By Barry Holbrook: Caleb Plant says he doesn’t expect any problems being ready to face Canelo Alvarez in September after suffering a hand injury last Saturday night in his fight against Caleb Truax.
Plant’s left hand was badly swollen after the fight, but he thinks it’ll be ready for when Canelo meets him eight months from now.
IBF 168-pound champion Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) showed every facet of his game in blanking the durable former IBF title-holder Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision at the Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angles, California.
It won’t look brave on Plant’s part if he sits idle for the next eight months while Canelo fights twice during that time span. Plant says he’s the #1 fighter in the 168-lb division, but he’s got to show that he’s capable of doing more than just saying he’s the best.
If Plant doesn’t want to give the impression that he’s afraid of losing, he should show some courage and take on David Benavidez to shut down the chatter from fans on social media that he’s terrified of him.
Plant hurt his left had early
“Probably the fourth or the fifth round. I’m not really sure,” said Plant to Fighthub. “It’s pretty swollen. I had this before. It’s a little disappointing, but it was good to get in there after a long layoff.
“I dominated every round. And I put together some nice combinations, and I didn’t really get hit. I kept my world title and got my third title defense. Onto the next.
“Yeah, it did,” said Plant when asked if his injured left hand made things difficult. “It complicated things a little bit. As I said, I wanted to stop him, I was trying to get the stoppage.
“In the third or fourth round, it did make things a little more difficult, but I’m happy,” Plant said.
The injury didn’t keep Plant from still using his left hand as his primary weapon in his arsenal. When he did throw right hands, it left him open to getting countered by Truax.
That might be the reason why Plant was left-hand dependent. His head and upper body movement weren’t good enough to avoid Truax’s counter shots when he would throw his right.
While Plant does have excellent hand speed, his reflexes aren’t fast enough for him to avoid getting hit. He had the Mayweather shoulder roll going for him, but not the reflexes that he had.
September won’t be a problem
“It was a dominant performance, and I shut him out in every round,” said Plant. “He told me that I’m the best fighter he ever fought.
“I don’t know, I just got out of the ring,” said Plant when asked what he’ll do while Canel Alvarez fights Avni Yildirim and Billy Joe Saunders.
“I’m going to go home and enjoy this win. I’m going to sit down with my team and decide what my next move is.
“I can’t say for sure, but I’ll definitely be ready by September and ready for whoever and whatever is next.
“I don’t know. That’s not me to figure out, that’s for them to figure out,” Plant said about Canelo and Saunders putting his fight with the winner in danger.
It’s easy for Plant to say that he’ll fight in September because that’s when Canelo will be fighting him.
Plant would score a lot more points with the boxing public if he showed some courage by saying that he’ll fight in April or May against David Benavidez, Edgar Berlanga, Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, or Demetrius Andrade.
Plant ready for whoever’s next
“A little bit [Plant being disappointed about not getting the knockout],” Plant said. “I knew going in that he had a tough chin.
“He’s been caught once early and he got put out [against Anthony Dirrell], but other than that, he got stopped once [by Daniel Jacobs], but he was still on his feet.
“So I knew he was going to have a tough chin. I knew he was a tough competitor and former world champion, and a lot of experience.
“It kind of got to the point where he was trying to survive. It was hard to get to him at times, and he was kind of stepping away and shoring up.
“And with a person with that kind of experience, once they decide they don’t want to be stopped, sometimes it’s hard to get them out of there.
“Of course, with the hand like we talked about. No, he didn’t hurt me. I was trying to set up some shoulder rolls, right hands, right uppercuts.
“But I’m happy. I feel great about it. It was good after a long layoff. The atmosphere was different and the environment was different from most fights.
“That was different for sure, but I’m ready for the next. I’m ready for whoever,” said Plant when asked if he’d be willing to fight David Benavidez if Canelo is tied up.
“Like I said before, I feel like I’m the best super middleweight in the world. So you line them up, I knock them down,” said Plant.
As long as Plant isn’t legitimately injured, he needs to get back in the ring and fight at least once while he waits for the smoke to clear from Canelo’s two fights.
I think speak for the rest of the fans when I say that Plant must face Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs) next.
That fight is a no-brainer because it’s what the fans want, and it’ll prove to everyone that Plant deserves to battle it out against Canelo.
Fans on social media are already predicting that Plant will milk his hand injury, and use it as an excuse to sit and wait until the Canelo fight in September.
The way that Plant repeatedly mentioned his hand injury after the fight suggests that he’s going to use that as a crutch to avoid Benavidez.
Plant would likely take a fight in the meantime while Canelo was busy if he wasn’t expected to face a dangerous fighter like Benavidez or Edgar Berlanga.
But unfortunately, those are the fighters that Plant will be asked o fight, and they’re much different than what we saw from the aging 37-year-old Truax.