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Caleb Plant vs. Rocky Fielding on July 28 in IBF 168lb eliminator

James DeGale

By Jim Dower: The management for super middleweight contenders Caleb Plant (17-0, 10 Kos) and Rocky Fielding (26-1, 14 KOs) came to an agreement on Tuesday for an IBF super middleweight eliminator fight on July 28 on Showtime Championship Boxing at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

There was supposed to be a purse bid on Tuesday for the Plant-Fielding fight, but their management was able to come to an agreement for a fight, so the purse bid was called off.

The Plant-Fielding fight will take place in the co-feature bout on the undercard of the lightweight unification fight on July 28 between WBC 135 lb. champion Mikey Garcia and IBF champion Robert Easter Jr.

Plant, 25, and Fielding will be scraping it out to determine the IBF mandatory to 168lb champion James ‘Chunky’ DeGale (24-2-1, 14 KOs). However, IBF super middleweight interim champion Jose Uzcategui (27-2, 23 KOs) has the first crack at the 32-year-old DeGale, as he won the right to that recently with his 8th round stoppage win over Andre Dirrell last March. It’s going to be difficult for the winner of the Plant vs. DeGale fight to beat Uzcategui, because he’s looking very good right now. The way that Uzcategui dominated Dirrell in their rematch, he might be too good for both of them.

#6 IBF Plant has recent wins over Rogelio Medina, Andrew Hernandez, Thomas Awimbono and Juan De Angel. Plant didn’t look that solid in any of those fights. All four of those fights went the distance. One reason for that is Plant’s reluctance to stay in the pocket and punch with his opponents. He boxed and moved all of those fighters. Those were guys that were beatable by knockout, but Plant didn’t want to slug with them and risk being hurt. That’s the way that Plant usually fights. He’s a safety first type of fighter.

Plant and Fielding would have an excellent chance of beating DeGale, but it’s too bad that Uzcategui will likely beat him, because he’s a much harder fight for those two. DeGale is looking increasingly like a shot fighter since fighting Badou Jack to a grueling 12 round draw last year in January.

Uzcategui is expected to fight on ESPN on July 28 in a stay busy fight against an opponent still to be determined. Uzcategui volunteered to step in as the replacement for WBA Super World super middleweight champion George Groves if he’s unable to fight in the World Boxing Super Series finals against Callum Smith due to his injured left shoulder. There’s no word whether the WBSS organizers are interested in using Uzcategui or not. Groves still hasn’t dropped out of the tournament.

Fielding, 30, has past wins over David Brophy, John Ryder, Noe Gonzalez Alcoba, Charles Adama, and Luke Blackledge. Fielding was knocked out in the 1st round by Callum Smith in November 2015. That was a real shock to see Fielding getting knocked down three times by Smith in the process of getting stopped in the 1st round.

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