Caleb Plant vs. Rocky Fielding in IBF final eliminator
By Tim Royner: Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) will be fighting #5 IBF Rocky Fielding (26-1, 14 KOs) in an International Boxing Federation ordered super middleweight final title eliminator at still to be determined date and venue.
The fight was ordered earlier this month on April 8. The two camps have until May 8 to negotiate the fight to avert a purse bid on that date at the IBF’s headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey.
The winner of the Plant vs. Fielding fight, if it happens, will be the new mandatory for IBF super middleweight champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs).
As bad as DeGale has looked in his last three fights against Caleb Truax [x 2] and Badou Jack, you would have to favor both Fielding and Plant to beat him without any problems. As long as Fielding and Plant can let their hands ago, and chase DeGale around the ring, they should beat him with ease. Of course, DeGale might not be the IBF champion for very much longer.
If he faces anyone decent in his next fight, he’ll likely lose. If DeGale can’t get a cash out fight against WBA Super World super middleweight champion George Groves, it won’t be surprising if he faces Truax in a third fight. The two of them were talking of wanting to face each other in a rubber match following their rematch earlier this month on April 7, which was won by DeGale by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fielding, 30, has looked good in his last five fights since losing to Callum Smith by a 1st round knockout on November 7, 2015. Fielding never had a chance against Smith, as he was dropped hard early on with a big hook. Fielding was then knocked down two more times before the fight was halted. Since that loss, Fielding has put together a nice 5-fight winning streak in beating Karel Horejsek, David Brophy, John Ryder, Istvan Zeller and Christopher Rebrasse. The last fight for Fielding against the 35-year-old Horejsek was a stay busy fight, and not meant to be a competitive match-up.
25-year-old Tennessee native Plant has had a number of his fights televised on Premier Boxing Champions against over-matched, weak opposition. Plant recently boxed his way to a dull 12 round unanimous decision over Rogelio Medina. Plant played it safe in boxing his way to a victory over the Mexican slugger Medina last February.
Plant’s win over Medina was not anywhere near as impressive as David Benavidez’s 8th round knockout win over him. Plant is a slick fighter, who uses his jab and moves around the ring. Plant recently showed up at DeGale’s weigh-in for his rematch with Truax. Plant wanted DeGale to fight him next, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to be happening. There’s no upside in DeGale fighting Plant, because he’s not a big star and he isn’t his mandatory challenger yet.