Caleb Plant Wants David Benavidez Next: “I’m tired of Waiting”
By: Hans Themistode
No one was truly shocked to see current IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant defend his belt this past Saturday night. After all, Vincent Feigenbutz, the opponent who stood across the ring from him on the night, was a complete unknown who lacked the credentials to give Plant a true fight.
Upsets in the boxing world happen far more often than many would realize. It was just over 30 years ago that Heavyweight contender James “Buster” Douglass caused arguably the biggest upset of all-time. That was of course when he knocked out then undefeated champion Mike Tyson. It was just last year in 2019 when another monumental upset happened. Anthony Joshua, who was undefeated and in possession of three out of the four major Heavyweight titles, was dropped four times and ultimately stopped against Andy Ruiz Jr.
Yet, with that being said, none of that came even remotely close to happening for Feigenbutz. He was simply outclassed and outgunned on the night. Plant rolled to an easy stoppage victory and stuck his chest out in the face of the cameras and called out fellow champion, WBC titlist David Benavidez.
For several years now the two have had a war of words. Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) isn’t too fond of Benavidez and his father for some of the choice words they have made in the past about Plant’s deceased daughter. Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) on the other hand, doesn’t like Plant for another reason entirely.
“That dude just thinks he’s the second coming of Floyd Mayweather,” said Benavidez during a recent interview. “I just want to shut that dude up.”
Never one to disguise his feelings about another fighter, Plant immediately voiced his interest in a fight with Benavidez as well.
“Everyone knows I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” Plant stated. “You know who the best 168-pounder is. If you want that, you’ve got to come see me. I want that fight; I’ve been asking for it and I’m tired of waiting!”
The war of words between who many believe are the two best fighters in the division, didn’t simply start out of seemingly nowhere.
Roughly one year ago, Plant was shown on cameras getting into a verbal altercation with Benavidez at a local gym. Punches were immediately seen flying through the air and the disdain for one another reached a new level.
The issues between these two world class fighters isn’t some sort of gimmick. Nor is it a marketing tool that is being used in order to build up interest in a future showdown. No, it’s far more than just that.
As previously mentioned, Plant looked sensational against albeit a limited opponent in Vincent Feigenbutz. The Nashville Tennessee crowd at the Bridgestone arena, may have been impressed with the performance of their champion, but Benavidez saw nothing special in his performance.
“It’s easy too look good against a bum,” said Benavidez via his social media account. “I wanna see u try to do that against me sweetheart.”
The tension between these elite boxers has seemingly reached its tipping point. Not only do both men want the fight, but there is apparently no one else in the way of preventing this contest from taking place next.
Plant Dominates In Front Of Hometown Crowd In Nashville
By: Sean Crose
IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant performed well, as expected, Saturday night in front of a hometown crowd in Nashville, Tennessee as he dominated a way-over-his-head Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany for nine plus rounds.
In truth, the 31-2 Feigenbutz was never truly in the fight, for the taller, much sharper 20-0 Plant completely overwhelmed him with fast, crisp, hard punching. Plant also employed excellent defense and maintained range throughout the one sided battle. Feigenbutz was game, but the fight never changed course throughout it’s duration. Plant fired stinging shots and effectively slipped or blocked most of his opponent’s punches.
Taking mercy on the outclassed challenger, referee Malik Waleed mercifully stopped things in the tenth in order to keep Feigenbutz from receiving further punishment.
The question now is who will Plant face from here? Confident and extremely talented, the Tennessean shares belts at super middleweight with other undefeated, blue chip names such as David Benevidez and Callum Smith. Plant went so far as to call Benevidez out after the fight. “Everybody knows,” he said, “I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” In an era where politics rules supreme in boxing, a Plant-Benavidez match might not be too difficult to make, as both men fight under Al Haymon’s PBC banner.
Although Plant was without doubt the featured attraction Saturday night at Bridgeville Arena, the most thrilling fight on the Fox aired card was the scheduled 10 round welterweight battle between the 17-3 Bryant Perella and the 26-3-2 Abel Ramos. Perella was cruising along on his way to a win when, in the tenth and final round, Ramos sent him to the mat twice. Perella got up both times, but referee Jack Reiss stopped the bout when Perella didn’t respond to his instructions to step forward. There were mere seconds left in the bout, making the whole affair reminiscent of 1990’s still controversial Julio Caesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor fight, where referee Richard Steele stopped the bout with seconds to go, giving Chavez a highly controversial win.
Saturday’s card also saw the 32-3 Diego Magdaleno face the 13-2 Austin Dulay in a scheduled 10 round lightweight affair. It was a grueling fight, but Magdaleno used a thudding body attack to earn himself a comfortable unanimous decision win. Although Dulay was a product of Nashville, his performance couldn’t earn him a victory in front of his hometown crowd, even though referee Jack Reiss had taken a point from Magdaleno for hitting low.
Fight Night in Nashville Preview: Caleb Plant vs. Vincent Feigenbutz
By: Alex Perl
This Saturday a fight card will be underway which is in unfamiliar territory for most boxing fans. Nashville, Tennessee will be hosting a card headlined by IBF super middleweight champion and hometown hero Caleb Plant. The night will consist of nine total fights, but this preview is going to talk about the two main fights.
Bryant Perrella vs Abel Ramos is a welterweight fight that should catch some attention. Ramos may be a familiar name to some as he has faced some well known opposition. Some of the opponents that the 28-year old Ramos (25-3-2) has fought along the way include former champions in Regis Prograis and Ivan Barachyk. Ramos came up short against Prograis and Barachyk, but despite these losses, Ramos actually had a draw with former WBO light welterweight champion Maurice Hooker.
Perrella (17-2) is no fluke himself. His only two losses were to familiar names Luis Collazo and Yordenis Ugas. The hard hitting Perrella has knocked out 74% of his opponents. You can expect a dog fight in this one, with a very possible knockout from one of the two power punchers.
The main event should be an interesting fight. 27-year old champion Caleb Plant looks to defend his title in his home state of Tennessee. Plant (19-0) from nearby Ashland City, will defend his belt for the second time against challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2) of Germany. The 24-year old Feigenbutz, despite being three years younger then Plant, is the more experienced of the fighters, with 33 total professional bouts.
Although the competition for Feigenbutz has not been at the level of Caleb Plant, Feigenbutz has not lost a fight in four years. Although the undefeated Plant is a heavy favorite in this hometown fight, you can never quite call anyone out of it in this sport and Feigenbutz will be looking for the upset. If Feigenbutz could pull an upset in this hometown reunion for Plant, it could be reminiscent of Julian Williams upsetting Jarrett Hurd in his hometown fight in Virginia.
