The biggest fight of the year was announced this week as many other stories in boxing began to unfold. This is what happened this week in boxing (August 15 – August 22, 2021).
Canelo vs. Plant Confirmed
In what could prove to be the saving grace of 2021 for boxing. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) will get his shot of becoming undisputed as he will face Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) on November 6.
The fight will take place in Las Vegas and will see Canelo put his WBC, WBC, WBO and The Ring titles on the line. Plant will also defend his IBF strap that he won in 2019 against Jose Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs).
Within one year Canelo has the chance to become the undisputed king of the super-middleweight division, an achievement never seen before in boxing.
Posting to his Instagram page, Canelo showed his excitement for the fight –
“This November we’ll put Mexican boxing on top. Let’s go for the missing belt!”
Talking to The Ring he also added –
“I’m very excited about this and about becoming the first undisputed Latino super-middleweight champion in boxing history. I’m happy to make history. I’m going to unify all of the belts.”
Plant who arguably is untested in his career as of yet, will be in the ring with one of the greatest fighters of the last ten years, and undoubtedly the current pound-for-pound king.
The IBF champ from Tennessee is the bigger out of the two at six foot one. However, Canelo has a great track record against fighters bigger than him.
The anticipation now builds every day as November will see one of the most anticipated fights in recent memory.
Olympic Champions to Turn Pro
Following from their success at the Olympics a few weeks ago, Team GB medallists Ben Whittaker and Galal Yafai announced this week that they will take their talents into the professional ranks.
Whittaker, who won the silver medal in the light-heavyweight division, made his announcement live on British television on Soccer AM –
“I need world titles to feel like I’ve done something, so that’s the next step.”
Whittaker made headlines with his comments after a disappointing performance in the gold medal bout. He also refused to wear his medal on the podium, but has since apologized.
Yafai, who won the gold medal in the flyweight division, opened up about his beliefs on the amateur scene and why he needs to make the jump to pro –
“I don’t really like amateur boxing, but because I got to the Olympics I had to go, and I just happened to win gold as well. Put me in great stead to hopefully be a world champion.”
It is reported that Yafai will make his professional debut before the end of the year.
Pac Man Suffers Defeat at 42
In what was expected to be another victory in the long career of Manny Pacquaio (62-8-2, 39 KOs) Saturday night saw age become the defining factor as Yordenis Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) became victorious over Pacquaio in 12 rounds to solidify his WBA welterweight title.
Ugas won the ‘regular’ WBA strap in September 2020 after a split decision victory over Abel Ramos (27-4, 21 KOs) in California. Ugas was later improved to the WBA’s ‘super’ champion before the fight against Pacquaio.
Outboxing and using his youth to his advantage the Cuban managed to convince all three judges at ringside. The painful question on boxing fans lips will be; is this is the end of Manny Pacquaio’s wonderful career?
Pacquaio remains the only fighter in the history of boxing to reign as world champion in four separate decades.
After the fight he addressed the questions about his future –
“I don’t know. Let me relax and then make a decision.”
Ugas now eyes a shot at the rest of the division as a potential fight against the WBC and IBF holder Errol Spence Jr. (27-0, 21 KOs) could be a possibility.
‘Mundos’ Second Chance
Former WBA and The Ring super-middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) is set to return to the ring against Lenin Castillo (20-3-1, 15 KOs) on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs Oleksander Usyk in September.
The fight will be Smith’s first fight since his defeat to Canelo last year. Leaving the division he dominated for a few years, Smith will make the jump to light-heavyweight in a bid at another world title reign.
His opponent Castillo, from the Dominican Republic most notably fought Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) in 2019 for the WBA light-heavyweight title. He lost via unanimous decision over 12 rounds in Chicago.
The division is beginning to look stacked with the likes of Joshua Buatsi (15-0, 13 KOs) leaping up the ranks, a domestic battle between Smith and Buatsi would be a thing of dreams for British boxing fans.