IBF super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-3, 23 KOs) got off to a poor start on Sunday night and never recovered in losing a 12 round unanimous decision to IBF mandatory challenger Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. Plant, 26, knocked Uzcategui down twice in the first four rounds from left hooks.
(Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
The first knockdown in the 2nd appeared to be a slip rather than true knockdown, but it didn’t matter. With the way the judges scored the fight, Plant would have won even if he didn’t get credit for the knockdown in round 2. The scores were 116-110, 115-111 and 116-110. The fight was a lot closer than the scores given by the judges. At best, Plant won by a couple of rounds. At worse, you can call it a draw. Plant did zero from the 5th. His win was based on what he did in the first 4 rounds, because he exhausted from 5 onward. In the last three rounds, Plant tried to step it up a little, but he kept getting tagged hard by Uzcategui and that made it difficult to give any of the rounds.
It wasn’t an exciting fight, as Plant got tired in the second half and chose to hold and move to milk his lead. Some of that was the fact that Plant was just excused after the first 4 rounds. Plant was fighting on fumes from the 5th round on, and using whatever tricks he could to hold onto his lead.
In round 9, Uzcategui staggered Plant after connecting with a big right hand to the head. Plant was able to take the shot, and weather the storm in the final moments of the round.
Plant was done for night in the championship rounds, as far as actual fighting goes. He was just milking his lead and not doing much fighting. There was a lot of holding and running from Plant. It wasn’t thrilling to watch, but that’s how Plant fights though. He’s not a super entertaining fighter like Callum Smith, George Groves or Jessie Hart. Those guys are far more entertaining to watch than Plant.
Plant’s face was a reddened mess in the second half of the fight. He was cut, tired, and looking to do anything to preserve his lead. Plant was really laboring towards the end of the fight, and he looked a lot older than 26 years. He was fighting like a 40-year-old in the last seven rounds. If Uzcategui had better accuracy, he would have punched Plant’s lights out. It would be a good idea for Plant not to fight Canelo Alvarez or Callum Smith. He’s not in their class, in this writer’s opinion. Plant is a good blue collar type fighter, but one with really bad stamina issues.
Former 122 pound champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (18-1, 12 KOs) defeated an overmatched Giovanni Delgado (16-9, 9 KOs) by a 1st round knockout. Rigondeaux landed a big left to the head that caused Delgado to take a knee. The fight was then stopped. Delgado didn’t look that hurt. From all appearances, he didn’t want to fight. It was a good effort from Rigondeaux, who was coming off of a long layoff of a little over a year after losing his last fight to Vasyl Lomachenko in December 2017.