An all-Caleb grudge match will finally see the light of day.
Unbeaten super middleweight titlist Caleb Plant is set to make the third defense of his title versus longtime divisional rival Caleb Truax. The two will collide January 30 atop the first Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Fox telecast of 2021, per an announcement on Wednesday’s edition of PBC on FS1 from Los Angeles.
While not the sexiest of matchups, the pairing settles an old score between the pair of Calebs with no love lost between them.
Plant will fight for the first time since a 10th round knockout of Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming mandatory title defense this past February at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The fight was to have launched what was supposed to be a big 2020 campaign for the Ashland City (Tennessee) native, who now lives and trains in the greater Las Vegas area.
The pandemic had other plans, as Plant (20-0, 12KOs) was limited to just one fight on the year while twice linked to a potential showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. Such a dream fight never advanced beyond casual talk, as Alvarez will instead face another unbeaten titlist in Liverpool, England’s Callum Smith (27-0, 19KOs) this Saturday in San Antonio.
Plant makes the third defense of the title he claimed in a 12-round unanimous decision win over Jose Uzcategui last January in Los Angeles. The upcoming bout with Truax will come shortly after his two-year anniversary as a super middleweight titlist.
Truax (31-4-2, 19KOs) aims for a second super middleweight title reign, though enduring a swarm of bad luck in reaching this point. The former titlist from Minnesota fought just once in 2020, a rust-shaking eight-round points win this past January.
The bout came months after having to withdraw from a title eliminator rematch with Peter Quillin last summer after suffering an injury which required surgery. The two fought four months prior, though their truncated affair ending with Truax suffering a cut in the 2nd round of their elimination contest last April.
Truax was tabbed to face Alfredo Angulo this past August in Los Angeles, only to have to withdraw from their Fox-televised bout due to illness. He has since remained out of the ring, and in the running to land this fight as he remains the highest ranked contender to Plant’s title.
The 37-year old Truax enjoyed a brief stay as a 168-pound titlist, scoring an upset 12-round majority decision win over James DeGale in December 2017 on the road in Hackney Wick, England. The reign lasted just four months, dropping a competitive but clear decision to DeGale in their April 2018 rematch.
Plant will enjoy his third consecutive Fox primetime headlining appearance. His first defense took place on the free-to-air network last July, stopping unbeaten but overmatched Mike Lee inside of three rounds. Plant’s win over Feigenbutz was viewed by a peak audience of 1.809 million viewers, making it the most watched fight on Fox in 2020.
The figure goes in hand with Plant’s record-setting viewership in his win over Uzcategui. The title-winning effort played to a peak audience of 986,000 viewers, making it the most-watched boxing match to ever air on FS1.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox