The ex-champion Caleb Plant defeated to win his super middleweight title doesn’t think the unbeaten Plant has a legitimate chance to pull off an upset against Canelo Alvarez. (photo by Ryan Hafey)
Former IBF 168-pound champ Jose Uzcategui questioned Plant’s strength and experience versus top opposition, and he predicted that the favored Alvarez could stop Plant within “eight, nine rounds” November 6 in Las Vegas. Venezuela’s Uzcategui commented on Alvarez-Plant during a virtual press conference Monday to promote his own November 13 bout against former WBC super middleweight champ David Benavidez.
“Well, first of all, I fully believe that [the winner of] this fight between David and I deserves to fight against the winner of the Canelo-Plant fight – no doubt about that,” Uzcategui said, according to a translator. “As far as Canelo-Plant itself, I think Canelo is gonna win. And he may even knock Plant out in eight, nine rounds.”
Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, defeated Uzcategui unanimously in their 12-round fight for Uzcategui’s IBF belt in January 2019 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. He dropped Uzcategui twice – once in the second round and again during the fourth round – on his way to winning eight rounds on two scorecards (116-110, 116-110) and seven rounds on the other card (115-111).
Since he conquered Uzcategui, Plant has successfully defended his title three times against overmatched Mike Lee (21-1, 11 KOs), mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (33-3, 29 KOs) and former IBF champ Caleb Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs, 1 NC).
The 29-year-old Plant’s relatively low level of opposition since he beat Uzcategui is among the reasons Uzcategui doesn’t believe Plant can overcome the iconic Mexican champion considered by most to be the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport.
“The bottom line is that I don’t think Plant is strong enough right now to last 12 rounds inside the ring against Canelo,” Uzcategui explained. “Look at how he hasn’t fought against someone as strong as I was since he fought me. So, in the end, I think that Canelo is going through an outstanding moment right now in his career, and that Plant really doesn’t stack up to his level when it comes to fighting against Canelo.”
Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) hasn’t officially lost a fight since undefeated legend Floyd Mayweather beat him by majority decision in their 12-round junior middleweight title fight eight years ago at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The 31-year-old Alvarez, who owns the WBA, WBC and WBO titles, and Plant will fight to become boxing’s first fully unified super middleweight champion during the four-belt era in a Showtime Pay-Per-View main event, which also will be held at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The following Saturday night, Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) and Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) will meet in a 12-round IBF/WBC super middleweight elimination match in Phoenix, Benavidez’s hometown. Showtime will broadcast Benavidez-Uzcategui as a main event from Footprint Center, the home arena of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.