NASHVILLE—With his long overdue homecoming finally in the books, Caleb Plant is ready to take on anyone in or around the super middleweight division.
Yes, that includes Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. What it won’t include, however, is accommodating another fighter’s timetable—not even the sport’s most lucrative option.
“How far is May 2 away,” Plant hypothetically asked a group of reporters shortly after his 10th round knockout of Vincent Feigenbutz to defend his super middleweight title. “So, that means take a half-month off after a 3 ½ month camp, and then go right back to work, right? Just so they can try to get me when I’m overworked?
“You control the narrative, you control the media. So, they make an offer when they know I just fought. So you control the narrative, you control the media. Don’t let them fool you.”
Plant (20-0, 12KOs) is referring to his name being floated as a potential candidate to land a lucrative assignment versus Alvarez, who plans to fight May 2 likely at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. It wasn’t until a pair of unbeaten super middleweight titlists—Callum Smith and Billy Joe Saunders—turned down initial offers from the Alvarez camp has attention turned to fighters outside of the DAZN platform.
For now, it’s a matter for those who guide Plant’s career. As for the boxer, he was too busy enjoying his time in his first home state bout, as the Ashland City turned away Germany’s Feigenbutz (31-3, 28KOs) in the 10th round of their Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox headliner Saturday evening at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. As lopsided as was the clash, it was not without its grueling moments as Plant sported swelling and minor bruising around his left eye which will require time to heal.
If nothing else, it also speaks to a teachable moment that came from Alvarez's last fight. The boxing superstar from Guadalajara, Mexico added the light heavyweight title to a portfolio that already includes World championships at 154- and 160-pounds following an 11th round knockout of Russia's Sergey Kovalev. The bout took place last November 2, leaving Kovalev with the exact amount of time—11 weeks, including recovery time from his stoppage win over Anthony Yarde last August—as he expects Plant to able to accept.
After the fight, Kovalev and his team admitted that the now former three-division titlist was affected by quick turnaround.
To date, operating on a timetable in sync with the PBC brass has worked wonders for Plant's six-year career. It’s led to his first title shot last year, outpointing Jose Uzcategui to win the 168-pound title in what still remains the most watched boxing telecast ever to air on FS1.
Saturday marked Plant’s second defense of the title, as he remains one of four unbeaten beltholders in a wide-open super middleweight division. For now, he’s content with the current course of action for his career, which will likely include a unification bout with David Benavidez (22-0, 19KOs) later this year.
“I’m a world champion, I’m a world class fighter,” noted Plant. “I’m on my time. This is CP time—that means Caleb Plant time so we don’t get it twisted.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox