LOS ANGELES — Caleb Plant believes he’s a cut above all of the previous opponents upcoming adversary David Benavidez has ever faced.
Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) and Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) will finally settle their yearslong beef in a super middleweight matchup on March 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view.
The former world titlists will be fighting for the right to become the WBC No. 1 mandatory challenger to 168-pound undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez.
If the 30-year-old Las Vegas-based, Nashville native Plant were to win, it would put him in a position to get revenge for his only career loss, which came to Alvarez in November of 2021.
“This is [Benavidez’s] first big fight. This ain't my first big fight. I've been here before. I've been on the big stage more than once,” Plant said in an interview with BoxingScene.com and other reporters.
“Mentally I am relaxed, calm, and focused. I just want to get the job done. I don't let outside voices dictate how motivated or disciplined I am. I'm going to be just as focused, training hard and locked in.”
"Sweet Hands" Plant became a IBF super middleweight champion in Jan. 2019 when he scored a decision against Jose Uzcategui. He made three title defenses against the likes of Mike Lee, Vincent Feigenbutz, and Caleb Truax before Alvarez knocked him out.
Plant rebounded in October by scoring a knockout of the year frontrunner against former two-time WBC 168-pound champion Anthony Dirrell.
The most significant common opponent both Plant and Benavidez share is Dirrell. In 2019, Dirrell's corner stopped the beating Benavidez was putting on him in the ninth round.
Benavidez was awarded Dirrell’s title for his stoppage win.
“A lot of the people that [Benavidez has] fought have been one dimensional. IQ has been decent, but not even the same universe as what I am able to do on fight night,” said Plant. “I can do a lot of things.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com, or via www.ManoukAkopyan.com.
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