Best bets for the middleweight boxing title fight
Canelo Alvarez vs Caleb Plant odds
Boxing cash cow, reigning WBA / WBC / WBO unified super middleweight champion and pound-for-pound king Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) returns to the ring to face the ‘IBF Super undefeated. Middleweight title holder at Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) on his way to becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history.
Like any other Canelo fight, he’s considered a big favorite with an odds of -1000, giving him an implied 85% chance of winning and becoming the undisputed first super middleweight champion.
Is Alvarez as much of a lock to make history at 168 pounds as his odds suggest? Our two boxing analysts Raheem Palmer and Malik Smith break down the fight and give their favorite bets below.
Is Canelo Alvarez still improving?
Rahim Palmer: Alvarez has become a fixture in the boxing world at this point in his career, it can be easy to forget how awesome his resume really is at a relatively young age. He has won belts in four different weight classes – 154 pounds, 160 pounds, 168 pounds and 175 pounds – holds a 15-1-1 record against current and former world champions, and has inflicted five of those former champions their first professional defeat.
He’s been so good for so long that you’d be forgiven if you forgot that his first and only career loss came at the hands of Floyd Mayweather Jr. when Alvarez was just 23 years old. His growth has been huge and it could easily be argued that Canelo is getting even better, which could be bad news for Plant in this fight.
So what makes Alvarez so great?
Of the many things on this list, versatility is at the top. With 59 pro fights on his resume, he’s fought just about every style of fighter you can imagine – tough hitters, elusive fighters, technically strong boxers – and conquered them all except Mayweather.
He’s one of the most accurate fighters in the sport according to CompuBox tracking data, landing 47.5% of his total shots (tied with Terence Crawford for second-highest rate). For a fighter who’s won devastating knockouts, his power isn’t obvious, but he tends to wear down on his opponents – his last six fights have ended in a stoppage.
In his most recent fight, Billy Joe Saunders appeared to have Alvarez where he wanted him in rounds 4-7 before Alvarez came back in eighth with a barrage of heads and body shots that forced Saunders to give up on the stool before the next round.
And then there is the defense.
In Canelo’s last five fights, he hasn’t allowed an opponent to give him even a quarter of his total hits:
Alvarez Opponent Connection Percent – Last Five Fights
|May 2021||Billy Joe Saunders||21%|
|February 2021||Avni Yildirim||ten%|
|Dec. 2020||Callum smith||18%|
|Nov 2019||Sergei Kovalev||15%|
|May 2019||Daniel Jacobs||20%|
These numbers cover fights in three weight classes against boxers who each had the height advantage and all but one (Yildirim) had a range advantage. Canelo is just a different beast.
Plant enters a completely different stratosphere when he steps into the ring with Alvarez and it’s likely his own size (5 inches taller) and reach (3.5 inches taller) won’t help him much. For what it’s worth, Plant exudes confidence, but his experience at this level is lacking.
He fights behind a powerful jab, but certainly doesn’t have the power that Alvarez’s previous opponents have brought to the table. He won his most recent fight against Caleb Truax, but couldn’t beat a man who already had two TKO losses to his credit.
To win a fight against Alvarez, Plant will need to either dominate for 12 rounds and gain volume, or score a knockdown and potentially a knockout. It’s a tough task against the best fighter on the planet.
Alvarez vs. Plant Pick
The extra motivation Plant sparked by disrespecting Canelo’s mother during a pre-fight press conference is certainly not helping his cause. And their brawl ended with Plant cut off under his right eye.
Motivation aside, this fight is a huge step forward for Plant whose previous seven opponents before beating José Uzcátegui for the IBF super middleweight title had an average world ranking of 159.5.
It’s hard to choose against Canelo in any fight and with recent saves against Saunders, Yıldırım, and Kovalev, the results of his fights are reaching Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s levels of inevitability.
The biggest issue for Plant in this game is that he doesn’t have the power to keep Canelo honest and given his tendency to split when throwing punches, we could see Canelo timing him like when he broke. Saunders orbital bone with an uppercut.
Canelo’s counter-punch ability is still one of the best in the sport and while Plant has solid speed and good movement, we could see his flaws exposed against the best fighter in the sport. Canelo still has a tendency to go round but he is the best fighter in the sport who gets better with every fight even at 31 years old.
With 21 fights in his career, Plant doesn’t have the CV or the experience to match Canelo. Look for Plant to make it competitive early and for Canelo to break it down and get a late stop. BetMGM has the best odds for Alvarez to get a -190 KO / TKO win and I would bet down to -210.
The choice : Canelo Alvarez by KO, TKO or DQ (-190)
Malik Smith: Canelo is overpriced here in my opinion, which is the norm for boxing favorites, but even though he was fairly priced – around -590 (85.53% implied) – bet his money line doesn would not be worth it.
Plant isn’t child’s play and I think his style will take Canelo some time to adjust as he finds the best way to attack the IBF champion. The plant is named ‘Sweethands’ for a reason, but I’m curious how much he moves his head and feet. Canelo hasn’t wrestled with a lot of fighters since his first loss, but guys who move well tend to make Alvarez work harder.
I expect Alvarez to put pressure on Plant and try to get him to trade so he can work his body and slow down his opponent. It will take time, however, which is why I am inclined to bet the total in two ways.
I think there is value in betting this fight to go under. Four of Canelo’s last eight fights have come to a decision and the other four have been wins by save. Three of the four stoppage wins came in the eighth round or earlier and the other in the 11th when he rose to 175 pounds to fight Kovalev.
Canelo’s approach is very different when he fights legitimate punchers versus guys who box and win rounds; he has come the distance with Smith, Jacobs and Golovkin who are all legitimate punchers. And in case Plant does catch Canelo sliding, I don’t see it happening in later turns when his punches will have less zip on them.
I would bet the under 10 rounds at -125, but I would also put money on the fight that ends between rounds 5-8 at +200 at BetMGM.
The choice : Under 10 (-125) | The fight ends in rounds 5-8 (+200)