Beef in boxing is an everyday thing we boxing fans get excited about, especially at a press conference or weigh-in. Beef tends to be somewhat manufactured to help sell a fight, but this Saturday night, the tension between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant is as real as it gets.
Their dislike for one another can be traced back quite a while ago, so the beefs marinated and ready to cook. This main event on Showtime PPV is the right fight at the right time, and it has a great undercard to boot.
David Benavidez’s name should be bigger than it is at this point in his career. Some blame it on Canelo Alvarez for not taking the deal that was offered to him to fight Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez. Those offers came with a career-best upfront guarantee at the time for Canelo, but he respectfully passed. Although some have given Alvarez heat for it, at the end of the day, Canelo instead fought Dimitry Bivol at light heavyweight.
Then coming off his first loss since Floyd Mayweather way back in 2103, the Guadalajara native faced Gennadiy Golovkin for the third time. The fact is placing the blame on Canelo is silly, and David only has himself to blame, having lost his WBC strap not once but twice.
The man that will be standing in the opposite corner from David is Caleb Plant, who’s already had his shot at Canelo in November 2021. Plant put in a worthy effort even though the final result was a loss by TKO stoppage. Will we see a different, more improved version of Plant this Saturday night?
Last October, we saw concussive power from his left hook when he starched Anthony Dirrell in the 9th round. An old saying in boxing is that when a fighter gets his first world championship belt, their confidence grows immensely. There are also plenty of examples when a boxer takes their first “L,” they’ll learn and come back stronger the next time under the bright lights.
Breaking down the actual fight is an interesting task, given we got ourselves a good old fashion throwback boxer versus puncher matchup. Both men have quality jabs. David’s is long with a lot more speed than one would think, whereas Caleb’s is more versatile.
David is consistent with an active jab, and Plant uses faints along with having the ability to jab on the move pivoting out of danger. Plant has very good footwork, and is rarely out of position able to escape or be in range to punch his opponents.
Footwork and defense, which can go hand and hand, is by far the biggest weakness for Benavidez. Too many times during a round and throughout a fight, David will be out of position after throwing even a simple jab. Putting him off balance or, worse, squared up as a sitting duck for incoming punches.
Upper body movement, foot speed, and positioning are a big plus for Caleb when it comes to defense. David hasn’t shown us he can defend on a high level and usually tends to employ the high guard. Obviously, the high guard leaves him wide open for clean shots and combination punching, exposing his body in the process. With that said, it’s up to Plant to make sure doesn’t just potshot or throw one shot at a time in general. Plant is really good at doubling up his left hook, whether it’s both to the head or body/head combo. Using angles when David is in the high guard flat-footed will be a key to stepping around and landing a pair of punches.
Both guys have a tendency to reach a bit too much while punching at range. Plant will literally jump punch at times which is a big no-no. We know Plant thrives at being first and setting traps to counter with the left hook or straight right hands over a jab. Let’s not forget Benavidez can counter with both hands usually, it comes from a hook at close range. A few other items worth mentioning is punch output which favors David by 20 punches thrown and ten punches landed per round. The come-forward fighter who throws more as long as their fairly accurate is very tough to be beaten on the scorecards. We mentioned the jab; David throws and lands more than Plant as well, a telling stat.
The gas tank is another easily identifiable item that has normally been a red flag for Plant. On the flip side, David tends to get stronger as the fight wears on. Can David cut the ring off the majority of the rounds against a talented outside boxer like Plant? Will Plant fade down the stretch and end up stuck in his shell defense on the ropes?
This boxing podcaster believes Plant will get off to a great start winning 3, maybe 4 rounds in the first half. The 22 x 22 ring requested from the Plant side tells you what his game plan will be, for the most part, anyway.
I do think David Benavidez will have a bunch of success once he not only finds his own groove but starts to catch up to Plant’s tendency of repeated movements & punches thrown. How many tricks does Caleb have in his bag that we didn’t see versus Canelo? We will defiantly find out on Saturday, along with finding out just how good or great David Benavidez is when facing a top-level 168-pounder.
Many are calling for a knockout by Benavidez which makes a lot of sense. David is more of a break-you-down slowly but surely rather that a one-punch knockout finisher. Betting wise, Benavidez by decision is a risk, no doubt, but this boxing junkie got it at +299 on My. Bookie a few weeks back. Throwing a little something down on Plant as a sizable underdog doesn’t hurt as long as you back it up with an outright bet on David to win or win via KO. This will be an entertaining bout featuring skill and clean punching as well as a strategy. Unless David’s defense is just downright horrible he should be able to win this one. Late stoppage by TKO or a distance win is my call, with Benavidez’s hand getting raised at night’s end. If it goes to the cards don’t be shocked at a split or majority decision result.
My Official Prediction is David Benavidez by late TKO.
Side Note: A stacked undercard features unbeaten prospects Jesus Ramos and Joey Spencer going head-to-head. Coming off their first losses Chris Colbert and Jose Valenzuela should be a clash of styles. Rounding out the PPV undercard is Cody Crowley facing his most experienced foe thus far versus an always-game Able Ramos. The free YouTube prelims main event is Kevin Gonzalez vs. Jose Sanmartin along with Cuban prospect Orestes Velazquez.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio