IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant weighed in at 167.6 pounds on Friday at the weigh-in for his mandatory title defense against Caleb Truax (31-4-2 19 KOs) for their fight this Saturday night on PBC on FOX. Truax, 37, weighed in at 167.8 lbs.
(Photo credit: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions)
Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) and former IBF 168-lb champion Truax are headlining at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
Both fighters looked in great shape for this 12-round match.
Although Plant didn’t necessarily need to take this fight due to his IBF mandatory not due, he wanted to get it in just cause the International Boxing Federation tried to order him to make a defense later this year.
Plant wants to make sure that he’s free to face WBA/WBC super-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, in a unification fight in September.
Canelo still needs to beat his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim and WBO 168lb champion Billy Joe Saunder in May, but he’s expected t.
Other weights on the card
Michael Coffie – 270.2 lbs. vs. Darmani Rock – 261lbs.
Joey Spencer – 158 lbs. vs./ Isiah Seldon – 156.6 lbs.
Fernando Molina – 136.4 lbs. vs. James DeHerrera – 137 lbs.
Rances Barthelemy – 142.8 lbs. vs. All Rivera – 143.2 lbs.
Atif Oberlton – 177.4 lbs. vs. Nathan Sharp – 177.6 lbs.
Brandyn Lynch – 158.2 lbs. vs./ Marcos Hernandez – 160 lbs.
Daniel Garcia – 131.4 lbs. vs. Jose Delgado – 130 lbs.
Plant explains why he chose Truax
“He is my mandatory, and the reason we’re doing back to back mandatories is, so I have a year to do unification fights,” said Caleb Plant in explaining his rationale for fighting Truax.
“We didn’t want to get in a situation where a mandatory would get in the way, so we knocked out back to back mandatories.
“That way, if any comers want to step to me, I can step right back to them. I feel like it’s silly for fighters to become world champions and A-siders and feel like all of a sudden they’re hunted as opposed to the hunting.
“It’s a great accomplishment, and anybody that is halfway serious and laces of a pair of boxing gloves and wants to be a world champion.
“But for me, when I first set out for this journey and this mission, it wasn’t just to become a world champion. It was to become the first pound-for-pound, and as of now, with just 20 fights, I’m still a ways from that.
“So I’m keeping my eyes focused on the big picture, not just the single accomplishments I make along the way.
“There’s still a lot more I want to do in this fight, a lot more that I want to accomplish, and I have to remain focused on that,” said Plant.
A lot of boxing fans believe the real reason why Plant took the fight with Truax without the IBF ordering it is because he sees him as an easy mark.
If Truax had the kind of ability that David Benavidez or Edgar Berlanga possess, Plant would likely want nothing to go with him.
Truax has Plant’s full attention
“As of now my full attention and focus is on January 30th against Truax,” said Plant. “I’m not looking past him, but I am looking through him.
“As I said, I’m doing back to back mandatories to open up a year’s worth of unification fights. I know Canelo is interested in that fight.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that I’m interested in that fight. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make that happen later in the year.
“As of now, I’m just focused on January 30th. I would be happy to make that fight happen,” said Plant about Canelo. ”
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I have great coaches, and something this sport is starting to miss, I’ve got great teachers,” said Plant to Max on Boxing.
“I’ve been in the gym, and I like to think of myself as a gym rat. I’ve been working on my craft for a really long time and being thrown in the fire early.
“He’s got a lot of experience, he’s a former world champion, and he’s upset people before that didn’t take him seriously.
“I’m focused on the task at hand. I know he’s coming to take what’s mine, but I just feel I’m too prepared, I’m too sharp, too much momentum, and too good,” said Plant about his fight against Truax.
Yeah, this is a fight that Plant cannot afford to lose if he wants to get the big payday match against Canelo in September. It goes without saying that Plant wouldn’t be taking this fight if it were a dangerous opponent
Some guys in the 168lb division that Plant would likely want nothing to do with, but Truax isn’t one of them. David Benavidez has complained frequently about his inability to get Plant to fight him, which tells you something about him.
Truax has the power to potentially hurt Plant and knock him out. He could make Plant regret taking this fight.
Canelo could be next for Plant after Truax
“You’re an enormous favorite here,” said Max Kellerman to Plant. “You’re an orthodox fighter; you use your feet to get in and out of punching range, you use upper body movement to make a guy miss and make a guy pay.
“You got solid power for a guy that puts punches together. Look, Truax is not supposed to beat you, Caleb, right?
“The point is, you’re supposed to look spectacular here to create demand for a unification fight at 168 pounds.
“Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders, assuming Canelo, who is a huge favorite, gets past his mandatory [Avni Yildirim].
Canelo Alvarez and Billy Joe Saunders have a big fight coming up, and one would think that you would fight the winner, assuming it’s Canelo, especially the way he looked against Callum Smith.
“What are your thoughts about the way the division is playing out right now?”
“I feel like none of these guys are supposed to beat me,” said Plant. “I’ve heard the rumors as well, and I feel like the super middleweight division is really hot right now, and it’s been in the best position that it’s been in a really long time.
“I’m glad to be in the division, and I’m looking to become the first undisputed super middleweight. I know Canelo is as well.
“Right now, I’m really focused on this weekend and the task at hand, but there’s only one way for us to become undisputed and that’s for us to get in there and duke it out,” said Plant about him and Alvarez.
Plant, 28, is in a great position to get the fight with Canelo. As long as Plant doesn’t get caught with one of Truax’s big overhand rights, he should be OK.
James DeGale was surprised by Truax in losing a 12 round decision. In their rematch, Truax deserved the win but lost a controversial decision.
Plant has faced only one good fighter during his career in Jose Uzcategui in 2019. He beat Uzcategui, but he faded badly down the stretch. Plant was getting nailed with big shots from Uzcategui in the last three rounds, and his face was bloodied and battered.
Plant hasn’t faced the right opposition
“Caleb, you were a decorated amateur, and anyone that has watched you fight knows that you obviously had a long amateur career,” Kellerman said.
“You obviously started as a kid because of the kind of subtle skills that you have are not developed in a couple of years.
“That’s a guy with muscle memory, but you have yet to fight the kind of opposition in the pros that says, ‘This guy is pound-for-pound here.’
“If someone looked like you looked against top-level opposition that everyone knew about, they would be like, ‘That dude is on the pound-for-pound list.
“You haven’t done that yet; Canelo has. Callum Smith, although his skills aren’t as special as yours, was probably the most accomplished guy in the division, and Canelo beat his brakes off.
“When you watch Canelo, and I’m sure you want that fight today for sure, what do you think?” you can do. How do you apply your skills at that level to beat a guy like that?” said Kellerman.
Max is right about Plant not facing the right opposition to become a star, and that’s his fault. Kellerman was basically giving Plant a big hint that he needs to step it up already if he wants to become a star.
Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that Plant will suddenly start facing great opposition after he fights Canelo in September. Plant just doesn’t seem to have it in him to take on the best consistently.