Jermall Charlo on Caleb Plant: “He’s struggling now, he won’t have a belt”

By Raj Parmar - 11/26/2023 - Comments

Jermall Charlo is getting the last laugh at seeing a “struggling,” down-and-out Caleb Plant, now beltless, looking hangdog in the crowd last Saturday night for his return fight against Jose Benavidez Jr. at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.

Charlo says Plant is lucky he didn’t swoop down from the ring to slap him when he saw him in the crowd. Jermall says his focus is on “making millions” and taking care of his family, with him continuing his career.

The former IBF super middleweight champion Plant’s career is on shaky ground after he’s suffered two defeats in his last three fights and could be heading for skidrow.

Without a drastic maneuver to turn things around, Plant’s career as a money-maker and world-level fighter could soon be over. Showtime is gone, and PBC still does not have a replacement network; Plant could be in bad shape if he can get some big wins under his belt soon.

Ideally, Plant could resurrect his fading career with a couple of soft jobs to make him look like the pre-Canelo version we saw when his career was still firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately, PBC might not be able to get away with matching him against weak opposition if they move their operation to Amazon Prime.

Charlo (33-0, 22 KOs), who is still in possession of his WBC middleweight title, says former IBF 168-lb champion Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) is

Jermall views Plant as down & out

“Yeah, for sure. The whole world can come out and watch Plant fight when I get a chance to do that. He’s lucky tonight that I didn’t go down there and slap his b*** a**,” said Jermall Charlo to the media, discussing what he could have done to Caleb Plant, who was at ringside last Saturday night for his fight with Jose Benavidez Jr.

If things work out right, Jermall & Plant could be fighting next, as there’s bad blood between them, and it’s a fight that would sell to the boxing public, provided PBC finds a network to show it. They might end up on Amazon Prime.

Whether the management for that company would be interested in a fight between Plant & Jermall remains to be seen, as they could have their own views of which fights they want to be shown on their platform.

If they prefer that only the best fights are shown, that would mean that Jermall could face David Benavidez because Plant is going through hard times right now and might be too washed for him to be given the green light as a useful opponent for Charlo.

“I’m not mad at that. I’m going to get it the right way and make these millions,” Jermall continued about Plant. “My obligation is to take care of my family. I’m happy with that.

‘Sweethands’ Plant was beaten by David Benavidez by a twelve round unanimous decision last March and stopped in the eleventh round by Canelo Alvarez in November 2021.

The only win for Plant in the last two years was against 39-year-old Anthony Dirrell last year in October in a fight that he was struggling in until catching the former two-time WBC super middleweight champion with a left hook to knock him out cold in the ninth round.

Plant took a lot of flak for that one because he pretended to throw dirt on top of Dirrell while he was unconscious on the canvas. It was a poor sportsman-like move on Plant’s part to make fun of someone badly hurt.

“We’re not worried about none of that,” said Charlo in reference to be slapped by Plant last summer. “Talk to me about some old s***. It’s stale. We want something new.

“Who got the belts? He don’t got no belt. He’s struggling right now. I’m not worried about him. I’m still on top. We good. I’m still going. They can’t wait for me to fight again. As long as we keep it like that, we’re alright.

“He did better than we expected. It wasn’t a lackluster decision,” said Chris Algieri to ProBox TV about Jermall Charlo’s win over Jose Benavidez Jr.

“It was because Jose forced the fight. It made it better to watch,” said Paulie Malignaggi.

Jermall would have looked good even if Benavidez Jr. had played it safe, and ran around the ring, trying to keep from getting hit.

The jab and power shots that Jermall had going for him would have made life miserable for Benavidez Jr., and he’d still have come out of that fight looking like pure 24k gold.

“Jose Jr. was pushing in a way that made him fight, and he had to dig deep and fight some things tonight,” said Algieri about Jermall. “Actually, Benavdiez Jr. helped Charlo look better than we expected.

Charlo looked phenomenal against Benavidez Jr.

“It was still a very entertaining fight. I enjoyed the fight. I was happy to see him [Jermall] back because he looked phenomenal. His jab looked good, he’s got a big right hand,” Algieri said about Charlo.

“I don’t think these guys ever deserved to be in the ring together size-wise, obviously, but Benavidez showed big heart and fought his butt off. But Charlo didn’t look as bad as I would expect for someone who has been out of the ring for 30 months and dealing with the stuff that he was dealing with,” said Algieri.

It would have been better for the paying boxing public if Jermall had faced a top-tier 160 or 168-pounder rather than Benavidez Jr, but the promotion was still excellent.

Benavidez Jr. is a character and easily the best thing the event had going for it in terms of personability and charisma. His younger brother, David Benavidez, is corny and sounds old-fashioned.

He repeats himself a lot, saying the same old thing, moaning about how Canelo Alvarez won’t fight him. In contrast, Benavidez Jr. had a lot of things to say, and it was fun to listen to him and Jermall trade insults during the build-up.

“That post-fight interview was rough, and that might have been more indicative of his mental state and well-being than the actual fight itself,” said Algieri about Jermall. “He’s a guy that can always dig deep and fight. But the things that he was saying and his responses to the questions after the fight were very indicative.”

Jermall sounded like he always has during his post-fight interview. There was no difference from how he’s been in the past. Jermall was being asked to respond to questions about how he felt, and he was telling it like it is. He was happy to be back.

“I do want to say one thing about Jose Benavidez. The middleweight division is completely like devoid of any major, major talent,” said Malignaggi. “Honestly, dude, Jose Benavidez, in a kind of a backdoor kind of way, may be able to win a championship if he stays at 160.

“The way he looked tonight ain’t bad, and there’s not a lot of talent at 160. He always puts up a ballsy style of performance, he always comes to fight. I wouldn’t mind him getting a shot at a middleweight title.”

Benavidez Jr. won’t be able to win a belt at 160 if it involves him having to go through Carlos Adames, Erislandy Lara or Janibek Alimkhanuly. Yes, the middleweight division is weak, but Benavidez Jr. isn’t good enough to beat any of those guys. However, he can win an interim belt if he stays active.

“Obviously, he has to win because he has to stop being used as a high-priced opponent. He has to get a win or two, but I tell you,” said Malignaggi. “The middleweight division is wide open, and I think Jose can win a title. That guy [Vincenzo Gualtieri] that just fought Janibek for the world title. That guy was terrible. Jose Benavidez can beat that guy.

“He [Benavidez Jr] can’t beat Janibek, but maybe he can grab the other two belts. Charlo’s [WBC middleweight] belt is going to be vacant because Charlo himself was talking about going to 168 anyway.

“The whole point of not stripping Charlo was totally pointless anyway because he’s never going to fight at 160 regardless,” said Malignaggi.

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