Caleb Plant has grown tired of the list of excuses coming from divisional rivals. Rather than continue to plead his case through words, he’s instead chosen to start collecting receipts.
The most common topic of discussion for the unbeaten super middleweight titlist is when he will secure a unification bout with fellow undefeated 168-pound title claimant David Benavidez. The two have been at each other’s throats for more than 18 months—before Plant even won his belt—but remain no closer to a head-on collision. Benavidez (22-0, 19KOs) have tried to paint the picture that there’s resistance on the other side, but it doesn’t quite line up with the recollection of his heated rival.
“I’ve been through things that the kid hasn’t even had nightmares about,” Plant (20-0, 12KOs) insisted a recent interview on the latest installment of ‘The PBC (Premier Boxing Champions) Podcast’ with Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal. “Am I lying? So for him to think that I’m scared, c’mon we’re professional fighters.
“What about the video of his promoter, Sampson [Lewkowicz] saying he don’t want to fight me until 2021, 2022. Those aren’t my words, that’s not me saying I want to wait. That’s his team saying they want to wait. That’s their boss saying they want to wait.”
The statement is in reference to an interview Lewkowicz conducted with Boxing Junkie’s Sean Nam earlier this year, insisting that such a fight needed time to build into a bigger event. The comments were made prior to Plant’s second title defense, a 10th round knockout of mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz this past February in his homecoming headliner at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Benavidez was due to make a voluntary defense versus Roamer Angulo in his own hometown showcase this past April in Phoenix, Arizona. The bout was to be followed by his own mandatory obligations versus Avni Yildirim.
The April 18 show was scrapped due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, which could ultimately change plans for every boxer waiting on their next fight. Benavidez’s next order of business will likely have to be a straightaway mandatory defense versus Yildirim, unless of course he and his team are willing to fast forward to a unification bout with Plant.
So far, little indication has come of their being as eager as is the other side of the equation.
“I don’t know what to make of it,” notes Plant. “Those are their words. I can’t explain that. That’s for them to explain. I’m saying I want to fight. They’re saying I’m scared. I have a video of his promoter Sampson saying they want to wait, they don’t want to fight right now. It’s on my Instagram.
“Those aren’t my words. The only reason I posted it is, like, I’m just clearing the air. There’s no hold up on our side. It’s the fight I want. I don’t know how else to say it. I know it’s a big question in boxing and it’s nobody’s fault. But I just don’t know how else to say it. I just think it’s absurd to say that I’m scared of him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox