By Craig Page: Caleb Plant needs to decide if he’s ready to rematch Canelo Alvarez by taking on the most dangerous fighter in the top middleweight division in David Benavidez.
Although Shuka (22-1, 13 KOs) took care of business by knocking out Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round on October 15, there is a big difference between the aging 37-year-old and the undefeated WBC interim 168 -lb Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs).
Plant said he wants to fight David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo to get a rematch with Canelo, but he didn’t say anything about either fight after beating Dirrell.
If Plant doesn’t fight a big name opponent like Benavidez or Charlo, he’ll have a tough road trying to lure Canelo into paying him again. Canelo dominated Plant last November, stopping him in the eleventh round.
While Plant looked good against the 37-year-old Dirrell, the boxing public isn’t rooting for a Canelo-Plant rematch. Canelo and his trainer/manager Eddy Reynoso know that Dirrell is over the top, and it seems they won’t be interested in giving Plant a rematch based on this no-win situation.
Plant can do some thinking and realize that he may not get another shot at Canelo’s payday if he deals with Benavidez or Charlo.
So instead of risking a potential knockout and losing a big money fight against Canelo, Shuka will probably be matched up against one of the contenders in the 168-lb division that won’t give him any risk.
“Everybody wants to see Benavidez and Canelo or Benavidez and Beterbiev,” said Max Kellerman on Max on Boxing. “I want to see Benavidez against a big fighter to see how good he is.
Caleb Plant is on the card of Deontay Wilder and Robert Helenius. He knocked out Anthony Dirrell, whose best days were behind him, in the ninth round. What’s next for Caleb Plant?”
“That was a great kick, one of the best of the year,” Mike Coppinger said. “Caleb Plant, again, I think the next fight is Benavidez. These guys, actually, really hate each other, Benavidez & Plant.
“They have a long personal history there. It makes a lot of sense. Sure, Benavidez-Canelo will be good, but I doubt we’ll see that anytime soon. Canelo is going to have wrist surgery, and I doubt he’s fighting a guy like Benavidez in his first fight after surgery.
“Caleb Plant makes sense, and if Plant won’t fight Benavidez, I’d like to see Plant and Jermall Charlo.”
The plant is very good. Not drunk with Plant. He is a great fighter; he is prone to agitation [fibers]he has power, as we’ve seen now, and he can box,” said Kellerman.
“But Canelo hit him hard, and we saw what happened when Canelo fought Bivol, and they’re the same size, even though Bivol is one division above Plant, that takes a boxer’s thinking about it and Shuka can be.
“Yes, Plant will have a bad fight with Benavidez, but I’d rather see Benavidez against someone like Beterbiev, where you can see an explosive fight and find out if he can compete with the big guys.
“Caleb Plant, what we’ve seen so far, is a half step below that,” Kellerman said.
“David Benavidez will fight Jose Uzcategui in January. These two were supposed to fight in January 2021, but Uzcategui tested PEDs,” Kellerman said.
“Uzcategui tested positive for EPO, which is the most powerful PED you can use because it gives you more confidence and more endurance in sports where you’re hitting someone in the head,” said Mike Coppinger.
“Now Benavidez, after defeating David Lemieux and Tyrone Davis, will revisit this fight. It will happen in January.
“There is no date yet, Benavidez-Uzcategui, and I hope Benavidez, as expected, we will see him against Caleb Plant or Jermall Charlo. These are both great fights, and both are with the PBC,” said Coppinger.