One thing is for sure, we will not know who takes this one until the bell rings, with that being said, expect some fireworks from this one with both fighters possessing more than their fair share of power.
Mike Lee Is Leaving No Stone Unturned
By: Hans Themistode
There are those who prepare themselves for their big moments, and there are those who take things to the next level.
For boxers, preparing for a contest is a rigorous regiment. Often times it includes hitting the heavy bag, working on footwork and of course sparring. Although this is considered the most important in terms of preparation, it isn’t the only thing.
Eating habits, controlling your weight, recovery and dieting are all just as important. For undefeated Super Middleweight contender Mike Lee, he sees the value of not just working on his fundamentals but also the nutritional side of things as well. On July 20th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lee will be put to the ultimate test when he takes on fellow undefeated fighter, and current IBF belt holder Caleb Plant.
There is a reason why Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) is nicknamed “Sweet Hands”. His ability to outbox his opponents is second to none in the division. He also possesses very underrated power as he had it on full display in his last contest against former champion Jose Uzcategui. Plant was viewed as having no chance going into that contest. Not only did Plant unseat the former champion, but he did so in dominant fashion, dropping his man twice and winning a wide decision on the judges scorecards.
Lee is well aware of the abilities of Plant and has left no stone unturned in his preparation.
The former college all-conference linebacker was never supposed to be in this position. After attending Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois, Lee transferred to the university of Notre Dame in 2006 and graduated with a degree in finance. The world was officially his oyster as he was offered a job on Wall Street shortly after his graduation.
Not only did Lee turn it down, but he also turned to boxing. Although he was mostly known as a football player, Lee was no stranger to boxing as he won the 2009 Chicago Golden Gloves. His pro career has started off stellar. A record consisting of 21 wins with no losses would suggest that Lee has found his home in the ring.
For as successful as Lee has been in his short career, he decided to take things up a notch with his biggest showdown coming just days away.
Cal State Fullerton University performance expert Andy Galpin has worked with Lee in order to enhance his performance and fitness for his upcoming title fight. For Lee, coming from the Light Heavyweight division down to the Super Middleweight class can prove to be a difficult transition, but one that he is having no problem adjusting too.
“Andy has helped me physically and mentally with this fight. I have never fought at 168 so going down one weight class can be difficult if you are not properly prepared,” says Lee. “When I selected Andy, I was looking for his expertise on the human body and physical performance.”
According to Lee, his new found partnership with Lee is working wonders for him and his development as a fighter.
“Andy has helped me cut the weight while feeling strong and fast. His approach from nutrition, supplements, training regiments, and recovery modalities has been incredible,” adds Lee. “He is one of the best in the world for a reason and it shows in his work and results of his athletes.”
It might seem like an unconventional training method, but Galpin’s results speak for themselves as he has worked with some of the best athletes in the world such as 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist in women’s freestyle wrestling, Helen Maroulis. He has also most notably helped trained arguably the most popular Mixed Martial Arts fighter in the world, in Conor McGregor.
The science behind Lee’s training methods are impressive. Bringing in world renowned sports performance expert Andy Galpin should pay dividends. With that being said however, Galpin won’t be able to help Lee once he enters that squared circle. Lee will be facing one of, if not the very best fighter in the entire Super Middleweight division. With or without Galpins help, it will be a difficult task come fight night.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman and Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee Los Angeles Press Conference Quotes
Eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao and unbeaten welterweight world champion Keith Thurman, plus unbeaten super middleweight champion Caleb Plant and unbeaten Mike Lee,squared-off for the second day in a row Wednesday, this time at a Los Angeles press conference as they previewed their respective showdowns taking place Saturday July 20 presented by Premier Boxing Champions and FOX Sports from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao and Thurman will battle in a welterweight world title attraction that headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event beginning at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Plant will make the first defense of his title against the unbeaten Lee in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes preceding the Pay-Per-View and beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by MP Promotions, Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased online through AXS.com, charge by phone at 866-740-7711 or in person at any MGM Resorts International box office. Plant vs. Lee is presented by TGB Promotions and Sweethands Promotions.
Here is what the fighters had to say Wednesday from The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles:
“It’s easy for my opponents to talk before the fight, and I’m used to everything they say. But when we get to the ring, it changes, and it will change on July 20.
“I chose Keith Thurman because he’s a great fighter, he’s undefeated and because we can give a good fight to the fans. I want to make the fans happy on that night and show that I can still go toe-to-toe with any opponent.
“He said he’s young, but we’ll see who looks young in the ring on July 20. I’m going to let my fists say everything for me.
“We will work hard in training camp like always for this fight. We’re not going to take Keith Thurman lightly or underestimate him. He’s a world champion. I’m thankful for what he’s been saying, because it’s giving me motivation to prove that at 40-years-old, I feel 29.
“Keith Thurman is aggressive and throws a lot of punches. I’m hoping on July 20 he will follow through with what he says and fight toe-to-toe with me.
“The fans need to watch this fight because it’s a once in a lifetime fight. It’s going to be a Fight of the Year and full of action from start to finish. I’m ready to get it on July 20.
“Most of my opponents are bigger than me and I beat them all. When we get into the ring, it doesn’t matter. This has happened before and it will happen again against Thurman.
“My experience will be very important for this fight. It’s going to be useful against an undefeated fighter. I’m going to give him the experience of losing for the first time.
“I’m still having fun and enjoying the sport. I’m excited to go straight to the gym after this and start focusing on training for the fight.”
“It’s a blessing to be on this stage and have a fight of this magnitude. I’m an all-American fighter, an all-American champion and come July 20, I’m going to stay champion.
“Manny is a world class fighter. He’s a gentleman inside and outside of the ring. I look forward to trading punches with a living legend. But one thing’s for sure, he’s not walking away with my title.
“All Manny does is hop around in the ring. I’m not going to lose to a bunny rabbit. He’s not Tupac, but he does a little hip hop and he’s not going to stop until he gets dropped.
“Manny is a world class fighter, not a world class boxer. I’m going to trip him up in the ring and he won’t know what direction to turn to. I know who I am as a fighter, and it will be proven come July 20.
“I’m destroying the legend of Manny Pacquiao. His legacy ends on July 20 and mine begins. He’s an inspiration to many people throughout the world and everyone respects him, but I’m respectfully going to finish him.
“This is a big fight as far as the stage goes, but it’s a big fight against a little guy. He’s a veteran and I’ve dismantled veterans in the past. I believe I would have destroyed Manny Pacquiao five years ago. I’ve always been ready for this fight. He’s never fought someone like me with this kind of lateral movement, speed and power. I’m coming for him.
