LAS VEGAS — While training in the same gym over 4 years ago Caleb Plant and The Benavidez Family got into a scuffle that set WBC interim champion David Benavidez and former IBF champion Caleb Plant on a collision course that has manifested over the years. The course has a date and is set to take place on the headlining bout on March 25th live on Pay Per View at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Once beaten Plant is coming off a spectacular knockout of Anthony Dirrell while Benavidez is unbeaten in 26 fights. The two super middleweight boxing stars haven’t minced words in expressing their feelings towards one another, but on March 25th, their fists will do the talking, an assignment that Plant is more than ready to tackle. Expect controlled chaos as two of the top super middleweights in the world collide live on Showtime PPV.
Plant discussed his upcoming clash against David Benavidez with Zenger News.
Zenger: How are you doing?
Plant: I’m doing good.
Zenger: You stood outside of the ring after one of David Benavidez’s fights and you told him, “Let’s make this fight happen.” When it appears that some fights are tougher to make than others, what type of statement was it for you guys to get this fight done?
Plant: That video of me standing outside of the ring was actually from 2017 when he won the world title. After he fought Ronald Gravil the first time I was like, “Hey, let’s make it happen.” I ended up winning a world title in 2019, I went on to make a voluntary defense, and then two mandatories back to back, which put me in line to fight Canelo for undisputed. Obviously, coming up short, disappointed with that, but I went to my handlers and said, “Give me the biggest fight that we can possibly get.” They come back with two-time world champ, Anthony Dirrell, and it becomes a WBC title eliminator. That put me in line to fight the interim champ which is David. I knew the plan going into the Dirrell fight was to fight David afterward, so when that fight was finished, I got with my team and I made it happen.
Zenger: Fighters can get the title of being, “The Boogeyman.” David has been deemed that in many ways. You have been fighting your entire life and you don’t seem to buy into any of that.
Plant: Where we’re from the bullies get bullied. They said that Jose Uzcategui was “The Boogeyman” of the 168 pound division and I fought him coming off a year layoff, a broke hand, and we gave him a tune-up fight to stay busy once I broke my hand in camp. I still went in there and did my thing. If you’re going to beat me you have to prove it. All that rah rah and loud talking, that’s not going to convince me. You’re going to have to convince me with your hands. If he wants me to respect his skills, he’s going to have to do that on March 25th.
Zenger: You posted some pictures on social media and you seem to already be in great shape. What’s the thin line between staying ready and not overtraining?
Plant: Just knowing my body. Like you said, I have been doing this for a long time, I’ve been doing it at a high level for a long time, and I have a great team around me. It’s not just me out here. I got a high level team. I got a lot of people on the team, and we all do this at a high level. We know when to push, we know how hard to push, and I’m in the best shape of my life right now.
Zenger: You showed off the fruits of your labor. Young Caleb Plant growing up in a trailer to now, living in a nice pad with all the perks. Is that a motivating factor for you? Not just maintaining a lifestyle but being an inspiration for others as well.
Plant: Yeah definitely! Anyone that has followed my story, they see how far that I’ve come. I’m not done. I feel like I’m just getting started. It’s not about getting to one specific place in life and be like, this is good enough. It’s about seeing how far I can get from where I started before my time expires and runs out. I’ve been using my time wisely for a long time. David keeps using it against me that I lost to Canelo, but I’d rather lose to Canelo ten times in a row than to beat myself and lose my belt on a scale or lose it to doing cocaine or losing it from doing something foolish outside of the ring. Like Cus D’Amato said, “What worse opponent to lose to than to lose to yourself.” And that’s something I have never done. I never beat myself. That would be something that I would advise to the people reading this is, don’t beat yourself. Make sure that you do your best. Don’t ever get in the way of your blessings.
Zenger: Do you feel like in order to win this fight you have to employ a Bernard Hopkins against Kelly Pavlik like performance, or do you feel there are more than one way to skin a cat?
Plant: There’s some bits and pieces that you can take from that fight. But there are bits and pieces that you can take from a lot of fights. Me and my team watched a lot of film. That’s something that I love to do. I do it on a year-round basis. I’ve been watching a lot of film and there’s bits and pieces I can take from that fight, yeah.
Zenger: The biggest stage for you was during the Canelo Alvarez fight. Did the build-up for that fight prepare you for the obligations of this fight in headlining another Pay Per View?
Plant: It’s the same approach. I’ve headlined other shows before. Big Fox shows and the media obligations weren’t too much different from the Canelo fight honestly. Where I would gain my experience from is on fight night. The crowd and the moment itself and being able to take that experience from that and bring it into these other big fights is vital. Experience isn’t something you can get overnight, or just buy, it’s something you gotta go through the fire to get, and I’ve done that.
Zenger: There’s always a certain satisfaction in taking a fighter’s 0 off his record. This one with David seems to be personal. You guys have been at it for years. Would it be even more gratifying taking Benavidez’s unbeaten record from him?
Plant: Yeah! He’s had a lot to say, and it’s going to feel good on March 25th to get my hand raised.
Edited by Joseph Hammond
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