Veteran trainer Bob Santos expects David Benavidez to take control by the mid-rounds of his upcoming grudge match against Caleb Plant.
The two former super middleweight world champions will collide on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, in the main event of Showtime Pay-Per-View card - with the WBC's interim-world title at stake.
The winner of the bout will be firmly in line for a world title showdown with current undisputed champion Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
Santos, who is very familiar with both Benavidez and Plant, expects a lot of fireworks.
“I know both guys very well. The bad blood is real. I’ve been cordial with both guys and I’ve been in the middle of it sometimes. We’ve all known these two have been on a head-on collision course," Santos said.
“I think it’s going to be brutal at times in there. But if Benavidez gets too intense, he could get into some trouble. We’ll see how it plays out. People are going to be surprised with Benavidez, because he’s chose to fight the way he has, so that he can make a name for himself. But he’s really a savant. He’s a lot smarter in the ring than people think. I think he can do more things than Caleb Plant can in the end, but the only thing I’m worried about is how much he’s talked about going for the knockout. If he stays within himself, I like him to break Plant down.
“I think both of their stocks are going to rise in this fight. Eventually, Benavidez will force Plant to fight. He’s going to go through the fire and I’m interested to see how he reacts. I would tell Caleb to keep turning Benavidez. He’s gotta use his angles. I’d be MMA all night clinching and holding with him, because you can’t let him get comfortable."
While he predicts the contest will be a 50-50 battle in the early going, Santos believes the fight will swing in Benavidez's favor by the middle rounds - where the 'Mexican Monster' will take over.
“I think Benavidez vs. Plant is going to be a tremendous fight in the early rounds. Plant will be having some success moving and boxing, but towards the middle rounds Benavidez will take over and win the fight. That said, I think it’s going to be a tremendous fight and both guys' stock is going to go up," Santos said.
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