Caleb Plant captured the IBF super middleweight championship in January 2019 when he defeated Jose Uzcategui. He’s since made two successful defenses of his title, scoring a TKO win over Mike Lee last June and a TKO win over Vincent Feigenbutz in February.
Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) believes the feats that he’s accomplished in the division thus far puts him atop the 168 food chain over champions David Benavidez (WBC)m Billy Joe Saunders (WBO), Callum Smith (WBA) and secondary WBA titlist Canelo Alvarez.
Alvarez has fought only once as a super middleweight, easily demolishing Rocky Fielding in 2018. Alvarez is now looking to make a mark in the division with his next fight, which was initially set to take place against Saunders before Covid-19 halted boxing action globally.
The 27-year-old Tennessee native and current Las Vegas resident Plant was targeted as a potential Alvarez opponent in February, but Plant passed because he would have to endure yet another physically taxing camp in the fight of his life, shortly after he beat Feigenbutz.
With ample time to prepare, Plant said he will give Alvarez the fight of his life.
“I feel that I am the best 168 pound champion that there is. I am the most well rounded. I have the best boxing IQ. I have all of the tools to beat every champion. All of them are good at this and that, but they can’t make the adjustments that I can,” Plant told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
“Canelo is not controlling 168. I’m controlling 168. I’m going to be right here for a minute. When all of the middleweights move up to 168, I’ll be waiting on them.”
Plant is looking to reignite conversations with Team Alvarez to prove who truly is the best super middleweight in the world.
“I want a unification match,” said Plant. “I’m not doing any catchweights or 10-round fights. I’m a world champion, 12-round fighter who will fight in my weight class at 168. I’m 13 pounds away from weight right now. I’m in shape. I’ve been running. The only thing that I haven’t been doing is sparring because we have a pandemic on our hands.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist and member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011. He has written for the likes of the LA Times, Guardian, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Men’s Health and NFL.com. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com.