Boxers often take too much credit before they have really proven their skills. With two wins in a row they are running second in the competition and are often hailed as second comingers.
The opposite happened with former super middleweight champion Caleb Plant. He finds himself in a re-issue situation, yet again as he turns David Benavidez on Saturday (9 p.m. ET, Showtime PPV) at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas for the interim WBC welterweight title.
Plant is seriously in doubt before the November 6, 2021, bout with superstar Canelo Alvarez. Alvarez stopped Plant in 11 rounds that night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to unify the 168-pound titles, but Plant made a name for himself. Alvarez fought very hard and showed that he is at the top of the game.
Scored one of the best knockouts of 2022, in his next bout with Anthony Dirrell he put him to sleep violently, but it almost didn’t happen. He hesitated again as Benavidez went into the fight.
Benavidez is a -350 favorite with Planta as a +240 underdog at BetMGM. Benavidez is an excellent young fighter who is just entered the prime, but that number suggests Plant is being somewhat neglected.
Stephen “Breadman” brought in great trainers for Edwards to work with his team after the Alvarez fight, and Edwards, as he often does, made the difference. He went on, however, with good works, and Planta was released, and he wanted to show what he could do because he said that the camp was difficult.
“I feel really good,” said Plant in Las Vegas during his day. He is easy to get along with and expects me to work alone. THAT is our niche and what we like to do. He brought some of that Philly gray with him and it helped a lot that my father repeats [co-trainer Richie Plant] I tried to insinuate myself.
“Different people handle things differently. I’m cool, I’m calm and collected. I’m focused and I had a great camp. I feel 100 in this fight. I can only speak for the team, but we’re ready to handle business.”
Plant handled his situation a little differently this time. During the event’s kickoff news conference, Planta and Benavidez got into it verbally and went nose to nose a few times. Planta then created a website, davidbenavidez.com, which redirects to Planta’s website.
There was profit in the mind games, but not much in the ring. He showed his new found hitting power against Dirrell, though he is a factor.
Benavidez is a high-volume puncher and is, according to CompuBox, the most accurate puncher in the division. Benavidez is not a master of striking, but he has won 23 of the 20 bouts inside the range. it depresses and depresses them.
Benavidez said he saw signs that Planta was concerned about its potential.
“You see that every time Caleb is in the ring with a power punch, he’s not comfortable,” Benavidez said. “He beat Jose Uzcategui, but he got hurt in the fight and then Canelo hurt him. Even Anthony Dirrell hit him with good shots, and he’s not like Caesar.
“I have the power and I feel like I’m faster. I just have my feet in the right position because he’s going to be moving a lot. I think he’s got a little more confidence after beating Dirrell, though, so we’ll see if he wants to trade with me.”
Plant is 22-1 with 13 KOs, none bigger than the one against Dirrell in October. It came on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder fight and Planta stole the show with a violent KO. This is what the mouth says.
He was surprised by some who viewed Plant as more of a boxer than a boxer, but Plant said that he was always able to hurt his opponents.
“My strength has always been there but I’ve gone back to my roots more,” Planta said. “My father and my father have a lot of similarities in how they want to box and train me. With some, I go back to my habits, but it is connected with the new things that Panis brings to the table and teaches me.
If Benavidez were to knock him out, he would not only hand his champion an interim loss, he would make an excellent compliment and put himself in a position to earn a matchup with Alvarez.
He has a fierce temper and believes that he will stick with what he did in camp to win.
“The key to this fight is just being with me,” Plaut said. “This is what raised my hand. I’m hungry for this. It’s a great moment and a moment I’ve been working for a long time. I’m as strong as possible.”