This Saturday night in Nashville Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KOs) will aim to upset hometown hero and IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) when he faces the American in the champion’s second defence of his title. A win for the German would match an accomplishment made by historic heavyweight Max Schmeling and would give Feigenbutz the honour of being world champion at the second attempt. All of that was discussed and more when Boxing Scene caught up with the 24-year-old heavy hitter.
Boxing Scene: Beginning with last year. How do you assess the 2019 you had and what can you take from your wins against Opalach and Nunez which will help you against Plant?
Vincent Feigenbutz: 2019 was a successful year for me. I stopped both of them via TKO, in fact my last five fights ended early. That’s why they call me the KO King and that’s my plan against Plant – get the KO and become world champion!
Boxing Scene: You're unbeaten in four years, unbeaten in ten fights. Has something changed in you, your training or has it been good matchmaking?
Vincent Feigenbutz: I have learned a lot from my last defeat against De Carolis in 2016. We changed a few things afterwards and now I am feeling ready to win a world championship again. When I won my first fight against De Carolis, I was only 20 years old. Now I am 24 years old and have grown not only as a boxer but also as a person. That helps me in the gym, in camp and also in the ring.
Boxing Scene: You've had more fights than the average 24-year-old. How does the body and mind feel after 33 fights and what have you learned about yourself as a man and fighter during your time as a pro?
Vincent Feigenbutz: I don’t feel old, if you mean that. I think it is great to have that kind of experience as a young boxer. Not only winning, but more importantly losing fights or going through tough times. That’s also a thing that made me stronger: If you work hard and follow your dreams, you can make them happen. I did this in 2016 when I became the youngest world champion ever. Since the loss against De Carolis in 2016 I had this dream of winning a world championship belt again – and look where I am now!
Boxing Scene: Moving on to your next opponent, Caleb Plant. What do you know about him and how do you rate him as a fighter?
Vincent Feigenbutz: Of course I have watched all his fights over and over again, so I feel like I know him as a boxer pretty good. In my opinion he is the strongest world champion from our division, a complete boxer and a great athlete. But on February 15 it will just be us two in the ring and Caleb only has two legs and two arms just like me. I am strong, fit and ready to go, so let's see who takes that belt home.
Boxing Scene: You're fighting outside Germany for the first time in over three years. How do you feel about that and fighting on the champion's home turf?
Vincent Feigenbutz: Of course it is always tougher to fight on the champion’s home turf, everyone knows that. But I like the challenge and I also enjoy boxing in the United States. Isn't that what every boxer is dreaming of? We will have a great arena, a great crowd and great media coverage, so I am looking forward to the fight very much. I would like to thank my promoter Team Sauerland, my manager Rainer Gottwald and all my supporters, sponsors, family and friends for making this possible and supporting me.
Boxing Scene: As I understand it you are now trained by Eduard Michel and Kosten Patoulidis. Why change trainers so near a world title fight?
Vincent Feigenbutz: It is a great combination of two coaches, Kosta being in charge of strength and conditioning, Eduard covering the technical and strategical parts. We all get along very good, had almost two full months together, being in the gym three times a day having great sparring partners. Before that we tried different things, that never felt a 100% perfect. And if you don’t feel right, you should change that. Now everything is just the way I feel comfortable with.
Boxing Scene: Should you win against Plant you repeat the feat of Max Schmeling by becoming just the second German boxer to win a world title in America. Does this excite you? Does making history interest you?
Vincent Feigenbutz: I’ve read and heard about it and it would be a great honor, of course. But to be honest, I am more focussed on winning this belt and bringing it home to Germany than anything else right now. I know about the historical meaning, but it doesn’t play the biggest role in my motivation, not being disrespectful!
Boxing Scene: You are known for your heavy hands and knocking people out. Will your power be the deciding factor in this fight? Plant has already said this fight isn't going 12 rounds.
Vincent Feigenbutz: Knocking him out would make things easier, wouldn’t it? I think both of us are very strong and have good punches, so I agree with Caleb in that aspect. And as said before, the win for the contender is more likely to happen through a KO rather than winning by a point decision.
Boxing Scene: What are the differences between the Vincent Feigenbutz who won and lost to De Carolis compared to the Vincent Feigenbutz of today?
Vincent Feigenbutz: Age, experience and the hunger for more!