“I was in the gym four weeks ago starting some preparations. I wanted to get the ball rolling and use the momentum from my last training camp for this opportunity. Who better to showcase my skills and talent against than Manny Pacquiao? He chose me because it will be a guaranteed action fight.
“I think this is one of the best Manny Pacquiao fights in a long time. I’m going to bring it. Pacquiao did not get reminded in his last fight what it feels like to be up against a real champion. I’m the youngest, fastest, hungriest fighter that he’s ever been in the ring with. July 20, it’s the ‘Keith Thurman show’.”
“I never consider myself the A-side because my history says that I shouldn’t even be here. As beautiful as the belt is, it’s about more to me than that. It’s about legacy for me. I’ve been carrying myself as a world champion since the day I started this journey, so this is nothing new to me.
“I’m the whole package. I have speed, I have footwork, I have power, I have the heart and the will to win. Until you find someone else who’s all that, I’m going to keep having my hand raised.
“Where I’m from, there’s confrontation every day. This is nothing new to me. There are times I was told that I wouldn’t make it. Nobody paved the way for me like I’m from New York or Los Angeles. I paved my own way.
“Mike Lee is in uncharted territory. I’m curious on how he plans on beating me. Does he plan on roughing me up and trying to knock me out like my last opponent? Can he do that better than Jose Uzcategui? Is he going to try to outbox me with his hand and foot speed? Because there’s no person from 160 to 175 who could do that.
“I’ve been committed to the same thing for the last 18 years straight. Rain, sleet or snow, I stayed committed. I’m bred for this. I was created for this. It’s the only thing I’ve done my whole life. On July 20, I’ll be keeping the thing that I’ve worked my whole entire life for.
“At every decision that has to be made, you can go left or you can go right. From the genesis of my being, every time it was the moment to make a tough decision, I went the same way. Because I do not bend or fold for anything. No matter what’s tossed my way, this journey must go on for me. He said he has nothing to lose, but I have everything to lose.
“All the motivational videos that he watches and books that he reads, I’m the very essence and meaning of that. I’m the pinnacle of all those things he’s studied. You can’t learn mental fortitude in a book. Those things are earned, they’re not learned.”
“This is a dream come true for me. I’ve been through so much and there were days where I thought my dream was over. I’ve chased this since I was eight-years-old and I’m thankful for this chance to go after a dream that others thought I couldn’t reach.
“The beauty of this sport is that it’s only me and Caleb in there. Everyone else can only talk. I’ve been in the ring through adversity and stuck it out, because that’s the kind of person I am. I know that if I come on July 20 as the best Mike Lee possible, that I can win.
“I’ve been in the gym working every day. Doctors told me at one point that I wouldn’t fight again, but I’m still standing right here. I pushed through my pain to get here.
“I’m excited to be here in Los Angles, where we hold training camp. I’m bringing the belt back to Chicago, but Los Angeles is a second home to me.
“Today is the culmination of years of sacrifice, hard work and discipline. I’m undefeated for a reason but I feel people underestimate me and I like that. I’ve been underestimated my whole career. I’ve thrived off people say I couldn’t do it.
“I respect Caleb Plant. He’s the champion for a reason and I respect any fighter who can step into that ring. You have to be a different kind of animal to do that in front of all those people, and I am that animal.
“I’m coming with power, strength, speed and I’m going to give it everything I have. I’m going to become the new IBF Super Middleweight World Champion.”
RICHARD STURM, President of Las Vegas Live Entertainment & Sports
“I’d like to welcome back Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman, two of the world’s best fighters, back to Las Vegas and MGM Grand. Manny returns to the ring at MGM Grand following his convincing win in January while Keith will fight in Las Vegas for the first time in four years, looking to remain undefeated.
“We’re truly excited to be hosting this sensational event at MGM Grand and we look forward to seeing everybody in July.”
BILL WANGER, Executive Vice President of Programming, Research & Content Strategy for FOX Sports
“Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman is a living legend, versus a legend in the making. We’re excited to deliver an unprecedented night of boxing on July 20 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Manny is one of boxing’s biggest stars. Keith Thurman is an undefeated world champion and a huge ratings draw. We’re excited to bring viewers inside the ropes and up close to the action on fight night, and produce extensive behind the scenes preview programming that will air across the FOX networks.
“FOX Sports is thrilled to have a battle on July 20 with such a compelling storyline to kick off a great night of championship boxing with the IBF champion Caleb Plant against the undefeated Mike Lee.
“In January, Caleb Plant headlined the most-watched boxing event ever on FS1. Now he’s fighting on the FOX network for the first time as the main event. At FOX Sports, big events that capture America’s attention are in our DNA. This fight certainly fits that bill.
“Our goal with the PBC deal is to build these fighters into household names, and we’re well on our way. We expect a great show on July 20 in Las Vegas.”
Plant Scores Two Knockdowns But Then Plays Prevent Defense
By Adam Pollack
On Sunday January 13, 2019 in Los Angeles, Caleb Plant, now 18-0, 10 KOs, won the IBF super-middleweight championship with a unanimous 12-round decision over Jose Uzcategui. Judges had it 116-110 twice, and 115-111. Many are high on the performance, but yours truly saw two different fights – the first half, in which Plant boxed effectively, using lightning-fast hands, subtle footwork, quick leads and beautiful counters, and the second half, in which he went into survival mode to freeze the ball, so to speak, holding a lot and not throwing very often. Fortunately for Plant, he scored flash knockdowns with counter left hooks in both the 2nd and 4th rounds, and outboxed Uzcategui in the 1st and 5th rounds as well.
However, starting in the 6th round and continuing for the rest of the fight, Plant was much less active or effective, throwing and landing less often, and he held, smothered, covered, and leaned in a lot more. He seemed tired and content to sit on his lead. His speed, footwork, and clinching ability helped him (as well as the referee’s refusal to break them very often or issue cautions for holding). Uzcategui was a bit more active and aggressive, and landed more often and more cleanly, on my card eeking every round of the second half of the fight (I gave him the 3rd, and rounds 6-12 – for 114-112 Uzcategui), but quite frankly, even when Uzcategui was winning the rounds in the second half of the fight, he seemed to lack sufficient passion, and several of the rounds that I thought he won were at least close or semi-even, and when they are close, you give the judges a chance to throw those rounds Plant’s way.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Despite that fact that Uzcategui was more effective, active, and aggressive overall in the second half of the fight, his overall lack of pace and sufficient aggressive ferocity, often remaining too far away for too long, and not moving in enough, or going to the body enough, and failing to maintain a faster pace, allowed and helped Plant survive. Uzcategui failed to capitalize sufficiently on what appeared to be an opportunity to dominate a tired foe. Quite frankly, Uzcategui’s semi-lackluster though more aggressive and diligent effort made Plant’s performance look better than it really was. And Plant looked quite vulnerable to a more willing foe. It is quite possible that Plant’s quick counters that decked Uzcategui early on had garnered him so much respect that Uzcategui simply was unwilling to take the chances he really needed in order to dominate late. Only Uzcategui really knows. But to call Plant’s performance brilliant would be to overstate the truth. It was what it was. Reasonable minds might even question whether he won. But that isn’t and won’t be the popular take on this one.
