Similar to any Anthony Joshua fight week a Canelo Alvarez fight week is special. This week is no exception as the Mexican icon looks to unify all four belts at 168 pounds when he takes on the undefeated “Sweethands” Caleb Plant, 21-0 (12) of Ashland City, Tennesse. Canelo Alvarez,56-1-2 (38) captured three of the four belts ar super middleweight all in the last 12 months. He won the WBA crown and the vacant WBC strap when he outlasted Callum Smith back in December of 2020 in Texas. He then defended those belts against Avni Yildrim in February, stopping Yildrim in just three rounds. He then returned to Texas this time at AT&T Stadium in May to capture the WBO strap by beating up and stopping Billy Joe Saunders in eight rounds. The only belt he doesn’t have is the IBF crown that is owned by Plant, who won the belt in January of 2019 by outpointing Jose Uzcategui in Los Angeles. Plant has gone on to defend his title once in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and not against the world’s best competition. In 2019 Sweethands stopped an overmatched Mike Lee in three rounds. Last year he returned to his home state of Tennessee and stopped mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany and then earlier this year he scored a wide points decision victory over former world champ but against Caleb Truax back in January.
The undercard is topped by former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell of Flint, Michigan. Dirrell, 33-2-2 (24) has twice held the WBC super-middleweight belt a strap ow held by Canelo. He originally won the belt back in the summer of 2014 by outpointing Sakio Bika at the Stub Hub in Carson, California. He lost the belt in his inaugural defense eight months later to Badou Jack in Chicago. He would go on to capture the crown a second time when he defeated Yildirim in February of 2019 via TD at the Armory in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Michigander has not won a bout since the Yildrim fight. He lost his belt to David Benavidez when he was stopped on cuts in a very competitive fight. He fought again in February and settled for a very disputed draw against Kyrone Davis. Dirrell will take what amounts to a tune-up against Marcos Hernandez. Hernandez sports a mediocre record of just 15-4-2 (3) but is coming off a career-best win against Jose Armando Resendiz in Minnesota two months ago. He also has a draw with former unified 154-pound champ Jeison Rosario back in 2018.
The card also features the return of former 122-pound world champion the undefeated Rey Vargas puts his 34-0 (22) record against Leonardo Baez in a 10 round super bantamweight affair. It’s been well over 2+ years since Vargas last fought. Back in July of 2019, he outpointed Tomoki Kameda in a highly competitive fight. Vargas held the WBC version of the 122-pound crown. A belt he won by outpointing Gavin McDonnell in February of 2017 and defended it four times through 2019. He will take on the 21-4 (12) Baez who has won three straight fights, all by way of stoppage, since losing to Carlos Caraballo via fourth-round TKO in Puerto Rico. Baez last fought in August when he disposed of a 5-27-2 fighter by the name of Jorge Alfredo Pitta in Tijuana, Mexico.
Also on the card is undefeated blue-chip Super Featherweight prospect “El Gallo” Jose Manuel Gomez. Gomez returns from a two-year layoff and puts his 12-0 (5) on the line against Jose Antonio Meza of Durango, Mexico. Meza sports a 7-6 (2) record but has gone the distance with two very highly touted prospects in his last two fights. He lost a unanimous decision to US Silver medalist Keyshawn Davis on the undercard of Canelo-Saunders and then lost a very, very, competitive decision to Eric Puente in June on the undercard of Inoue-Dasmarinas in Las Vegas. Gomez last fought in 2019 on the undercard of Wilder vs Ortiz II and stopped Daniel Placeres in three one-sided rounds. Gomez dropped his opponent in each of the three rounds.