Hearn’s idea: Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez in May, winner faces Canelo

By Boxing News - 02/04/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: If Eddie Hearn gets his way, IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant will have to take the dusty back road to a mega-payday fight against Canelo Alvarez by first facing David Benavidez to earn the match.

As things are right now, Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) doesn’t need to lift a finger for him to get the golden parachute money from a fight against WBA/WBC 168lb champion Canelo (54-1-2, 36 KOs) in September.

That fight is going to fall into Plant’s lap passively like an apple falling from a tree. Newton’s gravitation law will bring Canelo to Plant because the Mexican star is attracted to the IBF title that he possesses.

Plant didn’t have to work to earn the fight against Canelo. He got it the easy way by beating Jose Uzcategui in 2019, a fighter beaten by Anthony Dirrell, Matt Korbov, and Lionel Thompson.

“I think Plant is a fantastic fighter, but let’s be honest, his resume is really, really poor, really poor,” said Hearn to the AK & Barak program on SiriusXM.

“I’d like to see Caleb Plant against David Benavidez in May, and then whoever is the belt-holder fights Canelo Alvarez. I hope that Plant doesn’t sit tight until that fight,” said Hearn.

Image: Hearn's idea: Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez in May, winner faces Canelo

Plant isn’t going to fight anyone while waiting for his September showdown against Canelo, least of all a dangerous guy like Benavidez (23-0, 20 KOs).

The ONLY way Plant would agree to fight the former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Benavidez is if Canelo puts his foot down and says, ‘Plant, if you want to fight me, you got to go through Benavidez first.’

That would be a bold thing for Canelo to do, but he’s probably not going to make that move, even though it would help his popularity.

The reason why Canelo won’t tell Plant to fight Benavidez is that he’ll almost surely wind up having to fight Benavidez after he wins that fight.

I mean, Plant is a good fighter, but he’s a weak puncher and he was falling apart against Uzcategui in the later rounds. Benavidez would likely be too strong and run over Plant like a World War II Sherman tank.

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Hearn wants the best for Canelo, and one way of doing that is to ensure that his September fight is as big as it can be. Right now, it’s not going to be a massive affair because Plant hasn’t a tough road to the Canelo fight.

“Because I feel like that’s [Canelo vs. Plant] going to be a huge fight, but it could be so much bigger if he takes the right steps and fights the right opponents because he’s a great talent,” Eddie Hearn said of IBF 168-pound champion Caleb Plant.

Unless Hearn is ready to physically drag Plant kicking and screaming into a fight with Benavidez, it’s not going to happen. Plant has never shown any desire to share the ring with Benavidez, and now that he’s on the precipice of getting a huge payday against Canelo, he’s not going to risk it.

To be sure, Plant would increase his fanbase if he agreed to Hearn’s idea of fighting Benavidez, but it’s just out of character for him to take that fight. Benavidez is too big and powerful. That fight would like watching a young George Foreman flatten Joe Frazier.

Plant is an excellent fighter, but he’s made to take on a big puncher like Benavidez. We saw that clearly with the way Uzcateguie was battering Plant around the ring during the championship rounds of their fight two years ago.

Image: Hearn's idea: Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez in May, winner faces Canelo

It’s fair to say that Plant has had things easy his entire seven-year pro career, as he’s not had to face anyone that you can call a good fighter. Putting Plant in with Benavidez right now would likely result in him getting massacred.

Ultimately, it would be a good thing for the boxing public if Plant agreed to Hearn’s idea of facing Benavidez because the fans would see the best possible fight in September. But it just might not work out well for Plant, as he’ll have a ton of problems going up against a puncher like Benavidez.