In other action, in what on paper appeared to be a step-up fight for Brandon Figueroa, his fight against Moises Flores turned out to be an easy dominant performance. Figueroa was too strong and relentless, peppering the body and head consistently in relaxed fashion, both inside and out, leading to a 3rd round knockout. Flores was too passive, and his defense not good enough. He seemed to be overwhelmed. A left hook in the 3rd decked Flores for the first time, and a right hook dropped him again, leading to the stoppage.
Guillermo Rigondeaux did what he was supposed to do in what was an utter mismatch in its inception against Giovanni Delgado; knocked him out in the 1st round. Delgado, who was coming off several stoppage losses, was hurt by a body shot, and then Rigo finished him off with a straight left. Delgado was just a body to perform upon for a brief period of time. Enough said.
Joey Spencer was equally overmatched against Brandon Harder, who did not belong in the ring with him; the talent disparity being all too evident from the start. Harder went down at the end of the 1st, and a couple times in the 2nd, and the referee had to stop it, lest it become too farcical.
Ahmed Elbiali was sharp, aggressive, and strong in dominating Allan Green, who simply is too old and shot at this point in his career to be anything more than a human punching bag against a fighter of this level. Green was game and tried his best, taking the heavy blows, covering, firing some hard jabs and hooks, but mostly he was pounded upon with vicious rights, hooks and uppercuts, going down in each of the 3 rounds it lasted before the referee finally mercifully stopped the slaughter. It is sad, in a way, because at one point in his career he would have given Elbiali hell, but those days are long gone. Green should consider retirement.
Ryan “Cowboy” Karl avenged his prior defeat to Kevin Watts, scoring a 5th round TKO this time, in an entertaining contest. They went at it, bombs away in the 1st, with Watts having the edge, landing more, particularly to the body. However, from the 2nd round on, Karl was more active and effective, and started gradually taking over. Watts was very game, firing and occasionally landing some hard blows, but overall he was too defensive and getting outworked by Karl’s incessant non-stop power punches. By the 5th round, Karl was dishing out the punishment, and the referee stopped it with Watts covering up on the ropes, though quite frankly, Watts was not particularly hurt or even wobbly, and probably still had something to offer.
Lindolfo Delgado was too strong and talented for Sergio Lopez, overwhelming and stopping Lopez with a body shot near the end of the 3rd round.
Fernando Garcia got a real test against Isao Carranza, who was tough as nails and much better than his record would indicate. Garcia clearly had the superior talent and skill, landing the crisper, sharper blows. But Carranza had one heck of a good chin, and was very game and tough, firing back quite often, even landing some nice punches, often counters. Garcia occasionally had a look of, “Wow, I can’t believe this guy is hitting me back! How did he take that?” The referee stopped it in the 6th round, when Carranza was wilting a bit and getting hit a lot, but quite frankly, he wasn’t wobbly; just taking too many. He probably would have lasted the 6-round distance had it been allowed to continue.
Ruben Rodriguez pounded away on Daniel Perales, leading to the 3rd round TKO.
A brutal headbutt suffered by Angel Monrreal in the 1st round of his contest against Victor Slvansky forced a technical draw. And when I say brutal, I mean B-R-U-T-A-L. It was so loud that the explosive cracking sound could be heard throughout the arena.
Why in the world do they call these accidental foul stoppages technical draws? It should be called a no decision. Calling it a draw implies it was some sort of even fight, which it rarely is.
Michael Plania won an 8-round unanimous decision (79-73, 77-75, 78-74) over Juan Lopez. Plania was faster and flashier with his combinations, while the much slower Lopez was a bit stronger, sturdier, and consistent, enough to make it close. Plania scored what appeared to be a knockout in the 1st round with a body blow, but the referee for some reason decided it was low.
PBC on FS1 Results: Caleb Plant Dethrones Jose Uzcateguihas
By: Hans Themistode
The Super Middleweight division has a new champion to contend with.
Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) outclassed Jose Uzcategui (28-3, 23 KOs) tonight as he won a unanimous decision and picked up Uzcateguis IBF title in the process. The scorecards read 115-111 and two scores of 116-110 all in favor of the new champion.
Plant did an excellent job of boxing and moving all night. Uzcategui just couldn’t seem to find a rhythm as Plant made him miss countless shots. It was no surprise that Uzcategui would be at a major disadvantage in the boxing department. However it was believed that he had the edge in terms of power. That seemed to be in favor of Plant as well as he knocked Uzcategui down early in the second round. He then placed the former champion on the canvas for the second time in the fourth round. The rest of the fight played out mostly under Plants terms. Hitting Uzcategui whenever he wanted while causing his opponent to hit nothing but air.
The first half of the fight was all Plant but the second half however saw things become a lot more competitive. Uzcategui managed to his opponent with huge bombs as Plant seemed to be winded going down the stretch. Although Uzcategui came on strong during the championship rounds he gave away too many rounds in the first half of the fight to complete his comeback.
Just a few short months ago Uzcategui was viewed as possibly the best at the Super Middleweight division. His ability to come forward and land big power shots were thought to have a damning effect on anyone he would be matched up with. Tonight Plant showed that the former champion is too one dimensional and took full advantage.
A win over Uzcategui is impressive but it becomes even more eye opening when you consider just how dominant Plant was tonight. The Super Middleweight division has a ton of great fighters. However Plant might just be better than the rest.
PBC on FS1 Preview: Uzcategui vs. Plant
By: Hans Themistode
The first PBC on Fox card of the 2019 year kicks off this Sunday January 13th from Los Angelos California at the Microsoft Theatre when defending IBF Super Middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) takes on mandatory challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) in a clash of completely opposites styles.
For Uzcategui he will be looking to defend his title for the first time and continue his recent run of domination. Since losing to Mat Korobov in 2014, Uzcategui has gone on to mow down his opposition. A flukey loss to Andre Dirrell by disqualification which he later amended in an immediate rematch, winning that bout by stoppage has the champion in the best form of his career. There has been very few that have been able to deal with the champions power and constant pressure.
Uzcategui’s mandatory challenger Caleb Plant however will present the champion with a different style. One that could ultimately prove to be tricky for him to solve. Plant is a pure boxer and one who would prefer to not get involved in slugfests. He has not scored a stoppage victory since a 2016 fourth round knockout win over Carlos Galvan. Plant’s game plan is simple, hit and don’t get hit in return.
