David Benavidez’s father and trainer doesn’t think Caleb Plant will be able to withstand his son’s pressure and power.
Jose Benavidez Sr. expects David Benavidez, who will defend the WBC interim super middleweight title, to beat Plant by knockout before the 10th round begins March 25 in Las Vegas. The younger Benavidez has knocked out 88 percent of his opponents since he turned pro (26-0, 23 KOs), but Canelo Alvarez is the only opponent who has stopped Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) inside the distance in 23 professional fights.
“We’re training hard not just to win the fight, but to look spectacular and get to even bigger fights,” Jose Benavidez Sr. stated during his son’s open workout recently at their family’s gym in Burien, Washington, just outside of Seattle. “I believe that David is gonna stop Caleb Plant in the eighth or ninth round.”
Benavidez, 26, is consistently listed as a 3-1 favorite to beat Plant, 30, in the 12-round main event of a four-fight Showtime Pay-Per-View telecast (9 p.m. ET; $74.99).
The relentless Benavidez tends to overwhelm opponents with aggression and volume punching, both to the body and head. He has shown an iron chin as well, but the intelligent, skillful Plant is the best boxer Benavidez has agreed to fight during a pro career he launched when he was just 16 years old.
Based on what Benavidez has noticed each time Plant fought powerful opponents, he is convinced that the former IBF super middleweight champion will wilt from his pressure.
“You can see that every time Caleb is in the ring with a power puncher, he’s not comfortable,” David Benavidez said. “He beat Jose Uzcategui, but he was hurt in the fight and then Canelo hurt him. Even Anthony Dirrell hit him with good shots, and he’s not a hitter like that.”
Plant brutally knocked out Dirrell with a picture-perfect left hook in the ninth round of their October 15 fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Benavidez became the first fighter to stop Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KOs), a former WBC 168-pound champ from Flint, Michigan, but Dirrell was cut badly over his right eye and still standing when their 12-rounder was halted in the ninth round in September 2019 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Though boxing Benavidez seems like Plant’s potential path to victory, Benavidez believes Plant might go toe-to-toe with him more than people expect because of Plant’s spectacular knockout of Dirrell.
“I’ve got the power and I feel like I’m faster,” Benavidez said. “I just have to get my feet in the right position, because he’s going to be moving a lot. I think he has a little bit more confidence after beating Dirrell, though, so we’ll see if he wants to trade with me.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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