Caleb Plant: I definitely see Canelo fight happening this year

Caleb “SweetHands” Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) is confident he’ll be facing Canelo Alvarez this year after he knocks out challenger ‘Golden’ Caleb Truax on January 30th at the Shrine Exposition Center, in Los Angeles, California.

Plant is defending his IBF super-middleweight title against former IBF champ Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) on FOX PBC Fight Night.

The boxing public doesn’t think too much of Plant taking on the 37-year-old Truax, though, as they wanted to see him accept David Benavidez’s challenge to face him. Benavidez has been trying to get a fight against Plant for a long time but he’s had no luck.

It would be a natural fight for Plant to make to help make his fight against WBA/WBC/Ring Magazine super-middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez that much bigger.

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The knock-on Plant is he’s never fought anyone good during his career other than Jose Uzcategui, who he looked poor against. If Plant were to accept the call out by Benavidez, he would earn the fight with Canelo instead of being given it due to him wanting to relieve him of his IBF title.

Canelo shouldn’t overlook Plant

“I definitely think the Canelo fight happens this year,” said Caleb Plant to Fighthype. “All my focus is being put on January 30th.

Caleb Plant, Caleb Truax, Canelo Alvarez - Boxing News

“There have been so many fighters throughout history that have been looking ahead and not paying attention, and we know how that goes.

“I’m not here to make that mistake. I know what I have in front of me, and I know how to go in there and handle it. I know I need to focus.

“I definitely see the Canelo fight happening. He’s saying it’s going to happen, and I’m saying it’s going to happen. A lot of people are sweating us about it.

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“Everybody just chill out and relax. We’re going to get to it, we’re going to make it happen, and it’ll be fireworks.

“I can’t say, I don’t know how he feels,” Plant said when asked if Canelo is picking him out because he sees a vulnerable fighter. “If he is, that’ll be a great mistake, I can assure you of that.”

Canelo has already made it known that he wants to become the undisputed 168-lb champion in 2021, and clearly views both Plant and WBO belt-holder Billy Joe Saunders as winnable matches for him.

If Canelo didn’t think he could beat Plant and Saunders, he wouldn’t be targeting them for their titles. What’s notable is who Canelo didn’t go after when he fought at 160 and 175.

He didn’t try and fight Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Artur Beterbiev, and Dimitry Bivol.

Plant doesn’t need to worry about him not getting the Canelo fight. Instead, he should worry about how he’s going to beat him because he’s going to be taking a big step up in class.

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Plant’s management at PBC hasn’t put him in with anyone solid during his career. The best guy Plant has fought, Jose Uzcategui, gave him all kinds of problems, and he was lucky to win.

Caleb views himself as #1 at 168

“I feel like I’m the best the super middleweight has to offer,” Plant said. “Whether that’s him or anyone else in the division, I feel like I’m at the top of it.

Caleb Plant, Caleb Truax, Canelo Alvarez - Boxing News

“I feel like I’m not one-dimensional. I have many dimensions, whether we’re talking about him or anyone else in the division.

“I can fight on my front foot or on my back foot. I can pot shot or throw in combinations.

“I can stand in the center of the ring and use my jab or use the whole ring. Whatever the situation calls for, I feel like I have the tools for the job,” Plant said.

Very few boxing fans view Plant as the #1 at 168, and they don’t view him as #2 or #3. Given Plant’s mediocre opposition and how he looked against Uzcategui, you can argue his ranking should be here:

1. David Benavidez
2. Canelo Alvarez
3. Edgar Berlanga
4. Bektemir Melikuziev
5. Billy Joe Saunders
6. Caleb Plant

Caleb is an excellent fighter, but he’s not the best at 168, obviously. We’re going to finally find out how good Plant is when he faces Canelo this year.

If not for this fight, who knows how long it would take before Plant faced his first credible threat?

Plant says he’s improved

“Surely, people don’t think I’m the same Caleb Plant that I was in the Jose [Uzcategui] fight. I’ve gotten a lot more experience in the camps that I’ve had and the fights.

Caleb Plant, Caleb Truax, Canelo Alvarez - Boxing News

“There are no telling how many rounds that I’ve done. Close to 400 or 500 rounds since then of quality sparring.

“It may sound like excuses, but I didn’t sleep well before that fight,” Plant said about his fight against Jose Uzcategui in 2019.

“There was a lot going on, a lot that went into that fight. When I woke up the next day, I said, ‘Man, I didn’t sleep well last night,’ and I could feel it too.

“But I still went in there and handled the job, I dominated and I didn’t get dropped, I know that. I took every shot that he did hit me with. I took it and kept on going,” said Plant

“I’ve yet to take an eight-count in this fight; I’ve yet to be dropped,” said Plant in still talking about the Uzcategui fight. “Just because you get hit with a good shot.

“I’m a lot more seasoned, and I’ve gained a lot more experience since then. But they can wait and find out, they’ll see.

“I feel like throughout my boxing career; I’ve used that as fuel for my fire.

“I’ve had a lot of naysayers, who say, I don’t even belong here, and I don’t belong in the sport, and look what I’ve done and what I’ve accomplished. Look at the life that I’ve made for myself,” said Plant.

The excuse that Plant had to explain away his lackluster performance against Uzcategui in 2019 is a weak one. Uzcategui wore Plant down from the ninth round and had him hurt and clinching during the championship rounds.

If not for Plant’s strong early start to that match, he would have lost. It would have been better for Plant to take the high road and admit that he was crumbling from the pressure that Uzcategui was putting on him rather than to say it was a lack of sleep.

Right now, you have to see Plant as a belt-holder or paper champion. That’s why Canelo is targeting him. He sees weakness, and he knows he can beat him.

It’s unclear which direction Plant will go in if he loses to Canelo. At that point, all the titles will be in Canelo’s possession at 168.

Plant doesn’t hit hard enough to move up to 175, and it would be a bad idea for him to go in that direction. He can’t move down to 160 because he’s too big.

Caleb wants Canelo fight on FOX PPV

“I don’t know why it wouldn’t make sense to do it on FOX with the pay-per-view and upside that it would bring,” Plant said about wanting his fight with Canelo to be on FOX PPV rather than DAZN.

Caleb Plant, Caleb Truax, Canelo Alvarez - Boxing News

“As opposed to being on an app [DAZN] with a flat fee. There’s so much more money to be made on pay-per-view.

“He’s a fighter but he’s a businessman as well. So I don’t know why it wouldn’t make sense for both of us. I’ll let Al and Luis figure that out,” said Plant.

“He’s a former world champion, he has a lot of experience, and he’s upset people before that didn’t take him seriously,” said  Plant about his January 30th fight against Truax.

“Anyone that knows me knows I’m not going to make that mistake. I’m focused, zoned in, and focused on the task at hand. That is to go in there and put on a dominant performance on January 30th, and I plan on stopping this dude.

“I’ve yet to take an eight-count in this fight; I’ve yet to be dropped,” said Plant in still talking about the Uzcategui fight. “Just because you get hit with a good shot.

“I’m a lot more seasoned, and I’ve gained a lot more experience since then. But they can wait and find out, they’ll see.

“I feel like throughout my boxing career; I’ve used that as fuel for my fire.

“I’ve had a lot of naysayers, who say, I don’t even belong here, and I don’t belong in the sport, and look what I’ve done and what I’ve accomplished.

Look at the life that I’ve made for myself,” said Plant in sounding very, very defensive about how he performed against Uzcategui.

Canelo is likely going to want his fight with Plant to take place on DAZN, not Fox. It would be too risky for Canelo to fight Plant on PPV because it’s not a big enough fight for it to sell.

Plant isn’t well known with the casual boxing fans yet in the U.S, and Canelo would be the only draw in that fight. If Plant feels that it’s a deal-breaker if Canelo won’t fight him on FOX pay-per-view, he doesn’t have to fight him.

Plant says he dominates everybody at 168

“I don’t feel like any of these guys are on my level or anybody else at 168 pounds,” said Plant. “I feel like I’m the best super-middleweight this division has to offer.

Caleb Plant, Caleb Truax, Canelo Alvarez - Boxing News

“Whether it’s him [Truax] or anybody else, I feel like I’m going to go in and dominate.

“I’m not looking past him, but I’m looking through him. I’m just ready to go in there and do what I do. He’s strong, he’s got some physical strength as well,” said Plant about Truax.

“He hits hard, but I don’t feel like what he does. I feel like it’s what I do. I’m going to go in there and show the separation right away, and he’s going to have to adjust.

“We’re about to find out if he can make those adjustments or not. I don’t see this fight going 12 rounds.

“Whether that’s him waving the white flag or me waving it for him and the referee stepping in and doing his job, I don’t plan on letting this go 12 rounds.

“He’s a tough guy, and he’s been in there with some good fighters. He’s got a good chin It could be mid, it could be late or he might go to sleep right off the bat. I’m not sure,” said Plant.

There’s nothing wrong with Plant believing in himself because every fighter needs to have self-confidence. But realistically, Plant won’t dominate everyone at 168, and he would likely lose to the top five in the division.

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