The constant pressure that Uzcategui employs throughout a fight can make Plant’s game plan much more difficult to execute. The lack of power the challenger possesses will allow the champion to walk right through his shots and land crushing blows of his own. This may seem like a recipe for disaster for Plant but he has in fact shown to have a good chin and is very hard to hit cleanly. Both men will also be looking to close the mouths of their respective doubters.
After winning the IBF interim title last year from Andre Dirrell, Uzcategui was in prime position to challenge than title holder James DeGale. The aforementioned DeGale instead choose to drop the title in pursuit of more lucrative fights which led to Uzcategui receiving full champion status. Many believe that although Uzcategui is a great fighter he did not necessarily earn the gold that presently resides around his waist. A win over plant will go a long way in proving that he is indeed a worthy champion.
Plant on the other hand will be facing a completely different kind of pressure. Sure he has looked tremendous throughout his career but he has never faced someone the calibre of Uzcategui. Plant will be looking to prove that he does in fact belong at the world level.
Ultimately the path to victory for both men are entirely different. Plant will look to establish his jab and ring movement to box his way to victory while Uzcategui will look to apply his trademark pressure and accumulate enough damage to put an end to this contest before it reaches the final bell. How it plays is the burning question.
This Sunday night we will receive our answers.
IBF Orders Jose Uzcategui-Caleb Plant Super Middleweight Title Fight
By Jake Donovan
Jose Uzcategui has served nearly all of 2018 as a super middleweight titlist despite having yet to make a single defense.
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) is ready to change that status.
The New Jersey-based sanctioning body has ordered Uzcategui to make his first mandatory defense, naming unbeaten Caleb Plant as the leading contender to the throne. A 30-day free negotiation period has been ordered between the two camps, with a December 5 purse bid hearing set aside in the event they cannot come to terms.
Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account
Representatives for Uzcategui and Plant were notified by the IBF earlier in the month.
“(Uzcategui’s) mandatory defense is due on or before January 5, 2019,” the IBF reminded Uzcategui’s promoter, Fernando Beltran in an official letter—of which a copy was obtained by BoxingInsider.com—to representatives for both sides. “The leading available contender is Caleb Plant…represented by TGB Promotions.
“Negotiations should commence immediately and be concluded by December 5, 2018. In the event that you are unable to come to an amiable agreement with Plant, the IBF will call for a purse bid.”
Uzcategui (28-2, 23KOs) claimed the interim title in an 8th round stoppage of Andre Dirrell in their rematch this past March. The Mexico-based Venezuelan—who turns 28 later this year—was elevated to full titlist after James DeGale vacated the belt this past summer in lieu of a mandatory title defense.
The turn of events was sweet redemption for Uzcataegui, who was cheated out of the title in his first fight with Dirrell last May. He was winning the bout and on his way to a stoppage win when he was suddenly disqualified for an official ruling of hitting Dirrell after the bell to end the 8th round. The sequence prompted a brief riot, infamously sparked by Dirrell’s uncle and head trainer Leon Lawson who attempted to sucker punch Uzcategui in his corner.
Lawson fled from the scene and was a wanted fugitive before eventually surrendering to authorities on an outstanding warrant.
Despite realizing his dream of winning a major title, it’s been hurry up and wait for Uzcategui. A mandatory title defense was desired, but Plant (17-0, 10KOs) has been out for most of the year while recovering from a hand injury. The Tennessee product hasn’t fought since a 12-round win over Rogelio Medina this past February.
Meanwhile, Uzcategui’s only piece of ring action since becoming full titlist came in the form of a stay-busy non-title fight this past September. It was a well-served purpose, easily outboxing Argentina’s Ezequil Maderna over 10 rounds in their ESPN+ streamed main event.
Uzcategui is co-promoted by Top Rank, which provides him with a major network outlet in ESPN. However, he is represented by his main promoter, Zanfer Promotions in this current round of negotiations.
Plant is represented by TGB Promotions but technically a free agent. His only contracted affiliation is through manager Luis DeCubas and adviser Al Haymon, fighting under the latter’s Premier Boxing Champions’ umbrella, which has lucrative long-term deals with Showtime and Fox.
Given that, the eventual clash will undoubtedly benefit from major televised coverage.
Jamal James and Caleb Truax Make Statements from their Hometown
By: Andrew Johnson
The two best boxers in Minnesota delivered distinct messages by scoring early-round knockouts at the Armory last Friday night in Minneapolis. Jamal James (24-1, 11 KOs) told the welterweight division “Here I come!” with his second-round knockout of Mahonry Montes’ (35-8-1, 24 KOs). While Caleb Truax announced “I am still here!” to the Super Middleweight division with a dominating performance against Fabiano Pena (15-11-1, 10 KOs).
Jamal James believes that he belongs among the elite fighters at 147 lbs. Known as a slick boxer who uses his length to frustrate opponents, James surprised many with the power he displayed in the fight.
“He said that he would be coming forward on us so I knew what to expect.” James told the Boxing Insider immediately after the fight. “I had watched his film and my corner told me to keep that jab on him, use the angles and feel him out.”
In the first round, the fighters threw inconsequential punches to size each other up and find their rhythm. Montes launched his attack in the second round and was building momentum until James landed a series of right hands. The first shot landed squarely on Montes’ chin, rattling the veteran fighter from Sinaloa. James capitalized on the moment by continuing to throw his right hand over Montes defense. When Montes finally lifted his gloves to protect his head, James finished him with a vicious left to the body that ended the fight.
“I was able to hurt him early with a right hand and then that body shot just sunk him.” said an exuberant James.
The welterweight division is full of marquee names and big money fights. After successfully headlining two nationally televised cards in his hometown, Jamal James believes that he has earned a shot at a title, most likely a WBA belt, which ranked him as the #3 contender entering the fight.
“Hopefully this brings me closer to a world title opportunity, if not a world title opportunity in my next fight.” James responded when asked what this victory means for his immediate future.
3,754 fans came to the event, so the PBC may want to let “Shango” fight in front of the Armory’s friendly crowd one more time before presenting him with a contract for a title bout. But if it were up to Jamal James, he would likely want to challenge Keith Thurman for his WBA
Even though FS1 turned off their cameras after the James/Montes bout, no one left the arena. Caleb Truax had not fought in his hometown since his shocking upset of James DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs) last December. He turned his homecoming match into a sing along by selecting “Purple Rain” to accompany his ring walk and entered the building like a choir conductor.
