There’s a competitive spirit that encompasses Anthony Dirrell. Still, that hasn't stopped the former two-time super middleweight belt holder from building relationships with his adversaries. Yet, in the case of Caleb Plant, Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KOs) has taken notice of his behavior both in and outside of the ring.
For the better part of the past two years, Dirrell has expressed on countless occasions that he loathes the manner in which Plant conducts himself. With the two jawing back and forth during a recent presser to promote their October 15th showdown, Dirrell took it upon himself to accentuate Plant’s lack of close connections in the boxing community.
“Nobody likes him,” said Dirrell during their press conference.
An amused Plant, grinned as Dirrell continued to rattle off names such as Canelo Alvarez, and David Benavidez, as fighters who have openly confessed to their disdain for the Nashville, Tennessee, native.
In spite of Dirrell’s claims, Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) appeared unbothered by his harsh words. According to the newly turned 30-year-old, he couldn’t care less if a single fighter at 168 pounds considers him a friend.
“Anytime that I’ve had a fight, afterward, we’ve shook hands and gave our proper respects to each other and then go home,” said Plant to a group of reporters. “But as far as just walking around on a daily basis, holding hands, I’m not interested in that. We’re opponents, we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. We’re going to be competing. I’m not concerned if they wanna be my friends or my buddies. We gotta compete.”
At the age of 37, and coming off one of the more impressive knockout victories of 2021, Dirrell has admitted that he’s eyeing another world title run. While he's well aware that he’s near the end of his pugilistic rope, Dirrell credits his straight and narrow lifestyle as a key factor to remaining amongst the division’s elite after all of these years.
“Just doing what needs to be done outside the ring," confessed Dirrell. "No smoking, no drinking type thing. Keeping your body where it needs to be. You take care of your body, your body will take care of you. Staying ready and staying in the gym.”
Following Dirrell’s statement, a look of disbelief was etched onto the face of Plant. Although the pair aren't the closest of friends, the former IBF titlist believes that Dirrell’s remarks are simply erroneous.
“He does drink and he does smoke and he doesn't train year round. Anthony Dirrell does not do that," continued Plant. "He may be the type of person that looks at this as a job. But this is not a job to me. I do train year round, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink. Boxing is like my whole life. I take this really serious.”
Plant, of course, will seek to regain his championship status after coming up short against Canelo Alvarez in November of 2021. Dirrell, on the other hand, has other ideas and has repeatedly mentioned that he envisions himself savagely beating Plant come fight night.
Ultimately, considering Dirrell’s plans to hand Plant a second consecutive defeat, the Las Vegas resident views his showdown against him, and anyone else for that matter, as much more than simply a run-of-the-mill boxing match.
“Anybody looking to get in the way of my dreams and everything that I worked for, that’s kinda personal to me.”