In recent history, boxing has been shooting themselves in the feet by taking too long to make meaningful fights, choosing excessive marination over seizing the day. It looks like that trend is being broken, happily, with the announcement that Caleb Plant–David Benavidez is ON, in March, in Las Vegas.
Of course, fingers will be crossed as we count down that both men arrive to fight night un-injured, that nothing messes up what will be one of the most anticipated scraps of the year in boxing 2023.
Plant would have been seen as the underdog in many quarters until he opened eyes in brutal fashion with a stoppage of old guard hitter Anthony Dirrell in October 2022.
Benavidez is 26, Plant is 30, both are at or near their prime. Who do you think gets their hand raised in this super middleweight face-off?
Check out this release, for more info on the battle:
LAS VEGAS – January 25, 2023 – Undefeated former two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champion David “El Bandera Roja’’ Benavídez and former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant will meet in a high-stakes, 12-round showdown to settle their long-simmering feud live on SHOWTIME PPV on Saturday, March 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Benavídez and Plant will take their years-long war of words into the ring, as these assertive and hungry super middleweights look to cast their ballot as the division’s next kingpin. Both have had reigns as champions at 168 pounds and both are eager to once again ascend to the top of the division as they fight for Benavídez’s Interim WBC Super Middleweight title.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing, go on sale Friday, January 27 at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased HEREthrough AXS.com.
Pre-sale tickets will be available TOMORROW, Thursday, January 26 from 10 a.m. PT until 10 p.m. PT and can be purchased HERE through AXS.com with the code: BOXING
“David Benavídez vs. Caleb Plant will see two fighters in the prime of their careers take on the biggest challenge they can as they look to leave no doubt about their legacy in the ring,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “While Benavídez is known for his power, and Plant for his supreme boxing acumen, both have shown their abilities as well-rounded fighters in recent action. All of this makes for a can’t-miss night on March 25 on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.”
“Sometimes in this business, to sell a fight, people say it’s bad blood,” said Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing. “For this one, I give my personal guarantee it is real bad blood, and it will be an unbelievable fight. Don’t miss it!”
“This is one of the biggest and potentially most explosive fights that can be made in boxing, not just in the super middleweight division,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “It pits two fighters at the peak of their athletic primes, both with prodigious skill-sets and contrasting styles, both of whom take great pride in the way they perform. It is an intriguing matchup and the outcome is impossible to predict. Add in their genuine and mutual dislike for one another and we have a volatile, 50-50 matchup and potential fight-of-the-year candidate. SHOWTIME is proud to deliver this event and mark yet another compelling and significant main event as we raise the curtain on our 2023 schedule.”
The 25-year-old undefeated Benavídez (26-0, 23 KOs) became the youngest-ever 168-pound world champion at just 20 years old when he defeated Ronald Gavril by split decision for the vacant WBC title on SHOWTIME in 2017. A Phoenix-native who now lives and trains in the Seattle area, Benavídez has stamped his place in the super middleweight division with knockout power in both hands and improving ring savvy with each fight.
When he was 15 years old, Benavídez went from weighing 250 pounds to a boxing prodigy under the watchful eye of his father and trainer, Jose, Sr., and his brother and veteran contender Jose Jr., as he famously held his own in sparring against middleweight champions Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin. Benavídez is riding a string of six straight knockout victories heading into the bout against Plant, having most recently scored a resounding third-round stoppage of former champion David Lemieux in his last fight in May.
“I can’t wait until they put me in the ring with him so I can beat his ass,” said Benavídez. “This is going to be a great night for boxing fans. I can’t wait to step in there and give everyone the beatdown they’re coming to see.”
Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) has used his sublime boxing skills to rise to the rank of world champion and, in his last fight, showed big-time power earning 2022’s Knockout of the Year (CBS Sports, Boxing Scene) in a win over Anthony Dirrell. It was Plant’s debut performance with new trainer Stephen Edwards in October where he ended a heated rivalry with Dirrell with a single punch, knocking out the former two-time champion to deliver one of 2022’s most memorable finishes.
The 30-year-old Plant, who was born in Nashville, Tenn., and now lives in Las Vegas, won the IBF title in a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Jose Uzcategui in 2019. Plant dropped Uzcategui in the second and fourth rounds and cruised to victory for the championship. He made three successful title defenses, defeating Mike Lee and Vincent Feigenbutz by TKO in addition to a unanimous decision victory over former champion Caleb Truax. He lost the title in an undisputed championship match against Canelo Alvarez in November 2021, at times frustrating Alvarez with his smooth boxing acumen before defeating Dirrell to set up this highly anticipated clash with Benavidez.
“After I knocked out Dirrell, I made it clear I wanted to go after the biggest fight that could be made in the division,” said Plant. “This is one of the most anticipated matchups and I'm here again, showing the world why I'm one of the biggest attractions in boxing.
I feel sharp and on point. I’m looking forward to March 25, not only to give the fans what they’ve been waiting for, but to show who the better man is.”