Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant and former world champion Caleb “Golden” Truax previewed their world title showdown on a media conference call Thursday before they headline FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes, Saturday, January 30 from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
In the co-feature, Michael Coffie and Darmani Rock clash in a 10-round battle of unbeaten heavyweights. Super welterweight sensation Joey Spencer takes on Isiah Seldon in an eight rounder to open the telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and Sweethands Promotions, in association with Warriors Boxing, and will take place without fans in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.
Here is what the conference call participants had to say Thursday:
“I can honestly say this is one of my best camps. I’ve had great sparring. I haven’t had any restrictions as far as COVID-19 goes when it comes to sparring partners or strength and conditioning or being in the gym. So I’ve been really focused on what I need to do and I’m just ready to go in there and handle business.
“It’s hard to say where Caleb Truax ranks in terms of past opponents. I have to get in there with him. Styles make fights so after January 30, I’ll have a better idea. I know he’s a veteran, has a lot of experience and is a former world champion who has upset people before, so he has to be taken seriously.
“I’m fully focused on January 30 and when that bell rings so I can do what I do best. I’m not looking past him, but I am looking through him. I’m looking to end this fight early. I don’t see it going 12 rounds, so whether they throw in the white towel, I throw in the white towel for him or the ref steps in to do his job, I’m looking for a stoppage. This ends with me getting my hand raised in spectacular fashion.
“I know what I need to go in there and do. At the end of the day, I can have a game plan but that may not be how the fight is going to go. So I’ll have to make adjustments as needed and I feel that’s one of the things I’m best at. Whatever is needed for the job, I can pull it out of my toolbox and put it to work.
“Me against Jose Uzcategui, they had me the underdog and they had it wrong. So I don’t pay attention to numbers, betting odds—that’s not how I became a world champion and how I’m going to stay world champion. My job is to go in there fully focused on the task at hand. I could care less what the odds say, I know what I need to go in there and do because betting odds don’t win or lose fights.
“I feel like there are unification fights to be made and I feel like they will happen. But as of now, January 30 has my full attention. After that, we’ll have a better understanding of how the cards will fall in the super middleweight division and we’ll be ready to make our next move.
“I think people tend to forget I only have 20 fights. So within 21 fights to not only win a world title from a champion but then have another former world champion under my belt, I feel like I’m off to a great start in my career and I think there are big things ahead.
“I love the team that I have around me. I know that my team has supreme confidence in what I can do in this sport. Not only am I betting on myself, but I know for a fact the rest of the team is betting on me as well. And we’re betting big.
We’re not looking to jump on something quick for a quick payday and ride off into the sunset. We’re looking to take this thing all the way to the top and sometimes that requires patience. I know in due time, after I handle business on January 30, when those fights do happen, everything will come to fruition just like we imagined.
“Like most boxers, I don’t come from much and I wanted more than I had. I wanted a better life for the loved ones around me. So I set my mind on a mission and when I put my mind to something, no matter what it is in life, when I say I’m going to do it, I do it. And when I say I want something, I get it. So it doesn’t matter what life tosses my way, it doesn’t matter what I’m up against, once I set my mind to it, I assure you it will get done. I’m fully motivated for this fight, fully focused and, again, I can’t wait to get in there.
“It was a goal to become world champion but it’s not the goal. I’m still far from where I want to be. I’m still far from everything I want to accomplish and to keep that hunger, that motivation, you have to be honest with yourself about who you are and where you’re at.
I know where I’m at in my career and how much farther I want to go so it’s no time for me to let my foot off the gas. I need to keep my foot on their necks and I need to keep pushing because, as I’ve said, I’m looking to become the first undisputed world super middleweight champion of all time and you can’t do that with just one world title.”
“I’m very grateful and fortunate to be in this spot. I’m feeling fantastic. Everything is going as planned as far as camp. I’ve had some great sparring over the past five or six weeks. I’m feeling healthy for the first time in a couple years. I was talking to my trainer this morning when we were working out and I’m almost paranoid that something is going to go wrong in the last nine days. I’m feeling so good right now. I’m just excited and ready to take on this challenge.
