Anthony Dirrell Wants Caleb Plant Next
By: Hans Themistode
A showdown between Canelo Alvarez and Caleb Plant was thought to be next on both men’s radar. With Alvarez holding the WBC, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine super middleweight titles, and with Plant in possession of the IBF belt, the pair sat down at the negotiating table to work out terms on a fight deal.
Yet, as the doors closed shut behind them, both 168-pound belt holders emerged from their discussions apoplectic with what took place. According to Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), Alvarez was offered a guarantee of at least $40 million, plus pay-per-view upside, amongst other concessions. The IBF titlist went on to say that although his team bent over backward to placate Alvarez and his requests, their demands were “absurd” and he was forced to leave the negotiating table.
Now, with Alvarez vs. Plant reportedly dead, Anthony Dirrell views this as the perfect opportunity to throw his name into the mix.
“Hey Caleb, come on man, you didn’t get the Canelo fight, let’s fight,” said Dirrell during an interview live on FS1.
Dirrell, 36, is anxious to wrap gold around his waist for a third time. His most recent title reign lasted just over six months before it was truncated at the hands of David Benavidez. The two faced off in September of 2019 at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California. While the opening rounds were closely contested, Benavidez dominated down the stretch, stopping his man in the ninth round.
Since then, Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs) has made only one appearance in the ring which took place earlier this year. The former two-time 168-pound titlist locked horns against 160-pound fringe contender Kyrone Davis. Despite being a heavy favorite, Dirrell struggled throughout and was forced to settle for a split decision draw.
Although Dirrell’s last victory came two years ago against Avni Yildirim, that hasn’t stopped the Flint Michigan native from chasing a title shot against Plant.
The Nashville, Tennessee product has yet to reveal his future plans but did reiterate that he would like to return to the ring before the year comes to a close. Plant recently defended his IBF crown for a third time earlier this year in January. The 28-year-old made it look incredibly easy against former titlist, Caleb Truax, as he danced his way to a unanimous decision victory, winning every round on all three judges’ scorecards.
Anthony Dirrell: “If I Train The Right Way, Nobody Can Beat Me”
By: Hans Themistode
Anthony Dirrell isn’t exactly looking past fringe contender Kyrone Davis, but he does view a win over him as somewhat of a formality. The former two-time super middleweight champion is set to take on Davis this Saturday night at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles California.
For Davis, he’s spent the vast majority of his career campaigning between 154 and 160 pounds. So with his contest against Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs) set to take place at a career-high weight for him, Dirrell simply doesn’t see any advantages his opponent has over him.
“I’m faster and I’m bigger,” said Dirrell during a zoom press conference. “It’s a lose-lose for him. I think he bit off a little more than he can chew.”
Dirrell, 36, has spent roughly one and a half years idle on the sidelines. The Flint Michigan native was last seen on the wrong end of a knockout loss at the hands of former WBC belt holder David Benavidez. Regardless of the loss to both Benavidez and Badou Jack in 2015, Dirrell is under the impression that he’s unbeatable as long as his preparation is on point and his mind is in the right place.
“I know what I bring to the table. If I train the right way, nobody can beat me.”
For Dirrell, he’ll get a chance to prove whether the time away from the ring has made him a better fighter or simply deteriorated his skills. Their main event is slated as part one of a WBC eliminator contest. Part two comes roughly two weeks later when David Benavidez squares off against Ronald Ellis.
At the moment, Dirrell isn’t focused on what could ultimately result in another title shot and a bit of revenge on Benavidez should he come out with the win. Instead, he’s locked in on Davis and Davis alone.
As for how Dirrell views their contest shaking out, he used the words of Davis against him.
At some point, Dirrell was told that his opponent is one who enjoys doing yoga. But while it tends to relax those who do it, Dirrell plans on implementing his own twist to the yoga lesson he’ll be teaching Davis this Saturday night.
“He said he do yoga so I’m a stretch him out.”