Caleb Plant vs. Mike Lee in play for July 20 on FOX
By Jeff Aranow: IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) will likely making his first defense against light heavyweight Mike Lee (21-0, 11 KOs) on July 20 on on Premier Boxing Champions on FOX in Tennessee, according to Mike Coppinger. Plant will be fighting in front of his fans in his home state of Tennessee.
This isn’t the fight that the fans wanted to see from Plant. That’s not a knock on Lee, as he’s highly rated by the WBO at 175, but he’s a big name. Chris Eubank Jr. or David Lemieux would have been more interesting options for Plant to defend against than Lee. Plant vs. Lee looks like a soft defense for Caleb.
Lee, 31, normally fights in the light heavyweight division, but he’ll be come down in weight for this fight to challenge Plant, 26, for his International Boxing Federation super middleweight title. It’s unclear why Plant isn’t defending his IBF belt against one of the top contenders in the super middleweight division instead.
Lee is a virtual unknown, and thee’s no real demand by the boxing public in a Plant-Lee fight. Lee is rated highly at light heavyweight at #3 with the WBO, but he’s not beaten anyone of note during his 10 years as a pro to rate that ranking. Lee’s biggest win came against Chris Traietti (27-4, 21 KOs) in 2016. Traitti isn’t a big name either. There’s literally no one on Lee’s resume that would give an indication of how well he’ll be able to hold up against Plant. You have to figure though that with the kind of opposition that Lee has faced, he might not have the talent to have been put in with better opponents.
This will be the first defense for Plant of his IBF title that he won last January in beating champion Jose Uzcategui by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in Los Angeles, California. Plant surprised a lot of boxing fans with his slick performance in out-boxing a good fighter in the hard hitting Uzcategu in winning by the scores 116-110, 116-110 an 115-111. Plant, who isn’t known for his punching power, surprisingly knocked Uzcategui down in rounds two and four.
“SOURCES: Caleb Plant’s first defense will likely take place July 20 against Mike Lee, who will drop down from light heavyweight, in a FOX main event,” Mike Coppinger said on his Twitter. “@Idecboxing reported weeks ago that Plant was headed toward a fight with Lee, who’s best known for his Subway commercials. The super middleweight title fight will likely be held in Plant’s home state of Tennessee, per sources. The fight will be Plant’s first since a victory over Jose Uzcategui in January.”