Anthony Dirrell Plans to Neutralize the Strengths of Caleb Plant
Up next, super middleweight fighter Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KO’s) will face the challenge of one-time 168-pound champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (21-1, 12 KO’s). The two will lock horns on the undercard of Wilder versus Helenius while aired live from the Barclays Center on Fox pay-per-view.
For those even remotely familiar with these two boxers, they should know that they have a healthy disdain for one another. Or, there is no question that The Dog dislikes Plant. For his money, Sweethands, ranked #2 (WBC), #3 (WBA), #3 (IBF) and #8 (WBO), simply behaves in too aloof fashion for him to respect, as he said on The Last Stand podcast with Brian Custer.
“In boxing, you’ll be cordial, that’s all. You’re cordial, everybody. I’m not saying you have to be my friend, nobody wants to hang out with you! But be cordial, be respectful and he’s not! And everybody sees it, from Canleo [Alvarez] to [David] Benavidez to whoever he fought. Just be cordial, just be respectful and I think that goes a long way. Nobody sees that [from Plant]!”
WIN SOME, LOSE SOME
This acute disdain does not mean that Dirrell, 37, is lacking in the appropriate amount of respect he should have for an adversary. The Dog, who is ranked #4 (WBA), #4 (WBC) and #11 (IBF), is taking him seriously. This is why it’s equally easy for Dirrell to ridicule Plant as it is to give him his just due.
“Caleb started off strong, I always say that. But I think he faded when the rounds came and he just kept running and running and running. I mean you can’t do too much better than what Canelo did. Canelo stalked him down and caught him with a couple few shots and stopped him.”
Yet, it’s because the Flint, Michigan native can see Plant, 30, without being hindered by the fog of blind anger that he believes he has deduced the perfect strategy.
“It’s boxing, you have to make adjustments. We know that he is going to get on his bike, we know he is going to move and we know that he got good footwork. But it’s a way to cut that down and I plan to chop that down.”
WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS
In the end however, while confidence and speculation may be fun, the two will have to get in the ring to settle it the old fashion way. Given that Dirrell is 1-1-1 in his last three matches however, it goes without saying he can’t afford a loss. Especially when at nearly forty years old. At the same time, Plant is coming off his loss to Canelo. He certainly doesn’t want to weather back-to-back losses himself. So, when the rubber meets the road on that occasion, it will be very interesting to see how this feud resolves itself!
By: Bakari Simpson