David Benavidez wants Caleb Plant after Uzcategui
By Dan Ambrose: David Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) says he wants to fight IBF 168-lb champion Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant in December after he defeats Jose Uzcategui in their WBC title eliminator on August 28th live on SHOWTIME at the Phoenix Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getting ‘Sweethands’ Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) to fight Benavidez doesn’t seem worth hoping for.
The general belief is that Plant, 28, will continue to face weak opposition like he’s been doing since he picked up the IBF belt until he gets his payday fight with Canelo Alvarez.
There’s a perfect chance that Plant will be fighting Canelo next in November. Indeed, it’s almost a given that Canelo will pick Plant to fight next rather than Dmitry Bivol or Gennadiy Golovkin.
What Benavidez can do to get his hands on the IBF & WBC titles is to win his title eliminator against Uzcategui and then pick up the belt after Canelo vacates it. Canelo probably won’t fight Benavidez because it’s too risky.
Benavidez says fighters can’t run from him
“Yeah, it made sense for both parts,” said David Benavidez to Boxing with Chris Mannix when asked if he believed that Jermall Charlo and Caleb Plant would fight him when he called them out.
“If they wanted a big money fight, I felt I had a big enough name to where we fight each other, it would be a good money fight.
Sometimes the money isn’t what means everything, but what means more than money to me is the respect. They would get a lot of respect from the fans, whoever wins that fight.
I can’t speak on how other people think, but I think it made sense for the both of us money-wise, respect-wise, ranking-wise,” said Benavidez on the idea of facing Plant and/or Jermall.
“And I feel like this fight would have put us in a position for a bigger fight. At least that’s how I was thinking, but obviously, a lot of people don’t think like that.
“Now I’m hearing Caleb Plant will fight Anthony Dirrell,” said Benavidez. “It’s crazy how things are happening.
“I feel like these dudes don’t want to fight with me for some reason now. That alone gives me a lot of confidence, but I’m going to stay focused on myself and my lane.
“I’ve got a hard fight in front of me in Jose Uzcategui. He’s looking to make a statement, so I know I’ve got to stay 100% ready for him.
“I think what’s going to boost my stock up too is going in there and getting these hard fights, getting ex-champions, and having great performances on them.
“Sooner or later, these guys are going to have to see me. They’re not going to be able to run from me forever,” said Benavidez.
It’s fair to say that Canelo and Plant are already running from Benavidez, and they’re doing a good job of it.
Without the sanctioning bodies placing Benavidez at #1, he has no way of forcing Canelo and Plant to fight him.
Benavidez wants Caleb Plant in 2021
“I think a lot of boxing fans heard you say ‘Caleb Plant vs. Anthony Dirrell’ and cringed. I know I kind of did there,” said Chris Mannix.
“If they had offered me the fight with Caleb Plant, obviously I already have my fight with Jose Uzcategui,” said Benavidez.
“But if they told me that a fight with Caleb Plant was guaranteed, I wouldn’t mind going back into camp for a fight in December.
“Like I said, Anthony Dirrell is not no dud either. I feel like Anthony Dirrell has a great opportunity against Caleb Plant. Why get that fight [with Dirrell]?
“Why not wait for me to get this fight [with Uzcategui] done with and fight the real fight that people want to watch? I feel like Caleb has been getting a lot of weak fights lately.
“Since he won the fight with Jose Uzcategui [to win the IBF super middleweight title in 2019], his competition hasn’t been really that good.
“I’m not going to speak on somebody else’s path in what they’re doing. I’m just focused on my path right now. I’ve got a hard fight in front of me.
“It’s a WBC title eliminator, it’s my second one, the second title eliminator back to back. I feel like I’m in a good position now because the fight with Caleb [Plant] and Canelo didn’t happen.
“So after this fight when I win, I have to have a shot with Canelo. If I get turned down a shot with Canelo, I have Caleb on the other side. So I’m in a good position to do it,” said Benavidez.
The IBF acting slowly to install Benavidez at #1 in their top 15 rankings at 168 as Plant’s mandatory contender.
When they eventually do, it’ll be too late because Canelo will have beaten Plant to win the belt. The sanctioning bodies can’t force Canelo to fight Benavidez if he doesn’t want to.
Fans losing respect for Plant, says Benavidez
“You’ve been around this business for a long time, David. You know why Caleb Plant isn’t going to fight you,” said Mannix.
“As long as that Canelo lottery ticket is sitting out there, I’m not saying it’s the wrong thing for him to do necessarily.
“But as long as that lottery ticket is out there, he’s going to wait as long as possible for the opportunity to cash it, right?” said Mannix about Plant.
“Yeah, but his respect from all the people goes down. That’s what I’m talking about.” said Benavidez about Plant losing the respect from the fans by milking his IBF super middleweight title against weak opposition.
“Obviously, he doesn’t care about that. I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“I just got to keep winning the fights that they put in front of me and look impressive.
“I still get paid, so I’m not bothered anyway. So whoever they put in front of me, I’m ready to fight,” said Benavidez.
“You said you want to get your 168-lb title back,” said Mannix to Benavidez. “You’re fighting in a title eliminator.
“Three of those belts are with Canelo and one of them is with Caleb Plant. Were you surprised the Canelo – Caleb Plant fight fell apart?” said Mannix.
“I was very, very surprised,” said Benavidez about the Canelo vs. Plant fight failing to get negotiated. “I feel like everyone needs answers. I want to find out exactly why that fight fell through.
“It’s a weird situation, but nobody knows besides him. But I feel like people need answers on why that fight didn’t happen,” said Benavidez.
Plant is going to guard his IBF super middleweight title like it’s a treasure chest. I don’t think Plant is all that worried about boxing fans losing respect for him.
He wants the $10 million paydays that come with a fight against Canelo.
He’s not going to risk it against Benavidez because he knows if he loses the fight, he can forget about fighting Canelo.
Benavidez staying at 168 to get the BIG fights
“You’re fighting at 168, and you had one weight issue in the past with making weight,” said Mannix to Benavidez. “How are you feeling at this weight right now? How much longer do you feel you’ll be there?”
“I feel great now that things have opened up and now that I’m not fighting in the bubble,” said Benavidez.
“I’ve been taking care of the weight better. As you guys seen, I made weight a lot better [against Ronald Ellis].
“I feel like I can make this weight. It’s not really that much of a hassle for me.
“Weight cuts are always hard, and so are weight cuts, but I feel just as long as I’m prepared. If they send me into the bubble again, I know what to do and what I need to do to get there.
“I feel like I’m going to be here until I get all the big fights. I feel like I can’t walk away from 168 until all these fights happen.
“I’m going to try my best to try and get all these fights going. After that, I’m going to move onto the next at 175,” said Benavidez.
It could take Benavidez years to get the fights he wants at 168 against Plant, Canelo Alvarez, and Jermall Charlo.
While it may seem that Benavidez is about to box Canelo if he successfully defeats Jose Uzcategui in their WBC 168-lb title eliminator on August 28th, it will likely be a year or more before the World Boxing Council orders the fight.
By then, Canelo will have vacated his WBC super middleweight title to avoid Benavidez. You can see that move coming from Canelo from a thousand light-years away. Canelo doesn’t want to fight Benavidez, and he’ll vacate if the WBC orders the fight.
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