It may have taken longer than he expected, but all of the pieces were falling into place for Caleb Plant.
In January of 2019, the Nashville, Tennessee, native achieved a lifelong dream, winning the IBF super middleweight crown. With three successful defenses of his 168-pound title, Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) attempted to place another check mark on his to-do list. Although he would come up short in his bid for undisputed glory against Canelo Alvarez, Plant finds himself back in the championship mix.
On the 25th of March, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Plant’s longtime rivalry with David Benavidez will seemingly come to an end.
In terms of a winner, most prognosticators are split right down the middle. However, as Tim Bradley picks up his reading glasses and begins to dissect their mega bout, he begins to play out a variety of different scenarios in his mind.
Ultimately, considering how things unfolded against Alvarez, the newly selected Hall of Famer simply has a hard time getting rid of that indelible memory.
“After watching Plant against Canelo and seeing how he faded toward the backend of the fight, it wasn't really how he faded physically, it was how he faded mentally,” said Bradley to FightHype.com during a recent interview. “I look at that and I can’t get it out of my mind.”
Before inking his name on the dotted line to face Benavidez, Plant ostensibly worked out the kinks in his overall game at the expense of Anthony Dirrell. Although the former two-time WBC belt holder goaded and antagonized Plant, the 30-year-old remained calm. That is, until the night of the fight.
Playing the role of supporting actors, Plant and Dirrell met up in the co-main event slot on October 15th. On the night, Plant did all of his talking with his fists, stopping the normally durable contender in the ninth.
While his confidence appears to be in full bloom, Bradley isn’t entirely buying it. In Benavidez, the 26-year-old has dominated his competition by bullying them into submission. His perpetual pressure, seemingly ubiquitous punches, and ability to fight relentlessly, to a certain extent, reminds Bradley of Alvarez.
In totality, Bradley reveres Plant’s skills and acknowledges that he has the full package both offensively and defensively. However, from a mental standpoint, the former two-division world titlist simply believes that Plant’s still harboring demons and that Benavidez will eventually bring them to light.
“No matter how much skills this guy got, I feel like, if you put enough pressure on Plant, he will eventually concede. He will give in.”
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