By Rafael Soto
Once named the IBF super middleweight champion, the Venezuelan resident of Tijuana - Jose "Bolivita" Uzcategui - claims to be ready for any challenger or the champion in the weight division.
Uzcategui believes the only reason why James DeGale vacated the belt was for fear of facing him in the mandatory fight that the sanctioning body had ordered.
The International Boxing Federation (IBF) had ordered the teams of both fighters to reach an agreement before July 5 but it was before this date when the Briton announced that he vacated his title.
"The Englishman (James DeGale) preferred to abandon the title rather than face me. From the moment he was crowned for the second time, I challenged him that night and he never accepted my challenge and the fight was a mandatory, but he preferred to leave the title vacant for fear of being defeated," said Uzcategui, who won the interim belt on March 3 by defeating Andre Dirrell at the Barclays Center, New York.
After this fact, the IBF promoted Uzcategui (27-2-0, 23 KO's) from interim champion to full champion and ordered a new fight against undefeated challenger Caleb Plant (17-0-0, 10 Ko's), scheduled to happen by the end of August.
Plant made his debut in boxing in May 2014 and in his most recent match he beat Rogelio "Porky" Medina by unanimous decision over 12 rounds.
"I have seen him fight before... for me he is an ordinary opponent, he is not an opponent for which I have to make adjustments in something, I do not have any pressure. At last I have in my hands what I always dreamed of having and nobody is going to come and take it from me - that is why I will arrive very well prepared for the fight," assured Uzcategui, who is preparing with a lot of intensity in Tijuana.
Uzcategui made it clear, that after this mandatory commitment he would like to unify with any champion of the division.
"I have said many times that among all of the super middleweights - Jose Uzcategui is the best, there is no other better than me. With the grace of God, I'm winning my next fight and I am ready to unify titles with whoever," he concluded.
The teams representing Uzcategui and Plant have received the deadline on August 5 to reach an agreement on the fight or a purse bid will be ordered.