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Tim Bradley previews Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez

Image: Tim Bradley previews Caleb Plant vs. David Benavidez

By Allan Fox: Tim Bradley is giving former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David ‘The Mexican Monster’ Benavidez the edge in defense of his interim belt against former IBF champ Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant on March 25 on Showtime PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Benavidez vs. Plant event will begin at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT on Showtime pay-per-view.

(Photo credit: Lalo Hernandez/ SHOWTIME)

Bradley feels that with the size, hand speed, power, youth, and tenacity of Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs), it could prove to be too much for Plant (22-1, 13 KOs), who he notes was worn down & mentally broken in the late rounds by Canelo Alvarez in their fight in November 2021.

In that fight, Canelo seemed to mentally break Plant in the championship rounds and had him desperately attempting to befriend him during the tenth round, asking for praise for his skills, and appearing insecure.

It seemed odd, indicating that Plant had been broken by Canelo and wanted him to take it easy on him. Canelo didn’t let up and eventually stopped Plant in the 11th round after dropping him.

Bradley feels that Benavidez could do the same thing to Plant if he puts pressure on him from round one and hits him with hurtful punches repeatedly. If Plant mentally quit once, he’ll do it again when the going gets tough.

Besides the Canelo fight, Plant almost broke in the late rounds in his match against former IBF 168-lb champion Jose Uzcategui in January 2019. Plant was falling apart from the pressure that Uzcategui was putting on him.

Can Plant handle Benavidez’s pressure?

“He’s going to have success in the middle of the ring too. You’ve still go to deal with those long arms,” said Tim Bradley to Fighthype when asked if David Benavidez will only have success against Caleb Plant when he’s against the ropes.

“You’ve still got to deal with those long arms, and he’s got a long reach and his height,” Bradley said about Benavidez. “He’s got underrated quickness. He’s got quick hands.

“I know Plant has more nuances with the jab, but when Benavidez strikes, it’s like a cobra. It’s quick, it’s fast, and it’s long. You never know what he’s going to follow up with. He’s always got his hands in the holster ready to come behind that jab.

“Either way it goes. Whether it’s in the center of the ring, sooner or later,  he’s going to catch up. You got to rest. Plant is going to have to find little ways to rest in there, and Benavidez don’t allow you to rest.

“He’ll beat on you. Even when you’re in close, he’ll beat on you in close. I would hope Benavidez’s chin holds up, but we’re going to know because he’s going to get hit by Plant, and we’ll know then,” Bradley said about Benavidez’s ability to handle Plant’s power.

“Benavidez comes in there with a made up mind. ‘I’m not going to go anywhere. I’m going to eat everything you throw at me. I’m going to walk you down, and I’m going to maul you and beat the fight out of you.’ No doubt about it; I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

“It’s good to have a chip on your shoulder and alert in the ring, and that’s Benavidez. He’s built that way. He likes that tension. He don’t mind that tension. That tension is what fuels him.

“Depending on the fighter,  it can give Benavidez his advantage and give Plant his advantage as well. Calm, cool & collected. Every fighter is different.

“I’ll know in the first round. The first round will tell me a lot about the fight. The first round will tell me how quickly Plant is setting his feet and getting respect from Benavidez. If he can get respect right away, he has a chance at the back end of the fight to pull off this big huge [upset]. Is he an underdog?” said Bradley.

Benavidez could be upset

“Pull off this upset, no doubt about it, but he’s got to get respect and get respect early because Benavidez is a guy that if he doesn’t respect you, he’s going to walk you down, he’s going to maul you, and he doesn’t care what’s coming at him. So we’ll see what happens,” said Bradley.

“This is his first real test,” said Bradley about Benavidez facing his first test in Caleb Plant. “He’s never faced a guy like Plant, who is a tremendous boxer. It’s going to answer a lot of questions. ‘Special’ is one of those words that only a select few can get that word ‘special.’

“Not everybody can. You can say ‘Good,’ but you’ve got to earn that badge. I thought [Andre] Ward was special. [Manny] Pacquiao, I thought he was special. Roy Jones is another one, Hagler, and James Toney, I thought he was special or could have been truly special if he’d damn ran, but he didn’t like to run.

“Guys like that are special. [Naoya] Inoue is showing us he’s special. [Terence] Crawford is another guy showing us he’s special. I just wish Crawfford had gotten more opportunities early on to show us he’s special.

“Still today, he’s a free agent, and still, the Spence fight is not happening. That’s another note. Breadman [Edwards] is my guy. He’s so cerebral. He looks at the game differently from all the other coaches that I know,” said Bradley.

Plant’s trainer = X-factor

“He has a horse [Plant] that he can guide him to victory,” Bradley said. “I’m sure he’s watched him over and over and broke down Benavidez, and he knows his weaknesses and his ins and outs. If he can keep Plant focused, determined, and calm at the same time, they can win this fight; they really can.

“He has the tools. He has a really good horse that has a ton of skills in Plant. I think that’s the X-factor here in this fight in the Breadman. Can he coach up Plant to beat ‘The Monster’? Will he be able to out-think this monster?  So, we’ll see.

“I think Breadman is the X-factor here. I like the marriage, I really do. In his [Plant] last fight against [Anthony] Dirrell, I loved that fight. He looked sharp, he looked different, he looked refused. He looked like a new car that he was testing out. It was awesome to see,”  said Bradley.

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