When Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant stood face to face during a press conference on Sept. 21 in Los Angeles to promote Saturday’s pay-per-view fight, words were exchanged, tempers flared and the Mexican superstar shoved the American across the stage.
Plant collected himself, sauntered across that same platform and literally slapped “the face of boxing,” to which Alvarez responded with a light one-two.
Did that fracas provide us with more symbolic offerings than meet the eye? DAZN approached body language expert Blanca Cobb looking for answers.
Cobb, who has shared her expertise with CNN, Good Morning America and USA Today, reviewed footage from the Canelo-Plant faceoff and came away with distinct body language observations from the moment the conference started all the way to the heated scuffle.
“Caleb is coming out and looking down,” Cobb told DAZN. “He’s shuffling his shoulders and shifting his weight a little bit.”
Meanwhile, she noted that “Canelo is walking up on stage, looking at the crowd and ignoring Caleb.”
Cobb additionally noted that when Alvarez was announced, Plant noticeably showed “contempt.” “There was some disdain there,” she said.
Cobb made other observations about the moment the 168-pound titleholders walked across the stage to meet face to face.
“Canelo is solid, Caleb is swaying just a little bit,” she said. “If Canelo is feeling any type of angst or anxiety, he’s not showing it. Whereas Caleb has the tight lips.
“He’s drawing his lips in,” she added about Plant. “When you tighten them, there’s something that’s bothering you. [Plant’s] not a good poker player. On this stage, you can read his emotion.”
Conversely, she said, “Canelo is like a brickhouse.”
When the boxing superstar shoved Plant across the stage, Cobb observed his “neck strain,” which told her that Alvarez “means it.”
All in all, when the fray erupted and eventually was extinguished, Cobb was left with the following: “I think [Canelo] has the psychological edge at that moment on stage. He definitely has the psychological edge, and I believe that’s what Caleb is responding to.”
How, if in any way, that pans out when they meet to crown the first undisputed super middleweight champion Saturday remains to be seen.