NASHVILLE—Caleb Plant takes tremendous pride in offering a different type of performance whenever he steps into the ring.
The question heading into this weekend is what his opponent, Vincent Feigenbutz will be able to provide to avoid looking like any other style he’s already seen in the ring.
“I know he's gonna come out and... I really think he's going for the knockout,” Plant (19-0, 11KOs) told BoxingScene.com ahead of the second defense of his super middleweight title. “Everything he's been saying, he knows he can't win a decision no matter where the fight takes place. So he's gonna look to knock me out.”
It’s generally not a bad mindset to adapt heading into the home territory of your opponent, particularly an undefeated titlist. Plant—whose Ashland City, Tennessee hometown is less than 45 minutes from downtown Nashville—has been largely dominant over the course of his career, even without the benefit of fighting at home.
The unbeaten 27-year old barely lost a round through his first 17 pro fights, and rode a strong start—and two knockdowns—all the way to the finish line in a 12-round decision over Jose Uzcategui to win the title last January in Los Angeles. His lone title defense was embarrassingly lopsided, with unbeaten but untested Mike Lee punching far above his skill level as Plant repeatedly sent him to the canvas en route to a 3rd round stoppage last July.
With Saturday’s fight serving as Plant’s long overdue homecoming—airing live on Fox from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (Saturday, 8:00pm ET/7:00pm local)—Feigenbutz (31-2, 28KOs) is understandably leery about getting a fair shake in his first stateside appearance. The streaking super middleweight contender from Karlsruhe, Germany comes in riding a 10-fight win streak, with all but one ending inside the distance.
In a two-fight set he split with Giovanni DeCarolis, Feigenbutz offered the same general mode of attack. It was enough to win the first fight, but also enough for him to suffer an 11th round knockout loss in their January 2016 rematch.
Come this Saturday, the local favorite largely expects for it to be enough to ruin the dreams of yet another opponent.
“Me personally, I think the judges will be fair for whatever rounds they get to score. I do know, their services won't be needed by the end of the fight because he's getting knocked out. Either he’s gonna wave the white flag, or I’m gonna wave it for him.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox