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.

Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant.

Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant.

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:

Round 1

Escorted to the ring by a rocking Mana song amid the waving of Mexican flags, Alvarez saluted his overwhelming fan base by bowing to each corner. The odds favoring Alvarez shrunk late toward Plant, with Alvarez going off at -750 and facing the 21st champion of his career.

Plant sends jabs that Canelo blocks with his gloves. Alvarez stuck a left hand to the face and landed a right, followed by another. Canelo lands a left and harder right to the body in the feel-out round.

10-9 Alvarez

Round 2:

Plant uppercuts. An Alvarez left and two body shots follow Plant’s continued jab work. Alvarez shrugs off a Plant combination and charges ahead. So Plant tries the body. Alvarez corners Plant and scores inside body shots. But Plant was more active.


Round 3

Plant jabs. Good left uppercut by Plant. Plant lands a left to the head. Left hook and right to body by Canelo. Plant j

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant live round-by-round fight analysis


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