Caleb Plant and David Benavidez have fulminated in the public eye for the better part of the past five years. With both fighters making their way up the super middleweight ranks and earning their own transient world title reigns, a matchup between them has finally come to fruition. Although the date and venue are still under wraps, both have revealed that their showdown will take place in the first quarter of 2023.
Benavidez, 25, has proved to be a monstrous puncher, stopping his last six foes before the sound of the final bell, including against David Lemieux earlier this year. After notching yet another victory under his belt, Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) brazenly dared Plant to face him in the ring next, something the Nashville, Tennessee, native welcomed with open arms.
But before inking his name on the dotted line to face his longtime rival, Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) opted to take a bit of a softer touch following his horrific night against Canelo Alvarez in 2021.
While Plant sauntered into their showdown as the proud holder of the IBF 168-pound title, Alvarez violently truncated his reign, stopping the fleet of foot Plant in the penultimate round. In an effort to sharpen his skills, the now former champion enlisted the help of trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, ahead of his match-up against two-time titlist, Anthony Dirrell.
Armed with renewed confidence, Plant thoroughly enjoyed their first bout together. After spending most of the first few rounds outboxing his man, Plant dug his feet into the dirt and uncorked a pernicious left hand, resulting in a stoppage victory in the ninth.
Still, despite his eye-catching performance and overall skills, Tim Bradley doesn't believe he’ll experience much success against the younger, bigger, and fresher Benavidez. In fact, considering how Plant was forced to go out on his shield against Alvarez, the former multi-divisional champion is convinced that Benavidez will punish Plant until he screams no mas.
“Plant got that boxing ability,” said Bradley to K.O. Artists Sports. “He’s great, he’s a good boxer, he’s cute with it but that relentlessness, that pressure dude. It’s tough to bet against a guy like Benavidez. He’s a pressure fighter, similar to Canelo. He’s gonna be in your grill all night, testing you, making you ask questions. He’s gonna take him to that place of submission again. I always say, once a quitter always a quitter.”
Bradley’s sentiments, ultimately, are being dismissed by Plant’s new trainer. With a bevy of knowledge at his disposal and a well-constructed game plan, team Plant has exuded confidence heading into their explosive showdown.
Admittedly, Bradley confesses that he expects both Breadman and Plant to immure themselves in an arduous training camp and devise a comprehensive fight night strategy. Nevertheless, unless Breadman removes his trainer cap and throws on a pair of boxing gloves, Bradley isn't convinced that he’ll be of much help to Plant.
“I love Breadman. Great knowledge of the game, respect to Breadman but he can’t go in there and fight for Plant.”