mentioned.
Canelo is in the prime of his boxing career at only 31 years of age and would seem to have a lot of good years left in the ring. But we’re familiar with the politics of boxing promotions, which usually gets in the way of what’s best for the sport. Canelo-GGG should be the next big fight sometime next year. But I wouldn’t exactly hold my breath waiting for that to happen.