Dmitry Bivol favourite to face Canelo Alvarez after Caleb Plant collapse

Undefeated WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is now the frontrunner to face Canelo Alvarez after a fight between the pound-for-pound #1 and Caleb Plant fell through.

Plant was set to fight the WBA, WBO and WBC light heavyweight champion Canelo on September 18, but the unification fight was called off over contract disputes.

The IBF titleholder Plant pointed the blame at Canelo for the collapse of the fight and questioned his motives in the sport.

"It was always agreed that it was a [title] unification; no rematch for either fighter. Towards the end of negotiations they asked for a rematch when they lose, no problem, you can have the rematch as well, I just wanna fight," Plant said.

"I question whether legacy or money is their real motive."

In comes the undefeated Bivol, who won the WBA interim light heavyweight title in 2016 and was promoted to undisputed champion the following year. The Russian picked up his fifth consecutive unanimous decision win in May, defending his title against Craig Richards.

Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn recently appeared on the DAZN Boxing Show and hinted at Canelo vs Bivol.

“There’s been some discussions with Dmitry Bivol over the last few weeks, that’s a good fight at light heavyweight,” Hearn said.

“Up at light heavyweight you’ve got [WBO titleholder] Joe Smith Jr, [WBC and IBF champion] Artur Beterbiev, but I think Bivol would be that frontrunner. He was certainly a guy that I put forward again last night.”

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Hearn also touched on the collapsed fight between Canelo and Plant. Whilst September 18 is out of the question for the fight, Hearn stated Canelo wants to unify his titles meaning a fight with Plant could be rescheduled for a later date.

"From our side, I’ve been kept up to speed with the situation with Eddy Reynoso and kind of left the lawyers to deal with that fight. We know the undisputed fight is one that [Alvarez] wants to make." he continued.

“Obviously, it wasn’t able to get over the line for September 18 and now we’ve got to look at either the alternatives or remain working on that fight.

“We’ll see what happens. I spoke to Canelo last night. I spoke to Eddy Reynoso last night. We talked about some other opponents. Of course, I’m still sure that there’s some options to pursue in terms of seeing if the Plant fight is possible, perhaps on another date."

The sport's leading star Canelo has rarely been troubled in the ring since his split decision draw against Gennady Golovkin in 2017. He has picked up stoppage victories in his last two fights, going eight rounds with Billy Joe Saunders in May and dispatching Avni Yildrim in three rounds in February.

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