This Saturday night live on FOX, Caleb Plant takes on his IBF mandatory challenger Caleb Truax with a possible Canelo Alvarez fight on the horizon. The co-feature could be a fun matchup of unbeaten heavyweights in Michael Coffie and Darmani Rock.
The main event is not the most intriguing matchup to be had at super middleweight, but Truax does represent the most experienced veteran on Plant’s resume.
Before this outing, Plant faced no-hoper Mike Lee and unknown mando last February Vincent Feigenbutz. Plant did have an opportunity to take a voluntary defense before facing Caleb Truax. The fact that a May fight with Canelo was on the table and may still happen later in 2021 makes perfect sense as to why Plant opted to get this one out of the way so that he will have a full year open mandatory free.
As we know, the IBF, out of all the sanction bodies, are by far the most strict when it comes to the rules, which makes sense when considering their headquarters were raided by the Feds a few decades ago. Most of the boxing fans would love to see David Benavidez and Plant fight, but it appears that matchup will have to be pushed to the back burner. Many fans and media don’t like to judge fighters or the sport itself from a realistic viewpoint. Instead, in this case, the blame falls almost squarely on Plant’s and maybe Al Haymon’s shoulders as to why the fight hasn’t been made. To be fair, we can’t ignore David played a large part in why this fight hasn’t been made as well and why Benavidez’s career has been in stop/start mode.
Before having to be stripped of his WBC 168-pound strap due to missing weight last August, as we know, Benavidez had previously loss that same belt from testing positive for cocaine. Had David made weight, he would be the one facing Avni Yildirim, who was owed the fight from an arrangement through the WBC and what he felt bad decision loss via injury to Anthony Dirrell. Add to the fact that his promoter spoke a few fights ago of the Plant fight needing a little time to build. Now, Canelo has made it clear that he wants to fight the boxers who hold the belts at the weight class, and by missing weight, he delayed that opportunity. Everyone, if placed into Plant’s position, would, of course, aim for the biggest payday and name in the sport in Canelo Alvarez before taking on a younger Benavidez who will still be around for years to come.
Enough about that, let’s talk about Caleb Truax, a guy that win-lose-or-draw sports an impressive resume, including the likes of Daniel Jacobs, Jermain Taylor, James Degale, among others. Truax has a good jab and plenty of skill, but more than likely, Caleb will try to close the distance on the more fleet-footed Plant. Truax has a strong chin and can do damage to the body and on the inside in general. If he can copy and paste his outstanding performance against a top-level guy in James Degale, we could be in for a much more competitive and exciting fight than what it appears on paper.
Full disclosure I’m from Minnesota, so you know who this podcaster will be rooting for. The problem in siding with Truax to win outright is the last few years of his career have been filled with injuries. A cut in the Peter Quillin fight was also injured in training camp for the rematch, along with getting sick severely enough before a weigh-in, he wasn’t able to compete on fight night. Some of it is plain bad luck. However, at his age, it’s difficult to see him get his hand raised on fight night. That said, if Truax can get Plant into the later rounds, he does have a shot to wear him down, as we saw in January of 2019 against Jose Uzcategui. After starting the fight with two knockdowns, Plant started to gas a bit and got hit with several meaningful shots down the stretch.
In the early rounds, it would seem fairly obvious that Caleb Plant will get off to the quicker start to take the lead. If Truax can make it through the first half of the fight without sustaining a major cut or injury, look for him to turn the tide and use roughhouse tactics in the trenches. Whether it’s trapping Plant on the ropes or making it rough during the clinch with one-hand free, is the clearest path for Truax to have a legit chance of victory. At that end of the day, Plant’s overall skill level, solid defense, and quick, accurate punches make it hard to pick against him.
My Official Prediction is Caleb Plant by Unanimous Decision.
Side Note: The Co-Feature pits 11-0 8(KO) Michael Coffie and prospect at 17-0 (12KO) Darmani Rock in a heavyweight bout that could be great at times and sloppy action as long as Rock is in fighting shape.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio