|Johannesburg, January 28 – Caleb Plant may be the best boxer you’re never heard of, but this weekend he has an opportunity to enhance his breakout status when he defends his IBF super-middleweight belt against Caleb Truax in Los Angeles.
The man they call “Sweet Hands” can demonstrate why he’s in the mix for a possible showdown with pound-for-pound boss Canelo Alvarez. He’s fast, unbeaten and has a TV-friendly style that will be there for all to see when SuperSport Action broadcasts the event from 3am on Sunday.
Two defences into his reign as the IBF’s champion, Plant returns to the ring after fighting just once in 2020, a late-round stoppage of gritty Vincent Feigenbutz.
Opposite him will be fellow American Caleb Truax, who held the same belt for four months during a two-fight series with James DeGale.
Plant has been labelled a potential star based on his potent blend of speed, athleticism and slick technique.
Truax, in turn, can be outworked, but he has great conditioning and uses a high-pressure style that often brings reward.
Said Plant: “I can honestly say this has been one of my best camps. I’ve had great sparring. I haven’t had any restrictions as far as Covid-19 goes when it comes to sparring partners or strength and conditioning or being in the gym. So I’ve been really focussed on what I need to do and I’m just ready to go in there and handle business.
“It’s hard to say where Caleb Truax ranks in terms of past opponents. I have to get in there with him. Styles make fights . . . I know he’s a veteran, has a lot of experience and is a former world champion who has upset people before, so he has to be taken seriously.”
Truax, nine years older at 37, has no issue with being the underdog.
“I embrace that role,” he said. “I fight my best when I’m in that spot and I look forward to proving all the naysayers wrong again.
“At my age, there is no telling when I’ll be able to get a world title fight again. So I’ve been approaching it as if this is my last shot. I’ve been very focused in camp and just determined to leave it all in the ring and get my belt back.
“I’m going to win because I’m the most experienced and the best fighter that Plant has ever faced. I believe my experience, my pressure, my conditioning and just my determination will be the factor in getting the win and I expect to do so on January 30.
In the co-feature, Michael Coffie and Darmani Rock clash in a 10-round battle of unbeaten heavyweights.