Initially, both Jose Benavidez Sr. and David Benavidez were convinced that facing Caleb Plant would be a walk in the park. But after 12 excruciatingly hard-fought rounds, team Benavidez is singing an entirely different tune.
“I’m gonna give it to Caleb Plant,” said Benavidez Sr. to BoxingScene.com when asked if Plant was his son’s toughest test thus far. “That was the hardest fight we ever had.”
Last month all of their public fulminating and verbal threats were officially put to bed. Plant's braggadocious attitude and unwavering self-belief did nothing to help him change the outcome of their mega showdown but it did leave a lasting impression on the Benavidez family, particularly, Benavidez Sr.
In the opening few frames, Plant marched confidently to the center of the ring and imposed his will. He danced around his much larger foe, stuck a hard jab into the grill of Benavidez whenever he pleased, and routinely avoided the lunging and looping shots that came back in his direction.
His slippery defense and quick offensive outbursts, however, eventually waned as Benavidez took over in the second half of their contest. Now, with the biggest win of his career tucked safely away, Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) has his pick of the litter.
If he opts against squeezing down to the 168-pound weight limit, Benavidez could try his hand one division higher against the likes of Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev. If that option isn’t too appealing to the 26-year-old, Benavidez could remain put and pursue bouts against Jermall Charlo and current super middleweight kingpin, Canelo Alvarez.
Ultimately, his decision is somewhat extraneous. According to Benavidez Sr., Plant’s movement brought a unique style to the dance floor, one that they struggled with for essentially the entirety of the first half of their bout.
With Plant now out of the way, Benavidez Sr. firmly believes that the hard part is behind them. Now, the road his son will embark upon will be much easier in comparison.
“I think so because of the way he moves," said Benavidez Sr. when asked if everyone else his son faces will be a bit easier. "I don’t think Bivol has the same legs, I don’t think Beterbiev has the same legs, I don’t think Boo Boo (Demetrius Andrade) has the same legs. Charlo doesn't have the same legs.”