Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez aims to affirm his reign as boxing’s pound-for-pound king Saturday night in Las Vegas when he tries to become the sport’s first undisputed super-middleweight champion of the four-belt era.
The 31-year-old Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) meets International Boxing Federation champion Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Alvarez stands as a -1000 favorite over Nashville’s Plant.
The winner joins Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, Oleksandr Usyk and Josh Taylor as the only male fighters to wear four belts simultaneously. Alvarez, wearing the 168-pound division’s World Boxing Council, World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Organization straps, has won titles in four weight classes ranging from 154 to 175 pounds.
At Friday’s weigh-in, when an adoring crowd that included former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson greeted Alvarez, he exchanged heated words with Plant as they faced off for the cameras.
Minutes later, after Alvarez’s longtime coach Chepo Reynoso told USA Today Sports Plus that Alvarez finds Plant annoying because he’d prefer boxing at this level to be gentlemanly and respectful, Alvarez said he intends to punish his opponent.
The pair took swings at each other to start their introductory news conference in Beverly Hills in September, with Alvarez cutting Plant under the right eye with a short left-handed punch after Plant slapped Alvarez on the cheek.
“He’s going to pay in the ring,” Alvarez told USA Today Sports Plus on Friday.
USA TODAY Sports has round-by-round analysis:
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant live round-by-round fight analysis