In April, Truax was sluggish in losing his title to DeGale in their rematch, launching rumors of retirement for the 34 year-old. Though he fought as a Light Heavyweight after weighing-in above the Super Middleweight limit and faced an overmatched Fabiano Pena, Truax looked sharp in the fight. After absorbing a few solid punches from Pena, he took control and pummeled his opponent with a barrage of power shots, ending the fight in the third round with a sensational upper-cut.
The victory put Truax in the mix again at Super Middleweight with the potential to face powerhouses like Jose Uzcategui and David Benavidez, a third fight with DeGale or possibly Julio Cesar Chavez Jr this fall.
Showtime Boxing Results: Hurd Wins Thriller Over Lara, Williams and DeGale Victorious
By: William Holmes
Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions put on a triple header on the Showtime networks live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main event of the evening was between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd and the co-main event of the evening was between James DeGale and Caleb Truax which was a rematch of a mammoth upset in 2017.
The opening bout of the night was between Julian Williams (24-1-1) and Nathaniel Gallimore (20-1) in the junior middleweight division. The winner of this bout will likely be looking at a title shot in the near future.
Julian Williams was a big step up in competition for Nathaniel Gallimore and he stayed behind a strong jab and good side to side movement in the opening three rounds. Gallimore was able to land some shots on the inside, and landed and received some heavy shots in the fourth round.
Williams had a small mouse under his right eye in the fifth round that opened up from an unintentional headbutt. Williams began to focus on the body more in the middle rounds, though he looked a little tired in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Williams body work continued into the seventh, eight, and ninth rounds and it was visibly sapping the energy of Gallimore. Gallimore’s punches didn’t have much snap in the tenth round and Williams had Gallimore badly hurt in the eleventh round and looked close to stopping him.
It was an entertaining fight, with only one questionable scorecard at the end.
The final scores were 114-114, 116-112, and 117-110 in favor of Julian Williams.
After this bout Floyd Mayweather Jr. was interviewed by Showtime and indicated that if he was going to unretire he would fight in the octagon.
The co-main event of the night was between Caleb Truax (29-3-2) and James DeGale (23-2-1) for the IBF Super Middleweight Title.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
DeGale showed the quicker hand speed and more accurate in the opening two rounds, but it featured many headbutts that often happen when a southpaw faces an orthodox fighter.
Truax applied heavy pressure in the third round which featured a hard-right hand to the chin of DeGale that sent him falling backwards into the ropes. DeGale had a cut by his right eye that the referee ruled was caused by a punch, but the video replay showed it was caused by a head-butt.
The Nevada commission informed the announce team in the fourth round that the ruling on the cut being caused by a punch still stood despite the video evidence.
Truax continued to come forward in the fourth through sixth rounds while DeGale badly bled. Truax however wasn’t able to land many effective combinations but he was pressing the action.
DeGale started to land some good counters in the seventh round and land some good short shots on the inside. DeGale had a very strong eighth and ninth rounds and often switched to an orthodox stance from his traditional southpaw stance.
Truax had cuts under both of his eyes by the ninth round and appeared to be tiring. DeGale lost a point in the tenth round for a deliberate shoulder strike.
The final two rounds were close and featured some tight action, but DeGale looked like he was landing the better punches.
The final scores were 117-110, 114-113, and 114-113 for James DeGale.
The main event of the night was between Jarrett Hurd (21-0) and Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) for the IBF and WBA Junior Middleweight Titles .
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
Hurd looked like he was two weight classes bigger than Lara, but Lara was able to find a home with his straight left hand early on and land some quick combinations in the second.
Hurd didn’t appear to be too bothered with Lara’s power and was able to land some good short shots on the inside and was making Lara back away from him in the fourth rounds.
Hurd showed he had a granite chin in the fifth round and was able to take the shots of Lara and answer with his own shots to the body. Lara appeared to tire in the sixth rounds as his back was against the ropes again, and he took a hard right hook at the end of the seventh round.
Hurd was able to land some very hard shots in the eighth round and had Lara’s eye puffed up badly in the ninth.
Lara was able to slow Hurd’s momentum in the 10th round with quick counters and being the first on the attack, and he was able to finish the eleventh round strong and maybe steal the round.
The twelfth round featured both boxers going for the knockout, but it was Hurd who landed a shot that sent his opponent to the mat. Lara looked badly hurt and face was swollen, but he was able to survive the round.
The scores were 114-113 Lara, 114-113 Hurd, and 114-113 Hurd.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Lara v. Hurd, Truax vs. DeGale
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Showtime will team up with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) to put on two highly competitive fights live from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada.
The main event will feature a Junior Middleweight Unificaiton bout between Erislandy Lara and the rising Jarrett Hurd. The co-main event of the evening will feature an anticipated rematch between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime
Their first match was won by Truax in what many consider to be the biggest upset of the year in 2017.
The undercard will feature fighters such as Julian Williams, Sergio Mora, and Alfredo Angulo.
The following is a preview of the two televised fights.
Caleb Truax (29-3-2) vs. James DeGale (23-2-1); IBF Super Middleweight Title
The expected opening bout of the telecast will be between Caleb Truax and James DeGale for the IBF Super Middleweight Title. Truax was able to pull off a tremendous upset during their first bout and surprisingly is still considered by many to be the underdog, despite the fact he beat DeGale in England.
Truax and DeGale are the same height and DeGale has a slight one inch reach advantage. Truax has been the more active boxer of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and three times in 2016. DeGale fought twice in 2017 and once in 2016.
DeGale clearly has the better amateur resume of the two. He was an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2008 while Truax was an Upper Midwest Golden Gloves Champion. However, while DeGale may be the better amateur boxer Truax appears to have more power in his punches. Truax has stopped eighteen of his opponents while DeGale has stopped fourteen.
Truax has defeated the likes of DeGale, KeAndrae Leatherwood, Melvin Betenacourt, Scott Sigmon, Derek Ennis, and Donovan George. He has lost to the likes of Anthony Dirrell, Daniel Jacobs, and Jermain Taylor.
DeGale has beaten the likes of Rogelio Medina, Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, and Dyah Davis. His losses were to George Groves and Truax.
Even though DeGale has the edge in amateur experience and defeated opponents, Truax was able to beat DeGale in his own backyard and rather convincingly the first time they faced each other and it wasn’t by a lucky knockout punch.
Truax will have the mental edge going into Saturday night that may be the difference to help him win this rematch.
Jarrett Hurd (21-0) vs. Erislandy Lara (25-2-2); IBF/WBA Junior Middleweight Titles
This is an intriguing fight between a decorated amateur from Cuba that may be coming near the end of his physical peak and a young upcoming champion looking to make a name for him.
