Fans witnessed the very real dislike super-middleweights Caleb Plant and David Benavidez have for each other during yesterday’s presser to hype the March fight, with the two (predictably) having to be kept apart as tempers flares. It’s up to you when it comes to which of the two fighters got the better of things as far as the mental edge, but none of it will really matter when fight time comes.
But everyone is expecting a good fight here, maybe even a great fight. One man who is always worth listening to when he breaks down a fight is living legend Bernard Hopkins. “B-Hop,” “The Alien,” “The Executioner” – whichever nickname you refer to him by, Hopkins has so much boxing experience and with it the ability to analyse a fight. It might be somewhat surprising, then, that Hopkins says Plant will defeat Benavidez, “not easy, but but he’s not going to have as much difficulty as people are predicting.”
Plenty of us have this one down as a 50-50 fight. But Hopkins, as he explained when speaking with Fight Hub TV, likes what he sees in Plant, a fighter the Philly legend says “has more grit,” and is a fighter who “wants it more.”
“I like Plant. Not only I like his experience and how he comes to fight, but I also think he has a style and I think the opportunity right now,” Hopkins said. “He might not be the most talented out of the two of them, but I think he has the work ethic, blue collar type mentality. I just think he wins the fight and I think he shocks everybody and wins it. Not easy, but he’s not going to have as much difficulty as people are predicting. I think this is going to be one of those upsets – if they want to call it that – where people are surprised. I think that he’s more hungry to win. And it ain’t just about what’s been going on between the back and forth and all that, because you can read two ways into that. I just believe [Plant] has the better grit, I believe he wants it more.”
Interesting stuff as always from this particular student of the game. Plant is as we know coming off that quite spectacular KO win over Anthony Dirrell, the knockout seeing the Plant improve to 22-1(13), this in his first fight back after losing in a game effort against Canelo. “Sweet Hands” did look pretty sweet back in October.
Benavidez, unbeaten at 26-0(23) and four years the younger man at age 26, destroyed a faded David Lemieux in his last fight, this back in May. Interestingly, Benavidez also holds a ninth round stoppage win over Dirrell. Benavidez is for some one of the best, most exciting young fighters out there today.
Is Hopkins right when he suggests Plant has more “grit?” Has Plant proven himself more than has Benavidez? Both men want a fight with Canelo, a rematch in the case of Plant, and this adds to the pressure to win both men will carry into the ring with them in Las Vegas on March 25.
This one WILL be special. The two styles of the fighters will make it so. But who wins? Despite what Hopkins says, I still don’t have any real, definitive answer. Do YOU?