Caleb Plant talks David Benavidez and the super middleweight division!
February 15, IBF world middleweight champion Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (19-0, 11 KO’s) will take on his mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KO’s). The bout, which will be staged in Plant’s native Nashville, Tennessee, will stand as the second defense of his IBF title.
Despite the fight being a mandatory obligation, as it often is, fight fans would have greatly preferred to see Sweet Hands in there with a more recognizable name. And truthfully speaking, so would Plant!
A BEEF DEFERRED
Out of all the super middleweights in the division, the one that has had his name the most tied with Plant’s is WBC world super middleweight champion David “Red Flag” Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO’s). The two have traded words on-line, in person and even had a physical confrontation in one wild gym encounter. Suffice to say, there is no love lost between these two!
Naturally, a unification showdown pitting Plant v Benavidez would have been more desirable than Sweet Hands and Feigenbutz. However, as plant explained to Fight Hype, often times the business side of the sport gets in the way of the bouts that we want the most.
“He’s my mandatory [Feigenbutz]. If I don’t fight my mandatory then I get stripped of my belt. Me and David [Benavidez] can’t fight because he’s already got a fight locked in with [Avni] Yildirim.
“It was mandatory for him to fight Yildirim even before he fought [Anthony] Dirrell. The winner of the Dirrell fight and Benavidez fight had to fight Yildirim.
“If it was Dirrell, he’d have to fight Yildirim again because the first fight was so controversial. If David won, Yildirim had the automatic mandatory because the first fight with Dirrell was so close and controversial.
“So I can’t get that fight and this guy is my mandatory. He’s ranked #3 in the world. #1 and 2 are vacant. He’s my mandatory. If I don’t fight him I get stripped of my belt, so what do you expect me to do?”
Yet, while the feud between Plant and Benavidez has been well documented, Plant has let it be known that he is not chummy with anyone in his division. As far as he is concerned, if a boxer is housed within the 168lbs division they are potential opponents and thus are to be viewed as food.
“I don’t care about being friends with nobody in my weight class. You didn’t see Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran being buddies. You didn’t see them sit with each other at fights laughing and joking like you do nowadays.
“I don’t like that. That’s not me, that’s not how I am. So, I don’t like Vincent, I don’t like Mike, I don’t like no one in my division. So if you’re in my weight class, that just how it is.”
As most theorize, Plant should be able to handle Feigenbutz minus to much muss or fuss. If this indeed is the case, it will be interesting to see who the Nashville native takes on next!
By: Bakari Simpson