Benavidez: Since Beating Uzcategui, Plant’s Competition Hasn’t Been That Good

Boxing Scene

David Benavidez does not understand why he cannot be next in line to face Caleb Plant. 

Benavidez, a former super middleweight titleholder, is set to headline against Venezuelan contender Jose Uzcategui in Benavidez’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona on Aug. 28 at the Phoenix Arena. 

In the event of a victory, Benavidez says he would have no problem gearing up to face Plant next. Both Benavidez and Plant, the IBF 168-pound titleholder, are aligned with the same management group, Premier Boxing Champions, and have been circling each other for the past couple of years.

Plant had been in negotiations to face WBC/WBA/WBO 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez on a date in September, but last week their talks fell through.

The two sides are now back in discussions, this time for a possible date in November.

However, if Plant is unable to reach a deal for a fall showdown with Canelo, there are rumors circulating that he could face former titleholder Anthony Dirrell.

Outside of Canelo, Benavidez views himself as the next best option for Plant.

“If they told me that when I win [against Uzcategui] a fight with Caleb Plant would be guaranteed, I wouldn’t mind going right back into camp to fight him,” Benavidez said on The SI Boxing Podcast. “Like I said, Anthony Dirrell is not no dud either. I think Anthony Dirrell is a great opportunity against Caleb Plant, but why not wait for me to get this fight done with and fight the real fight that people have been wanting to watch?”

Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) himself drubbed Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs) in 2019, stopping the veteran inside nine rounds. As for Plant (21-0, 12 KOs), he defeated Uzcategui (31-4, 26 KOs) in 2019 to win the IBF 168-pound title. 

Benavidez has not been impressed by Plant’s recent resume: since defeating Uzcategui, Plant has faced no-hopers in Mike Lee and Vincent Feigenbutz; his last fight was a unanimous decision over battle-worn Caleb Truax.  

“I think Caleb has been getting a lot of weak fights lately,” Benavidez said. “Since he won [against] Jose Uzcategui his competition hasn’t been really that good.”

When it was mentioned that Plant would likely never face Benavidez as long as the Alvarez fight remained a distinct possibility, Benavidez shrugged, saying that if that was the case Plant would only draw the ire of the public. 

“His respect is going to go down from all the people,” Benavidez said. “All the people are going to be talking about [not fighting me]. I know he doesn’t care about that. I don’t know, man. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I just gotta keep winning the fights that they put in front of me and look impressive. At the end of the day I still get paid, so I’m not too bothered anyway.” 

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