Although Anthony Dirrell isn't getting any younger, at the age of 38, the former two-time super middleweight belt holder firmly believed that at least one world title run was left in his aging bones.
Desperate to prove that his time amongst the division’s elite was far from over, the Flint, Michigan native attempted to hand Caleb Plant just the second defeat of his career. But while Dirrell promised to deliver an explosive performance, Plant issued a statement of his own, stopping his man in his tracks via ninth-round stoppage.
With Dirrell now out of the way, Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) appears to be on a collision course with former two-time WBC trinket holder, David Benavidez. Having fought the 25-year-old just a few short years ago, Dirrell gave his official prediction for their possible showdown.
“Both of them are good fighters,” said Dirrell to ESNEWS. “I think David brings a little bit more to the table.”
In September of 2019, Dirrell squared off against a young and exuberant Benavidez. Much like his matchup against Plant, the 38-year-old jawed back and forth with his man during the lead-up. Nevertheless, despite his bravado, Dirrell found himself on the wrong end of a one-sided beating, losing via ninth-round knockout.
Regardless of the violent nature in which Dirrell was issued his defeat, he believes that Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) has exhibited several holes in his overall game, something that Plant could take advantage of. But, in spite of his deficiencies, Dirrell is confident that Benavidez will emerge triumphantly.
“Sometimes, David has a problem with boxers. Like, people that move, elusive. But I think David's hands are pretty fast and he has a little snap on his punches. I think that’ll be a factor that beats Caleb but that’ll be a helluva fight.”
Well before capturing his first world title in 2017, Benavidez loathed Plant. For the next several years, both fighters chastised one another in the public eye. While it appears as though the pair could look to settle their differences at some point in 2023, Benavidez has given his full attention to Jose Uzcategui, a fighter Plant defeated in 2019.
Should things go according to plan and the two finally meet in the squared circle, Dirrell has a sneaking suspicion that Plant will be forced to endure a long and painful night.
“I don’t think he stops Caleb but I think it'll be a one-sided fight cause he’s so fast and elusive with his hand speed.”
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