By: Sean Crose
Caleb Plant is thirty years of age. He has a professional boxing record of twenty-two wins and one loss. That single defeat came at the gloved hands of the sport’s biggest name, Canelo Alvarez. It cost Plant the IBF super welterweight world title he had held for close to three years. Now he hopes to earn himself another shot a world title. First, however, Plant must get past the hard hitting David Benavidez this weekend in Las Vegas.
Benavidez is, to put it mildly, no slouch. In fact, he himself has held the WBC super middleweight world title on two occasions. He was stripped of that title twice, for having cocaine in his system and for missing weight respectively. Needless to say, Benevidez, too, would like another shot at a world title. First, though he must get past Plant on Saturday. No easy task, as Plant is one of the most skilled practitioners in the fight game.
Unfortunately, Plant and Benavidez – who most distinctly do not like each other – will be squaring off as the main event of a pay per view attraction. This is a shame, of course, as pay per view is currently helping cripple contemporary boxing. Still, there’s no denying that Plant-Benevidez is a high profile and intriguing matchup. It is, to be sure, a major fight. Even more telling, it’s a major fight where a world title isn’t at stake (though a smaller title is).
Like this spring’s upcoming superfight between Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, Plant-Benevidez proves that world title belts aren’t the end all be all of the boxing business. That’s particularly true in regard to the current boxing scene, where some champions simply won’t throw down with major competition. While there’s no doubt world titles are important, the lack of a world title shouldn’t be – and perhaps isn’t – detrimental to the relevance of a fight.
The winner of this Saturday’s bout might well then get a chance to face divisional kingpin Canelo in a fight were all the major titles at super middleweight will be at stake. That, of course, would be a very big deal. Those belts wouldn’t be the sole things to make a fight with Canelo attractive, however.
With all that being said, part of the intrigue of this weekend’s matchup is the contrast in styles between the two combatants. Plant’s slickness, combined with the thunderous power of Benevidez makes for a classic boxer versus puncher showdown, no world title needed.
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