Canelo Álvarez and Caleb Plant couldn’t wait until November 6 to start throwing hands.
The super middleweight champions traded blows at their press conference on Tuesday to promote their upcoming title unification fight, and the trade left Plant with a cut under his right eye.
The fighters got into a scuffle after exchanging verbal blows during the showdown ceremony before the press conference began in the backyard of the Beverly Hilton. Apparently, in response to a comment from Plant about Álvarez’s mother, the Mexican superstar knocked Plant down with a two-handed push.
“You can tell me whatever you want, but not about my mother,” Álvarez said afterwards.
Plant stepped forward and threw a left hook at Álvarez, who dodged it most of the time and countered with a left hand to Plant’s face. Plant said the blow hit his sunglasses, which got caught in his cheek and caused the cut.
“We were just saying things, just normal jokes, and then he did what he did,” Plant said.
Álvarez put it succinctly on Twitter posting a video of the hubbub: “Don’t talk about my mom. “
The combat camps eventually separated them, but Plant was left dabbing the blood on his cheek. He finally put on his sunglasses for a frigid, combative press conference in which Plant repeatedly called out lvarez for his doping violations in 2018.
Álvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) to risk his WBC, WBA and WBO super middleweight titles against Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), the undefeated IBF champion of Tennessee, when they meet at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Plant has repeatedly said that Álvarez and coach Eddy Reynoso are “cheaters”. Álvarez was suspended for six months for clenbuterol detected in a drug test, although the Mexican champion claimed the banned substance came from tainted meat.
“This sport is too dangerous for people to be positive,” Plant said. “He’s a cheater. This is not to be discussed. Has he been suspended? Has he tested positive? This is not what I am saying. This is what the (athletic) commission said. You have to take this with them, not with me.
Reynoso responded angrily when he was pressed by Álvarez’s past positive test and the most recent failed doping test for Oscar Valdez, Canelo’s training partner. Speaking in Spanish, Reynoso did not directly respond to Plant’s comments, but instead suggested laymanly that Plant was not training hard enough to win in seven weeks.
“The use of illegal substances doesn’t happen because you are confident,” Plant said. “It happens because you are afraid. It just gives me more confidence. I have devoted a lot to this sport, and it will be my life’s work that will come together when I beat it. It would put my name on the history books, and that’s what I’m here for.
Álvarez is unbeaten in 15 fights since his only career loss to Floyd Mayweather in 2013. He traded insults with Plant after their physical exchange, but kept his public comments shorter.
“For me, it’s for history, for Mexico, for my team,” he said. “I’m going to take this guy out in less than eight rounds. “