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Andre Ward: Caleb Plant is a problem for Canelo

Image: Andre Ward: Caleb Plant is a problem for Canelo

By Jeff Aronow: Andre ‘SOG’ Ward was impressed enough with what he saw from Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant last Saturday night that he believes he’ll give unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez and all the other top 168-pounders problems.

If WBA/WBC champion Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) wins his next two fights against Avni Yildirim and Billy Joe Saunders in February and May, he’ll be fighting Plant for the undisputed 168lb championship in September.

The lack of power that Plant showed last Saturday night against Truax left many fans believing that he’ll have no chance against a master boxer/puncher like Canelo.

Andre Ward showers Caleb Plant with praise

The former two-division world champion Ward doesn’t agree. He thinks Plant can give Canelo and all the other top fighters in the division something to think about.

In a PBC on FOX televised performance, Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) put on a masterful performance in outboxing former IBF 168lb champion Caleb ‘Golden’ Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) in beating him by a 12-round unanimous decision at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

Plant dominated the fight but left a lot of boxing fans frustrated with his inability to put the overmatched Truax away. For that, Plant, 28, blamed a hand injury, saying that he suffered the injury in the first quarter of the contest.

The judges’ scores – 120-108 x 3 – showed how one-sided the contest was from start to finished. But the fight wasn’t expected to be competitive, though, as Truax is 37, and not nearly the fighter that he was years ago when he was in the prime of his career.

Truax tried his best, but the powerful jab and the quick feet of Plant proved to be too much for him. The Minnesota native couldn’t get to Plant often enough to land his bigger shots. On occasion, Truax was able to land massive punches to the head of Plant, but he took them well.

Image: Andre Ward: Caleb Plant is a problem for Canelo

Plant blames hand injury

“I wanted the stoppage. I’m a little disappointed that my hand got hurt early in the fight. But I feel like I put on a good performance,’’ Plant said.

Even before Plant suffered his hand injury in rounds one through three, he didn’t look powerful enough to score a knockout. The only way he was going to stop Truax was by an accumulation of blows.

One potential downside of Plant’s hand injury

For fans, it’s not a good thing that Plant is talking about having injured his hand. What that potentially means is Plant will stay inactive, resting his injured hand for the next eight months until he faces Canelo in September.

Plant’s hand injury gives him an excuse not to have to take another fight while waiting for Canelo. The boxing world wants to see Plant take on former WBC champ David Benavidez to earn the fight with Canelo rather than getting it off the back of a victory over the past his best Truax.

With Plant saying he injured his hand, it gives him a free pass to avoid fighting Benavidez or someone like Edgar Berlanga before his match against Canelo later this year.

Image: Andre Ward: Caleb Plant is a problem for Canelo

It looked bad how Plant blamed his hand injury for why he couldn’t knock out Truax last night. Fans don’t like to see fighters come up with excuses to explain away their inadequacies after a fight. That’s why it would have been better if Plant didn’t say anything at all about that.

“I feel like I’m the best super middleweight champion in the world,” said Plant. ”

I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion. I’m ready for whoever, whenever. You line ‘em up and I’ll knock ‘em down.”


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