Saturday, January 28, 2023  |



David Benavidez looks ahead to Canelo-Plant, eager to face winner in 2022

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Former two-time WBC super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez will be an interested observer when Canelo Alvarez faces Caleb Plant in an undisputed championship fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Benavidez, who is rated No. 1 by The Ring at 168 pounds, has had a long-running beef with Plant and, like any other super middleweight at the elite level, he’s very eager to test his skills against Canelo.

For now, however, Benavidez is on the outside looking in. He is scheduled to face Kryone Davis, at home in Phoenix on November 13, but the Canelo-Plant victor is an enticing target for 2022.

“My main mission is to get the belts back,” Benavidez (24-0, 21 knockouts) told The Ring “I would love it to be Canelo because that’s the pinnacle of the boxing world, but if Caleb Plant somehow wins the fight [then that’s who we want.]”

The 24-year-old admits a misstep on the scales last year has proved costly.

“It did frustrate me,” said Benavidez, who came in 3¾ pounds over the super middleweight limit and was promptly stripped of his WBC title ahead of a defense against Roamer Alexis Angulo last August. “Things happened; everybody was getting used to being in the bubble. I should have been more prepared for what came with the bubble but I wasn’t.

“I feel like it would have been easier to get a fight with Canelo [if I hadn’t been stripped], because having a title, you have more power and leverage to fight.”

Benavidez believes that Plant made a mistake when he attempted to strike Canelo after being pushed by the Mexican star at the press conference announcing the fight. Plant emerged from the melee with a cut under his right eye.

“It messed up his sparring a little bit,” Benavidez explained. “When something happens like that you have to take a little time off. I think that probably got into his head a little bit more.”

Photo by Ronald Martinez/ Getty Images

While Canelo is accustomed to the big stage, this will be Plant’s first time in a huge event. Benavidez feels that experience and the way Plant has been brought through the ranks will play a part in the outcome.

“I think it will have a big impact in the fight,” he said. “The way they were matching Caleb Plant up, they never really gave him a hard fight. He fought [Jose] Uzcategui and that was his hardest fight. After that I don’t know what was going on with the matchmaking; they gave him some really easy fights. So he goes from fighting easy fights to fighting one of the hardest fighters in boxing right now.”

However, Benavidez feels that his countryman’s size and physical dimensions could potentially prove troublesome for Canelo.

“Caleb Plant has some advantages: height, size, reach. If he utilizes his tools, he can make it a very competitive fight,” Benavidez explained.

“It’s crazy to think about it: If Caleb Plant made him look super-small, I make Caleb Plant look small. So, I can only imagine how I’d make Canelo look.”

Ultimately, Benavidez believes that the Mexican star will come out on top.

“At first I thought it was going to be an easy fight for Canelo, but seeing the way Caleb Plant moves, he can probably give Canelo problems in the beginning,” said the former world titleholder. “Overall, I feel Canelo is a better fighter and I don’t think Caleb Plant has the punching power to keep him off.

“I think it’s going to be a good fight for the first couple of rounds, but ultimately the experience, the body shots and the power of Canelo will take over. I think Canelo will get him out in the ninth or 10th round.”


Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter @AnsonWainwright



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