Planting the flag: Caleb Plant scores shutout over Caleb Truax
SAN DIEGO, Calif., January 30, 2021 – Caleb Plant of Nashville (21-0, 12 KOs) put in the work he needed after an 18-month absence from the ring, getting a shutout unanimous decision over Caleb Truax of Minnesota (31-5-2, 19 KOs). All three cards ready 120-109, without even a mercy round for Truax.
Plant, age 28, retains his IBF Super Middleweight title with the victory over Truax, age 37.
The fight progressed much as expected. Truax is tough and game, but Plant is faster, stronger, and more skilled. Plant worked behind his jab to keep Truax safely on the perimeter round after round. Plant added combination punches, and Truax began to suffer a nosebleed in round five.
Truax stuck around, and as the fight passed the halfway point, he took a few more risks to successfully land a hard right hand on Plant. Truax had to risk taking shots to land those shots, and without being able to sustain the effort, Plant outworked Truax round after round.
Before the final round, Truax’s corner told him, “Go for broke!” as nothing less than a knockout would give him the win. Plant knew what was up, and it was more of the same. Plant got busy and used his offense to prevent Truax from doing any significant damage.
Plant made plenty of promises about stopping Truax before the right. Later he said a hand injury prevented him from letting it rip. “I kind of hurt my hand early in the fight. I felt like I put on a good performance. I wasn’t tested. It was about maybe a third of the way through. Maybe the fourth or fifth round,” said Plant. “I wanted to stop him. I’m disappointed my hand got hurt in the fight.”
After 18 months out of the ring, the work did Plant some good to prepare him for a more dangerous opponent later in the year.
Who might it be? Plant joins the list of potential opponents for Canelo Alvarez. But there’s an excellent in-house PBC fight available with David Benevidez, who’s scheduled to fight Ronald Ellis on March 13. Assuming Benevidez breezes through his fight, it’s an action fight fans would love to see. It also leaves the winner better prepared to take on the king of the division.
Plant says it doesn’t matter to him. “That’s my goal, to become the first undisputed super middleweight of all time. It doesn’t matter who’s in the way of that. I think I’m the best super middleweight in the world. You line ‘em up, I’ll knock ‘em down.” Plant will have to work on his power punching and avoid the sort of hand injuries that seem to nag him to offer anything to challenge either Alvarez or Benevidez.
Undercard results: Strong Coffie delivers a kick
Heavyweight Michael Coffie of New York (12-0, 9 KOs), a Marine who began boxing at age 29, came to make a statement and take his undefeated record home. Statement made. Coffie, a former sparring partner of Deontay Wilder, decked Darmani Rock of Philadelphia (17-1, 12 KOs) with a hard angled left hook early in round three. Rock made it to his feet, only to get rocked again a few seconds later with another version of the same left hook. Referee Jack Reiss waved off the fight at 59 seconds of the round.
Coffie, now age 34, isn’t wasting what time he’s got left in a bid for a big fight. “I’m trying to get whoever is above Darmani Rock next, and then whoever is above that person next.” Coffie made the biggest impression on the card and could put himself in the unlikely position to become a challenger to a bigger name like his former sparring partner in another year. Stay tuned.
Prospect Joey Spencer of Michigan (12-0, 9 KOs) needed just one round of his first eight-round bout to take out Isiah Seldon of New Jersey (14-4-1, 5 KOs) to remain on the rise in the middleweight division. Spencer nailed with a crunchy right hook to the head. Seldon struggled to his feet, and in retaliation fired off several rabbit punches behind the head. Referee Jerry Cantu, who warned both men not to turn the bout into a street fight before the opening bell, took two points from Seldon. Spencer caught Seldon a second time with the same punch, and Cantu had seen enough at 2:15 of the first round.
Spencer said the pair exchanged a hard look during referee instructions. “I know he was planning on roughing me up. After the fight, no hard feelings,” said Spencer. Spencer says he’s still growing, getting stronger as he gets older. Despite the pandemic, Spencer says he’s not wasting time. “ I’ve been boxing like crazy, and people aren’t taking my punches like usual.” He hopes to return in April.
In a snoozer, veteran super lightweight Rances Barthelemy of Las Vegas via Cuba (28-1, 14 KOs) put his fight on cruise control and won a unanimous decision over Ali Rivera of the Philippines (21-5, 18 KOs). Scores over ten rounds were 100-90, 99-91, and 97-93. Rivera suffered from a cut over the right eye via an accidental headbutt in round 2, and over the left eye from punches in round 3.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media at@PRProSanDiego.
Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.
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