It takes two to tango, and Caleb Plant is looking for a viable dance partner for a super middleweight unification fight.
One such scenario for Plant (20-0, 12 KOs), the IBF’s 168-pound champion, is to take on two-time WBC super middleweight titlist David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs).
Both fighters captured their crowns in 2019 and have since been on a collision course to fight one another in the ring. In Plant’s last fight against Vincent Feigenbutz on Feb. 15, a TKO win, Benavidez was in the broadcast booth ringside taking in the action first hand.
“The reason there is a holdup on this [Benavidez] fight is not because of me. Their team has said they don’t want that fight right now. It doesn’t matter how bad I want the fight to happen. It takes two to dance, and I can’t force anybody’s hand in there with me. Until they have a change of heart, it will be a whole bunch of wishing I guess,” Plant told BoxingScene.com in an interview.
Although both fighters are represented by PBC, a faceoff seems unlikely this year.
“David’s promoter [Sampson Lewkowicz] was talking about how the fight won’t happen in 2020,” said Plant. “Him and his team feel that our fight needs to wait. It needs to be down the road and simmer more and people need to pay more money for it. That’s the fight that I want.”
In April, Benavidez was asked who between the 168-pound champion trio of Plant, Billy Joe Saunders (WBO) and Callum Smith (WBA) would be the easiest fight.
The 23-year-old Benavidez tapped the 27-year-old Tennessean as the most straightforward encounter.
“Caleb Plant I think definitely,” said Benavidez. “There's not a lot overrated I can think of other than Plant … I feel like, if you just look at him, he's not the biggest puncher, I feel like he gasses out after six rounds. Saunders has a lot of experience, Smith has a lot of experience, they look like they hit harder than Plant so the weakest champion out of the bunch is Caleb Plant.
“I would unify with Caleb Plant because I feel like that's the most personal fight there is at super middleweight, so I feel like that would be the best fight there is … Yeah, I believe he wants to fight me. I believe he thinks he can beat me, but in reality that's not gonna happen.”
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.