“I didn’t have my greatest performance in my last fight but the most important thing I took from it was that my Achilles was healthy after eight or nine months of recovery. It held up perfectly and that was the most important thing. I’m ready to move forward.
“I’ve had some elbow problems the past couple years and that has seemed to have cleared up. My Achilles is healthy as I said before and I’m just feeling really good. I’ve been feeling great in sparring. I’m getting paranoid that I’m feeling too good almost but, I’m focused, feeling great and ready to put on a great performance.
“It’s hard to say if Plant is the toughest opponent of my career until we get in the ring. He’s not the most experienced guy, he’s not the most highly-vaunted guy that I’ve fought. Probably Danny Jacobs was and even James DeGale. So that’s to be determined until we get in the ring and mix it up.
“I’ve always been the underdog and I embrace that role. I fight my best when I’m in that spot and I look forward to proving all the naysayers wrong again.
“At my age, at 37, there is no telling when I’ll be able to get a world title fight again. So I’ve been approaching it as if this is my last shot. I’ve been very focused in camp and just determined to leave it all in the ring and get my belt back.
“I’m going to win because I’m the most experienced and the best fighter that Plant has ever faced. I believe my experience, my pressure, my conditioning and just my determination will be the factor in getting the win and I expect to do so on January 30.
“I’m so used to training through the holidays after doing it for 14 years that it doesn’t affect me too much. The only challenges this time around was that we had a one month shutdown of my gym due to COVID-19. Thankfully it’s a semi-private gym and I have a key to it so I was able to have access. This winter in Minnesota has been very mild so I’ve been able to get some roadwork in and chop some wood without freezing my a— off so it’s been pretty easy to get stuff done.
“Everything has gone great. Preparing for Caleb Plant is a little different than normal; trying to get good boxers with real good speed and just trying to find sparring partners to emulate his strengths. We got a couple guys in, got some really good rounds in. I’ll have my last sparring session tomorrow then I’ll taper down next week and get ready for the fight.
“My hard-working mentality is my character. My mother was a single mother working her butt off to provide for my sister, my brother and I. But I also started my career late in boxing. I had to mitigate the experience my opponents had over me and I had to do that through hard work.
“I go in there and give it my all and fight hard and try to put on the best performance I possibly can for the fans and come out with the win. In a perfect world, it’s a slugfest, a crowd-pleasing fight and I get the win in a 12-round decision. Actually, in a perfect world I go out there and knock him out with the first punch. But we all know that’s not going to happen. He’s a good fighter so I expect to go 12 rounds and just get the job done.”
TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions
“Thank you for joining us on this call, for the battle of the ‘Caleb’s: Caleb Plant versus Caleb Truax for the 168-pound championship of the world. The 168-pound division is quickly becoming one of the hottest in the sport. I know both guys very well, I was involved in promoting both of their professional debuts. Caleb Truax back in 2007 at the Target Center in Minneapolis and Plant’s pro debut in May 2014 at the USC Galen Center. So it’s been a lot of fun watching them develop into world champions.
“Caleb Plant put the boxing world on notice with his exciting, title-winning performance in January 2019 and has established himself as the force in the division going into his third title defense. He’s on a mission to be the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history.
“We all know what he has to go through to in order to make that happen. He has a stiff test in front of him in the upset-minded Caleb Truax, whose super middleweight glory came back in 2017 when he traveled overseas and pulled off a huge upset over James DeGale for the same IBF belt. He has vast experience against some of the best at 168 pounds: Jermain Taylor, Danny Jacobs, Anthony Dirrell, James DeGale—and Caleb, I thought you won both fights—Peter Quillin, so it’s going to be an exciting, can’t-miss night of primetime boxing on FOX.”
Viewers can live stream the PBC shows on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. In addition, all programs are available on FOX Sports on SiriusXM channel 83 on satellite radios and on the SiriusXM app.