Facing another mandatory challenger, Caleb Plant knew he had to put on the performance of a lifetime to get what he wants. By outpointing Caleb Truax this past weekend, the IBF Super-Middleweight Champion is ready for bigger and better things.
Plant won a one-sided affair against Truax, landing 179 punches compared to Truax’s 47. Defending the title for the third time, Plant proved his value. Although he appeared to hurt his hand, he is looking to heal fast and move onto the next big challenge, whoever it may be.
“I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all time,” Plant said, via ESPN. “Whoever is in the way of that, doesn’t matter.”
The path to undisputed for Plant means attempting to face Canelo Alvarez, the WBA, WBC, and The Ring Super-Middleweight Champion. Canelo is currently set to defend his titles against Avni Yildirim on February 27. If he moves past Yildirim, Canelo already agreed to fight Billy Joe Saunders in May. It is another attempt at a bout that fell through last year. Does Plant fit into the schedule of Canelo or Saunders?
If Plant is willing to wait, there are a few fights he could take beforehand. He still has mandatory bouts, and there is the fact that he needs to heal. If he is ready before the beginning of summer, or at least September, he could end up facing ranked fighters Daniel Jacobs or Anthony Dirrell.
Jacobs is the biggest name of his mandatories. The former WBA and IBF Middleweight Champion is on a two-fight win streak, beating Gabriel Rosado back in November via split decision. Both fights came after a loss against Canelo, where he lost the IBF belt. At 33, Jacobs still has a lot of fight left in him. Both have discussed a potential fight, and while Plant stated Jacobs is on his way out, he welcomes the challenge.
The best at 168 😤 pic.twitter.com/wQqmPI8eGH
— CalebPlant (@SweetHandsPlant) December 20, 2020
Up next for Plant would be a former WBC Super-Middleweight Champion in Dirrell, who is coming off of a loss to David Benavidez for the title. The loss ended a six-fight win streak. Dirrell is set to face off against Kyrone Davis on February 27. If he can impress, he can claim himself a contender. Would Premier Boxing Champions be willing to put Plant against him, however?
Speaking of Benavidez, that is the fight that many, including Plant, have been hoping happens for years. The two have made things interesting when it comes to promos. A fight may not do much now, however, thanks to Benavidez.
Benavidez, who was already stripped of the WBC Super-Middleweight Championship in 2018 for cocaine, failed to make weight against Roamer Alexis Angulo back in August. As a result, he no longer holds any gold. Canelo would end up winning the vacant title after beating Callum Smith. Getting in his own way, Benavidez has no leverage against Plant, rendering this potential fight obsolete.
Plant does need a step-up in contenders, as evidenced by his fights against Truax, Vincent Feigenbutz, and Mike Lee. Jacobs (the favorite option) and Dirrell are right there for Plant. First comes the healing process, with Plant continuing to scout Canelo along the way.
If all goes according to plan, both Plant and Canelo will have a busy 2021. Will a bout against one another be on the table, and if so, who comes out on top?