Canelo Alvarez-Caleb Plant Unification and Sunder Random Boxing Musings
By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
Thu, 04 Nov 2021
Boxing's lone remaining superstar Canelo Alvarez tries to add the remaining jewel in his world super middleweight title collection as he takes on undefeated American Caleb Plant this weekend in Las Vegas.
Alvarez is the heavy favorite to win the fight and unify all the belts at 167 lbs., something which he has not done at super welterweight and the middleweight due mainly to boxing politics.
He has previously won a belt at the higher light heavyweight division at the expense of the erstwhile highly regarded Sergei Kovalev but he decided to drop it and return to the super middleweight. That precluded at least for the time being a clash against the 175 lbs class recognized beast, Artur Beterbiev who has won all his fights so far by knockout.
Odds are stacked in favor of the redhead Mexican whose only career loss came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr at 154 lbs. nearly a decade ago. He is pegged at 1,200-100 favorite to win over the lanky Plant. All twenty Boxing experts polled by the Ring Magazine saw him winner, mostly by knockout or stoppage.
Should Canelo win as expected, he would be a serious candidate for the Fighter of the Year award for 2021 alongside heavyweight big winners Oleksander Usyk and Tyson Fury, super lightweight undisputed champion Josh Taylor and possibly, the over achieving Shakur Stevenson.
With nothing more to conquer and prove at 167, perhaps Canelo could cast his eyes on the light heavyweight with big money fights versus Beterbiev and possibly, fellow Mexican, undefeated Gilberto Ramirez
The prodigious professional boxing run of Tursynbay Kulakhmet, the former Kazakh middleweight amateur standout and world championship losing semi-finalist to Eumir Felix Marcial ended on a disastrous note in his fifth pro bout.
In a huge upset, Colombian veteran Juan Carlos Abreu (24-6-1, 22 KOs) knocked out highly regarded and previously unbeaten Tursynbay Kulakhmet (4-1, 3 KOs) in round seven to seize the WBC International super welter title on Friday night at the famous York Hall in London. Abreu came off the canvas in round two to drop Kulakhmet and then lay him out face down with his follow-up barrage.
Before turning pro in 2020, Kulakhmet was on a 17 fight winning streak as an amateur before he ran smack against Marcial in the 2019 World Amateur Boxing Championships in Russia where he got floored and was outpointed by the Filipino.
The Kazakh turned pro as super welterweight and won the WBC International belt in his second fight. He won his next two fights including a one round demolition of then undefeated Heber Costa. But his inexperience showed against Abreau when he immediately got up from a knockdown despite still dazed and the Colombian whose only stoppage loss was to the very promising Jarron Ennis at welterweight in 2016, capitalised and starched the Kazakh.
Perhaps, Marcial and MP Promotion taking their time in moving forward with his career as a pro at middleweight is the better way.
Japan may be ahead of the Philippines now in pro boxing with the retirement of Manny Pacquiao and their more numerous world champions and world class fighters but Japanese fight managers and even fans are looking closely at the progress of Filipino fighters especially at minimumweight and the bantamweight.
I have been receiving inquiries about how we are doing in returning boxing in the Philippines, including the possibility of Japanese fighters coming in for fights and training.
Japan has successfully returned both amateur and professional boxing in June 2020 but in general, it is limited to just Japanese fighters. Foreign fighters are still not allowed to fight in Japan.
The first and only time a foreigner was allowed entry was last December and it did not turn out well as Geimel Magramo was inadvertently deprived of time for proper conditioning, acclimatization and further training. Magramo was dominated and lost by knockout to the host's Junto Nakatani for the vacant WBO flyweight title.
This prompted Bob Arum to declare that no visiting fighter would have a fair chance of winning in Japan as he insisted on ward, Naoya Inoue to hold his fights in the US instead.
Well, Naoya is reported to be fighting his next bout in Japan against a Thai in another defense of his unified WBA-IBF titles.
Let us see.
Meanwhile, Japanese fight managers and fans and probably Arum too are keeping a keen eye on the all-Filipino WBC bantamweight title fight between Nonito Donaire and Reymart Gaballo and Johnriel Casimero defense of his WBO belt versus ex titlist Paul Butler of the UK. Winners of these bouts would be prime foe for Inoue in 2022.
Japanese fight managers are reportedly casting covetous eyes on the bevy of world class and highly rated Filipino fighters at the minimumweight and light flyweight classes as possible title or title eliminator opponents for their own aspiring wards led by the Shigeoka brothers, Ginjiro and Yudai who are named by the Ring Magazine as next Japanese world title prospects.
The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at email@example.com and by phone 09215309477.
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