LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez’s newly sculpted physique hasn’t impressed Caleb Plant.

The former IBF super middleweight champion wonders why his upcoming opponent hasn’t always worked as hard during training camp as a more motivated Benavidez did for his Showtime Pay-Per-View main event versus Plant on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena (9 p.m. ET; $74.99). Benavidez’s rival also questioned his level of opposition during their final press conference Thursday and reminded the WBC interim super middleweight champion that he hasn’t faced anyone this accomplished or capable in his first 26 professional fights.

Plant’s professionalism has helped the Ashland City, Tennessee native beat the odds by becoming a championship-caliber super middleweight, despite that he came from an area not known for producing top boxers. The only loss Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) has suffered was an 11th-round, technical-knockout defeat to Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez in November 2021 at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Plant hopes to secure a rematch against Alvarez by upsetting Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs).

“I worked extremely hard for this fight,” Plant said while standing at the podium at MGM Grand’s KA Theatre. “I’m ready. And actually somebody [Benavidez knows] let me know, ‘Hey, tell your boy that I’m already on weight.’ Right? But that don’t mean sh*t to me. You know, I don’t care if you already on weight. That’s not braggin’ rights. I brought my mouthpiece and my cup with me this week, but I don’t need a pat on the back for it. That’s what you supposed to do. You’re supposed to be on weight. So, welcome to the club. And, you know, you got your newfound muscles that you been showing off all week, welcome to the club. That’s what happens when you work hard, you put everything [into training]. I don’t need the right opponent put in front of me to say, ‘Hey, aw, this time I got the right guy in front of me. … I’m gonna get after it now.’

“I been walkin’ that straight line. I been this disciplined. I don’t need the right opponent in front of me to, you know, motivate me to give it my all and give it my best. I been doing that my whole life, since I was a little kid. So, Saturday night, you got a real one in front of you. I’m not some blown-up 154-pounder. I’m not a 160-pounder blown up with a two-week notice. I’m the real deal and you gonna find out on Saturday. I promise you that.”

Benavidez became a world champion at just 20 years old, when he defeated Romania’s Ronald Gavril by split decision in a 12-round bout that occurred in September 2017 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Benavidez beat Gavril (then 18-1) in dominant fashion in their 12-round rematch five months later, but he has lost the same WBC 168-pound crown twice without actually losing a fight.

The WBC first stripped Benavidez because he tested positive for cocaine in August 2018. Benavidez won back the WBC belt by knocking out Anthony Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KOs) in the ninth round of their September 2019 bout at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Phoenix native lost that title again less than a year later, when he came in 2¾ pounds overweight for an optional title defense against Colombian contender Alexis Angulo (then 26-1) in August 2020. Benavidez has since won the WBC interim championship, but Plant promised Thursday to take that from him, too.

“I feel I’m the better boxer, I got the better IQ, I got more experience and I got a better boxing team,” Plant said. “I don’t just have coaches or trainers, but I have teachers. I got the better pedigree and Saturday night, it’s gonna show.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.