David Benavidez doesn’t know how long it’ll take to put together a super middleweight title unification fight against Caleb Plant.
Whenever it happens, Benavidez believes that the undefeated Plant won’t be able to handle his pressure, combination punching and power. The unbeaten Benavidez is as sure that Plant will easily defeat Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in their 12-round fight for Plant’s IBF super middleweight title Saturday night at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee (FOX; 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).
If the heavily favored Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) defeats Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KOs) and Benavidez wins at least one more bout, Benavidez-Plant could happen late this year. That’s one of the bouts Benavidez wants most because “I don’t like that guy.”
“The type of guys Caleb Plant has fought, they don’t really know how to put their combinations together like I do,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “They don’t know how to put pressure on like I do. I have one of the highest rates of throwing punches in the super middleweight division, and my knockout ratio is amazing. I feel I have a lot of experience, too, for my age.”
Those factors make the 23-year-old Benavidez think it’ll take longer than he’d prefer for Plant to fight him. I
“He talks a lot,” Benavidez said. “He says he wants to fight me. But I feel like every time I see him in person, I sense a little bit of fear in him. He says a lot, that he wants to fight me, this and that, that he’s not ducking anybody. I don’t think any fighter’s scared. I think he does wanna fight me, but I just think he doesn’t know what he’s getting into.”
Plant’s performance against Jose Uzcategui somewhat impressed Benavidez. The Ashland City, Tennessee, native dropped Venezuela’s Uzcategui (29-4, 24 KOs), then the IBF champion, once apiece in the second and fourth rounds, and won a unanimous decision 13 months ago at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“He actually did good for the first six rounds,” Benavidez said of Plant. “But he wants to talk about how he’s a master of defense and how he has the best defense in the division. But after the first six rounds of that fight he was getting tagged pretty good. He was getting hit with some pretty good shots. Uzcategui just didn’t know how to take advantage of that. He was just looking for one shot. He wasn’t really putting his combinations together.
“I feel like me, I’m the complete opposite. You know, I put my combinations together and I always work behind my jab. I feel like once I fight him, he’s never seen somebody like me. He's never seen somebody with a work rate like me. I’m gonna give him his credit, too. It’s gonna be a great fight because he’s a great fighter. But these are the types of fights I want because when I get put with another great fighter, the best comes out of me. I know that for a fact.”
Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) probably will make an optional defense of his WBC 168-pound championship against an undetermined opponent either in April or May. The Phoenix native expected to make a mandatory defense versus Avni Yildirim (21-2, 12 KOs) in his next bout, but the Turkish contender suffered a shoulder injury recently that pushed back their fight indefinitely.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.