Lara is thirty four years old and will be seven years older than Hurd on fight night. He will also be giving up four inches in height and two and a half inches in reach. Hurd has also been the more active fighter of the two. He fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016, while Lara only fought once in 2016 and fought twice in 2017.
Lara, however, does not appear to be worried about the size difference. He stated at the last press conference, ” “Everyone knows I love to fight his style. I’ve fought better and taller fighters than him and you’ve seen me dominate them. It’s going to be nothing different on Saturday night.”
Hurd has a slight edge in power as he has fifteen stoppage victories on his record, while Lara only has fourteen stoppage victories.
Hurd was a semifinalist in the National Golden Gloves tournament as an amateur while Lara was a Cuban National Amateur Champion and a member of the Cuban National Boxing Team.
Hurd has defeated the likes of Austin Trout, Tonly Harrison, Ionut Dan, Oscar Molina and Frank Galarza. Nobody has yet to defeat Hurd as a professional.
Lara’s two losses were close and were to Canelo Alvarez and to Paul Williams. He has defeated the likes of Terrel Gausha, Yuri Foreman, Vanes Martirosyan, Jan Zaveck, Delvin Rodriguez, Ishe Smith, Austin Trout, Alfredo Angulo, and Freddy Hernandez.
Hurd appears ready to test Lara and take advantage of his size advantage and his age advantage. He stated, “”Lara is a guy who can’t take pressure fighters well. I have some of the best pressure in the game. I’m younger, stronger, taller and longer. He’s not going to be able to run for 12 rounds. “
Has Lara reached the end of his peak? He hasn’t shown signs of slowing down and Hurd leaves himself open to counters. It should be a close fight, but this writer envisions Lara pulling away by the end of the fight.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results Caleb Truax Defeats Heavy Favorite James DeGale
By: Ste Rowen
James DeGale v Caleb Truax
It was supposed to be a challenging homecoming, not a do-or-die war, but the fight that should’ve propelled James ‘Chunky DeGale into unification fights in 2018 has left him beltless and wondering what’s next. American and one-time challenger for the WBA ‘Regular’ middleweight belt, Caleb ‘Golden’ Truax is the new IBF super middleweight champion of the world, and there can be no complaints against that.
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing
It was DeGale’s first defence on home soil of the belt he won back in 2015 and from the first bell he seemed to be taking a more measured approach until he unleashed a flurry of left hooks, a notable weakness of Truax’s, and left his opponent stunned but not down. Truax did well to recover from that attack and continued into the second.
Caleb brought the fight to the champion from then on, as DeGale began to load up on left hands. The American won the round to even the scorecards going into the third. Through rounds three and four, a stiff jab from the American forced DeGale further and further back and allowed Truax to dictate how the fight would play out.
The fifth was a massive round for ‘Golden’ as he continued to pummel the IBF champ unanswered, with huge right uppercuts and straights. A brief rally at the end of the round from DeGale gave the impression to the home crowd that he was still in the fight.
The middle rounds saw the 2008 Olympic champion adopt a more stick and move style, but it wasn’t enough to keep Truax from coming forward without fear. The final three rounds were nip and tuck as DeGale began to employ a little of the darks arts with the forceful use of head and elbow. His little spurts of activity may have geed the crowd up but they would prove ineffective.
In the middle of the final round Truax lifted his arms in triumph, received mainly by cheers from a crowd that booed him into the ring. He’d won the hearts of the fans inside London’s Copper Box Arena, and with it the red strap that propels him into potentially huge fights in 2018.
The final scorecards came back as 114-114 and 115-112, 116-112 for the American. It was testament to Truax’s performance that when the 114-114 card was announced, it was met by boos. The crowd sensed another terrible 2017 scorecard but thankfully the right man won and a new champion was crowned.
Caleb Truax, now America’s second middleweight champion along with David Benavidez.
The Undercard highlights…
Lee Selby v Eduardo Ramirez
IBF Featherweight Champion, Lee Selby claimed a dominant points decision victory over Mexican challenger, Eduardo Ramirez to solidify his status as one of the best featherweights in the world.
The Welshman was fighting with style early on, whereas Ramirez was seemingly looking for the home run as he swung and swung, but never hit anything significant. Through the early rounds Selby showed his class. The southpaw in Ramirez did it’s best to show some essence of movement, but Selby’s jab was king through three.
Into four Selby began to take one to land two, frequently throwing combinations of hooks to be met by the occasional power shot response from the Mexican. More of the same followed through to round eight as Lee continued to dominate, but he was clearly looking to impress, made obvious by a number of wayward big left hands.
Despite a brief scare in the eleventh, as the Mexican rallied and landed a heavy left that gave Selby something to think about; the final five rounds saw Lee Selby do what Lee Selby does best. With a little more nastiness in the punches compared to previous fights, he established himself behind a dominant jab and chipped away at Ramirez’s remaining defences with consistent straight punches.
The final twelve round scorecards came back as 118-110, 119-109, 116-112.
Selby will now hopefully move onto a big 2018, with potential opponents such as, Josh Warrington, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton and fellow belt holders, Gary Russell Jr, Oscar Valdez and Leo Santa Cruz.
Anthony Yarde v Nikola Sjekloca
Anthony Yarde became the first man to stop Nikola Sjekloca, as rising light heavyweight star, ‘The Beast’, earnt his fourteenth victory, and twelth straight knockout.
Yarde seemed to be precision personified, but it wasn’t a walkover. A man who has never been stopped is a man who wants to keep that record, but Yarde’s heavy hits only got heavier as he knocked down Sjekloca for the first time in the second round.
Sjekloca came with a reply at the start of round three, but again Yarde’s superior punches and the rate he was landing, kept the London native well on top.
At the start of the fourth Yarde landed big hit after big hit before knocking the Montenegrin down again, and then once more after continuous power punches and the referee stopped the fight with a brave Nikola still on his feet.
Yarde now 14-0 (13KOs) will surely be expecting the biggest fight of his career so far in 2018, a bout for the British light heavyweight title.
Daniel Dubois v Dorian Darch
Daniel Dubois made lightwork of one of Britain’s favourite heavyweight gate keepers in Dorian Darch, achieving his sixth consecutive knockout victory. But Darch didn’t come to lie down. Nearing the end of the first round, Dubois brought the firepower and knocked down his latest foe for the first time. Dorian survived, but not for long.
At the start of the second Dubois picked up where he left off and fired an assault on Darch, knocking him down three times in brutal fashion before the referee ended the fight and Dubois claimed his latest knockout victory. His record now stands at 6-0 (6KOS).
It’s a brave man that steps in with him next.
