The ball, apparently, is in Caleb Plant’s court.
Jose Benavidez Sr., the father, manager, and trainer of 168-pound contender David Benavidez, alerted the boxing world Friday that he and his team were working to “close” a deal with former 168-pound titlist Caleb Plant. The two fighters, neither of whom are much of a fan of the other, have been circling each other for the past several years but have thus far failed to transfer their animus into an actual ring.
That could well change by this fall, if the recent, gung-ho response of Benavidez’s father is anything to go by.
On Friday, Benavidez Sr. posted on his Instagram account a mock poster of a Benavidez-Plant fight, with the caption: “TEAM BENAVIDEZ Working on closing a deal [with] @calebplant on September 2022 First fight May21 Plant September!!!@benavidez300.”
Benavidez Sr.’s comment follows yet another exchange on social media between his son and Nashville's Plant. Prompted by a Twitter user’s hypothetical, Plant tweeted “Fatboy can’t f - - - with me,” presumably referring to Benavidez’s trouble on the scale in 2020 for his bout against Roamer Angulo, which caused him to be stripped of his WBC title. (Benavidez lost the same title a few years earlier after he tested positive for cocaine).
It is no secret that Team Benavidez have long wanted a fight against Plant, especially when Plant still held onto his IBF title. There may be actual traction to the trashtalk this time around: Benavidez Sr. said he met with Plant’s manager, Luis De Cubas, shortly after Plant fired off his latest barb at Benavidez, noting that they had already been discussing a fight with each other.
“It came out of the blue,” Benavidez said of Plant’s comment. “That’s why I got together with Luis De Cubas [Jr.] yesterday. We sat down and spoke.”
We agree. It’s in the process right now. We’re trying to make it happen. It shouldn’t be hard. We share the same promotional company. He (Plant) wants the fight. We want that fight.”
Indeed, on paper, a deal should be relatively easy to make, given that both fighters operate under the Premier Boxing Champions umbrella. Moreover, both fighters need a top-flight opponent. Benavidez (25-0, 22 KOs) recently lost out on a chance to fight Canelo Alvarez in the fall, and Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) is coming off an 11th-round knockout loss to Alvarez last November.
Benavidez, meanwhile, is reportedly scheduled to take on veteran David Lemieux on May 21 at Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, Benavidez’s hometown.
Benavidez Sr. put the onus on Plant on whether or not the anticipated fight will happen in the fall.
“Hopefully that guy doesn’t back out,” Benavidez Sr. continued. “If he’s really serious — I don’t think he’s serious — we are serious 100 percent. We’re just waiting for him.”
Should his son come out victorious – as he is expected to – against Lemieux, Benavidez Sr. sees no reason why the Plant fight can’t be next.
“We want to make [the Plant fight] in September, regardless of what happens. David is gonna win on May 21st,” he said.
Benavidez Sr. sees an impressive win over Plant as a potential stepping stone to a future clash with Alvarez.
“If we can stop him earlier than he did against Canelo, that’s good for us,” Benavidez Sr. said. “He’s a good fighter. He’s dangerous, he moves around. He’s got good boxing skills.
“We want to make a good statement.”