By Mark Eisner: IBF super middleweight champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) used his hand speed advantage to pot-shot his way to a workmanlike 12 round unanimous decision over former IBF champ Caleb Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) on Saturday night at the Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles.
The judges scored the contest 120-108, 120-108, and 120-108. Those were good scores, as the 37-year-old Truax resembled a sparring partner rather than the IBF mandatory.
In looking at how slow and past it Truax looked, it’s no wonder why Plant insisted on calling his IBF mandatory early before the International Boxing Federation ordered it. Plant wanted an easy fight and got one tonight.
Truax landed only rare shots in the fight, making Plant look better than he actually is. Let’s face it; this was a showcase contest for Plant to display his skills against a fighter that arguably should be ranked at the bottom of the IBF’s top 15 rankings rather than at #1.
With the win, Plant moves ahead to await Canelo Alvarez in September. Unless Plant chooses to fight once more while waiting for Alvarez, he’s now locked in.
Here are the early live results for the Plant vs. Truax card:
- In the battle of the unbeaten heavyweight sluggers, Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) stopped Darmani Rock (17-1, 12 KOs) in the third round in the co-feature bout on the card. The big 6’5″ Coffie twice dropped Rock with powerful left hands to the head. The fight was then halted after the second knockdown of round three. Referee Jack Reiss stopped the fight at 0:59 of round three.
- Unbeaten middleweight prospect Joey Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs) made short work of an overmatched Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5 KOs) in destroying him by a first-round knockout. The 20-year-old Spencer twice knocked Seldon to the canvas. Seldon looked hurt after getting put down, resulting in the referee stopping the contest. The official time of the end was at 2:15.
- Former two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy (28-1-1, 14 KOs) looked good in beating All Rivera (24-4, 18 KOs) by a one-sided 10-round unanimous decision. The 34-year-old ‘Kid Blast’ won by the scores: 97-93, 99-91, and 100-90. Boxing News 24 scored it 10 rounds to 0 for the talented Cuban warrior Barthelemy. Unfortunately, the win was only the second in the last three years for ‘Kid Blast,’ who been struggling to win and stay active.
- Middleweight Brandyn Lynch (10-1-1, 8 KOs) fought to a disappointing 8-round draw against Mark Hernandez (14-4-2, 3 KOs).
- Light heavyweight Atif Oberlton (1-0, 1 KO) was victorious in his professional debut in scoring a third-round stoppage over Nathan Sharp (4-3, 4 KOs). The fight was halted at 0:48 of round three.
Challenger Caleb Truax will be looking to pull off an upset against IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant tonight on FOX. There’s a lot on the line for this fight at the Shrine Exposition Center, Los Angeles.
The 28-year-old Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) needs a win tonight against the former IBF 168-lb champion Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) to stay in the position to take on the face of boxing Canelo Alvarez in September.
Plant’s IBF title is his valuable bargaining chip to get him the fight with Alvarez, and if he loses to Truax, 37, he’ll be out of luck. Canelo will face Truax instead.
Canelo recently made the decision to try and capture all four of the straps in the 168-pound division to become the undisputed champion.
Last December, Canelo got off to a good start in his journey, beating Callum Smith to win the WBA and WBC super-middleweight titles.
Canelo now only needs to beat WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) and IBF belt-holder Plant to accomplish what he set out to do.
The fight with Saunders will take place in May, as long as Canelo beats his WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim on February 27th.
If Canelo gets beat by Yildirim and Saunders, Plant will meet the superstar Alvarez in September with all four belts on the line. Plant will have a shot at becoming a star by defeating Canelo.
Truax will be stepping into the last-chance saloon tonight in what will probably the final world title opportunity he’ll get in his career. If he loses here, it’s probably over for him, especially if he suffers a bad defeat.
Truax has everything to gain in this fight, so he’s got to give it his best shot. If he beats Plant, he’ll face Canelo later this year and make life-changing money for that fight.
What Truax has going for him tonight is his punching power, and the fact that the emotional Plant wants to get even with him due to some things he said years ago.
“Caleb Plant is a good fighter, he’s got good speed, good ring IQ,” said Caleb Truax. “I got to be my best to beat him. I feel my pressure, determination is what’s going to lead me to be successful.
“I get to go in there and make him rethink about talking t me like that,” said a visibly upset Plant remembering how Truax had hoped that he would lose earlier in his career.