Joe Mullender v Lee Churcher
In a fantastic give-and-take fight between 10-2, Joe Mullender and 12-3-1, Lee Churcher, Mullender came out the victor, knocking Churcher down twice in round five and then again in the eighth and eleventh, when the referee waved the bout off and Joe Mullender became the new IBF East/West Europe Middleweight Champion.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: DeGale vs. Truax, Selby vs. Ramirez
By: Ste Rowen
On Saturday night, James ‘Chunky’ DeGale headlines a card crammed with current and future British boxing stars at the Copper Box Arena in London.
The IBF champion, 23-1-1 (14KOs) is returning to the ring for the first time since his super middleweight unification attempt vs Badou Jack back in January this year, that ultimately ended in a draw but set the ball rolling for a fantastic year in the sport.
Photo Credit: Box Nation Twitter
Since then, DeGale has been held back by a shoulder injury that ruled him out of competing in the World Boxing Super Series, which resumes for the semi-finals in February next year.
It’ll be just DeGale’s fourth defence of the belt he won back in May 2015 after a unanimous decision victory over Andre Dirrell, and his first fight on home soil since he defeated Marco Antonio Periban on the undercard of Bellew v Cleverly in 2014. Since then the 2008 Olympic gold medallist has racked up decision victories over Lucien Bute, Rogelio ‘Porky’ Medina, and the aforementioned draw with now light heavyweight contender, Badou Jack.
His opponent, Caleb ‘Golden’ Truax, 28-3-2 (18KOs), has fought for a version of the world titles once before when he took on then WBA ‘Regular’ middleweight champion, Daniel Jacobs in 2015. Truax was being soundly beaten even before the twelth-round of that fight when, with 1:24 left on the clock Jacobs landed a right hand sending the Minnesota native sprawling into the ropes. The referee gave Truax the mandatory eight-count but after being allowed to carry on, Jacobs continued to fire off massive, unanswered rights and the referee put an end to the fight with Truax still on his feet.
Caleb attempted to bounce back when he returned ten months later to beat Melvin Betancourt via fourth-round TKO, and then took on Anthony Dirrell in April 2016, but he was simultaneously put on the canvas for the first time, and beaten for a third by the former WBC champion who took just 1:30 of the first round to drop Truax, and then again, his weakness for the right straight showed as Dirrell dropped him again and the referee stopped the fight.
Since then, ‘Golden’ has picked up two fairly routine stoppage victories over 5-15-0, Zachariah Kelley, and American middleweight, KeAndrae Leatherwood.
Caleb was no doubt surprised to get the offer of another world title shot in the form of James DeGale.
Speaking to the BBC about the challenger for his belt ‘Chunky’ said, “Truax is a good fighter, I’m not saying he’s a world beater… He dropped Jermaine Taylor when Jermaine Taylor was hot so he’s mixed it at a good level but he’s always just missed out… So, he’s no mug but this is the perfect opponent where I can look fantastic.”
DeGale also said this week he’s targeting another unification fight, this time with the recently crowned WBC champion, David Benavidez.
Co-main on the night will be IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby who is returning to the ring for the third time this year. He faces Eduardo Ramirez, 20-0-3, in his fifth fight since winning the IBF title from Evgeny Gradovich back in 2015. Last time out ‘The Welsh Mayweather’ fought Jonathon Victor Barros on the Eubank v Abraham undercard, dropping Barros in the twelth en route to a clear unanimous decision.
It’s not a dissimilar setup as Carl Frampton’s recent decision win against Horacio Garcia; the bout is seemingly the gateway to the super fights of 2018 against the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Oscar Valdez, Gary Russell Jr and of course, former WBA Featherweight champion, Frampton.
In an interview from FrankWarren.com, Selby said, ‘Ramirez is a young, hungry Mexican who comes from a very good stable… He’s an undefeated southpaw and highly ranked by the IBF (11th). From clips I’ve seen, Eduardo’s a similar height as myself, if not taller, so I’ll not enjoy the advantages… My record shows I can always make the adjustments needed to win. I’m confident that my class will prevail’
His Mexican opponents’ most recent outing was a controversial draw in Vegas, with unbeaten, Leduan Barthelmy. Ramirez was viewed by most as doing more than enough to grant him the win, but Vegas was Vegas and handed Ramirez a third draw in his twenty-three-fight pro career. This will be Eduardo’s first scheduled twelve-round bout with his longest fight also being the ten-rounder mentioned above. The southpaw should not be an easy touch for Selby, the Welshman will need to box smart early when Ramirez attempts to fire off quick combinations of hooks and big overhand lefts. Experience could be key for Selby who’s been the twelve-round distance six times, three as a world champion.
Hot prospects, Light Heavyweight Anthony Yarde and ‘Dynamite’ Daniel Dubois will also feature on the card.
13-0-0 (12KOs), Anthony Yarde has been busy this year knocking out all four of his 2017 opponents, most recently scoring a third-round stoppage against former super middleweight contender, Robert Nemesapati, now 25-7-0.
He takes on never before stopped, Nicola Sjekloca, 32-4-1 (11KOs), who’s previous opponents include Callum Smith, Arthur Abraham and current WBA ‘Regular’ Super Middleweight champion, Tyron Zeuge. It’s certainly a step up though for Yarde. In his last fight in March, the Montenegrin went the twelve-round distance in a split decision draw to former WBO super middleweight champion Robert Stieglitz.
The only criticism to level against the light heavyweight prospect so far is the quality of opponent he’s come up against, even as early as it is in his career. Some would argue, you can only beat what’s put in front of you and ‘The Beast’ has certainly done so, showing speed, timing and a keen eye for the stoppage. It will be Yarde’s second scheduled twelve round fight; the furthest he’s gone so far is four when he was taken the distance by Latvian, Stanislavs Makarenko in the Englishman’s second pro bout.
Twenty-year-old heavyweight Dubois, 5-0-0 (5KOs) takes on 12-5-1 (1KO), Dorian Darch. Dubois has made an explosive start to his professional career but much like Yarde, is now being encouraged by fans to hurry along his early progress and the young Brit’s promoter obviously feels the same. Frank Warren is reportedly trying to get the British Board of Control to lower the age limit a fighter must be to challenge for the British heavyweight belt, currently set at twenty-one. Daniel’s 21st birthday is in September next year.
Caleb Plant Interview “I will be 15-0 after the Awimbono Fight!”
Caleb Plant Interview “I will be 15-0 after the Awimbono Fight!”
By: Benny Henderson
Coming up February 25th featured on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes 7 PM PST, the undefeated contender Caleb Plant 14-0 (10 KO’s) puts his unblemished record on the line, when he takes on his toughest test to date, Ghana’s Thomas Awimbono 25-6-1 (21 KO’s) in a scheduled ten round super middleweight clash. In this exclusive interview we speak with the Nashville native on his upcoming bout, his career and more.