Caleb Plant defeats Jose Uzcategui – RESULTS
By Jim Dower: Unbeaten Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) scored two knockdowns early on to cruise to a 12 round unanimous decision win over International Boxing Federation super middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui (28-3, 23 KOs) on Sunday night on Premier Boxing champions on FS1 at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, California.
( Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
Plant was at his best early, catching the wild looking Uzcategui with counters, and jabbing him constantly. Plant suffered a cut over his right eye in the fifth. The cut bled the rest of the way.
It wasn’t the great performance from Plant, but it was good enough for him to beat the hard hitting Uzcategui to take his IBF title. Since Plant was the mandatory challenger for Uzcategui, he doesn’t need to give him a rematch.
Plant, 26, knocked Uzcategui down with flash knockdowns in rounds 2 and 4. Plant gassed out after the 5th round, and spent most of the remainder of the fight holding a great deal, and moving a lot. The judges’ score were 116-110, 116-110 and 115-111. Boxing News 24 scored it a draw at 113-113.
“I did feel that I had the advantage heading into the fight,” said Uzcategui. “I went down because I was off balance, but I wasn’t hurt. He started to get tired around the sixth round, which was the plan. Caleb knew how to clench and hold. He was smart. He knew how to stay away from the punches.”
Uzcategui went on to say that he would like a rematch with Plant if possible. Plant wasn’t talking about wanting to give Uzcategui a rematch though after the fight. Plant will likely call out WBA ‘regular’ super middleweight champion Saul Canelo Alvarez in a unification fight. That’s not going to happen though, as both guys fight on different networks. If Plant wants to call someone out, he should call out WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs). That would be a fun fight to watch. It’s unclear whether Plant would win or even be competitive, but it would be fun to watch. Plant would need to hold less, and not run as much as he was tonight for him to have a chance of beating Smith.
Plant was mostly spoiling in the seven rounds of the fight, and trying to keep Uzcategui from throwing shots. The referee let Plant get away with a lot of holding, and that he should taken at least 2 points off. Plant was gaming the system with his holding, and the referee Jerry Cantu was just standing and watching it without giving warnings or taking points away.
Uzcategui only has himself to blame for the loss. Although he was technically the champion coming into the fight, he was still the visitor, as Plant is a popular PBC fighter, and he was fighting in his home country of the U.S. Uzcategui needed to stay on his feet, and stay close to Plant. Uzcategui was missing a lot with his power shots when he was throwing them from the outside, and this enabled Plant to dodge and counter.
The performance from Plant makes it hard to see him holding onto the IBF belt for long. He looked like another Rocky Fielding type of fighter tonight. Plant will do alright against the mostly flawed fighters in the IBF’s top 15, but he needs to stay away from the better fighters at 168 like Callum Smith, Gilberto Ramirez, Saul Canelo Alvarez, Jessie Hart, George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. Andre Dirrell and Anthony Dirrell would be tough opponents for Plant as well. Plant is a good fighter, but he’s got major stamina problems that will eventually sink his ship. This wasn’t the first time that Plant gassed out after five rounds.
In other boxing results on the card:
Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa stops Moises Flores
Undefeated super bantamweight contender Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa (18-0, 13 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a 3rd round knockout victory over former world title challenger Moises Flores (25-2, 17 KOs) in a WBA super bantamweight title eliminator bout. It was an impressive performance by the young 22-year-old Figueroa, who knocked Flores down twice in the third round. Referee Jack Reiss stopped it after the second knockdown. Figueroa is now the mandatory challenger to WBA 122 pound champion Daniel Roman. Figueroa looked good tonight, but not good enough to beat a talented fighter like Roman. We’ll have to see though. Perhaps Figueroa can up his game when he faces Roman later this year.
Figueroa’s brother is Omar Figueroa Jr. (27-0, 19 KOs), the former World Boxing Council lightweight champion, who now campaigns at welterweight, and will be fighting next month against John Molina Jr. on February 16 on Premier Boxing Champions card on FOX & FOX Deportes on the undercard of Leo Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.