Five Fights That Made Caleb Plant a Star

The undefeated IBF World Super Middleweight Champion looks to add another sterling performance to his growing list when he takes on former champion Caleb Truax this Saturday on FOX PBC Fight Night.

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Plant vs Truax Preview: January 30, 2020 | PBC on FOX

The boxing world knows Caleb Plant now. That wasn’t always the case. “Sweethands” was once in the nebulous world of obscurity before building his way into becoming the IBF World Super Middleweight Champion.

This Saturday, the 28-year-old Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) makes the third defense of his title when he takes on former world champion Caleb “Golden” Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, in Los Angeles, California.

Before Plant reached this juncture, he had to do some climbing. Here are five fights that helped grow Caleb Plant into a star:

5 Daniel Henry

Date: March 6, 2015

Location: MGM Grand, Marquee Ballroom, Las Vegas 

Records at the time: Plant 5-0, Henry 2-2-2  

Result: Plant KO 1 

Significance: This was Plant’s first fight in the bright lights of Las Vegas—and more importantly, the first fight after his 19-month-old daughter Alia died of Aicar Transformylase/Imp Cyclohydrolase Deficiency, an extremely rare condition with only two known cases in the world. Alia died on Thursday, January 29, 2015. Two months later, Plant gathered himself to get back into the ring and fight again. He was on the last ESPN Friday Night Fights show—his first time on national TV.

Plant won by first-round knockout.

“That was the first fight after Alia died and just getting in there, in Vegas, on national TV, that was a big deal for me at the time,” Plant said. “She’s with me every day.”

4 ROGELIO "PORKY" MEDINA

Date: February 17, 2018 

Location: Don Haskins Center, El Paso, Texas 

Records at the time: Plant 16-0, Medina 38-8

Result:  Plant W 12

Significance: This marked the first time Plant went 12 rounds. Medina was a step up. He owned a knockout victory over J’Leon Love and had gone the distance with James DeGale, the IBF super middleweight titlist at the time, in 2016.

This was Plant’s “coming out” victory, and it set up his title shot against Jose Uzcategui.

“A lot of people really thought he beat James DeGale,” Plant said. “I went there and I wish I could have done a little more, but there were some behind-the-scenes stuff going on that hindered me from putting on a better performance. I dominated, but I know I could have done better.

“There were still some people who thought I wasn’t ready. But I knew I was going to go in there and put on a dominating performance.”  

3 MIKE LEE

Date: July 20, 2019 

Location:  MGM Grand, Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas

At stake: Plant’s IBF world super middleweight title 

Records at the time: Plant 18-0, Lee 21-0 

Result: Plant TKO 3 

Significance: This one was a little more personal, a little deeper. Plant had a major issue with Lee, whose faux arrogance in the months leading up to the fight suggested he deserved to be in the same ring as Plant. That really irritated the IBF World Super Middleweight Champion, who was making his first title defense.

“We did press all over the country, we did the grand arrivals in Las Vegas and it was a big fight night, and though I fought earlier in the day, it was an amazing experience,” Plant said. “Plus, that guy bothered me. I wanted to introduce him to reality. I did like beating up Mike Lee. I didn’t like his attitude. He came off as if was way smarter than he was—and I proved he was the dummy.”

Plant did bluntly welcome Lee to reality, knocking him down four times before referee Robert Byrd stopped it at 1:29 of the third round.

2 VINCENT FEIGENBUTZ

Date: February 15, 2020 

Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville 

At stake: Plant’s IBF world super middleweight title

Records at the time: Plant 19-0, Feigenbutz 31-2

Result: Plant TKO 10

Significance: This was Plant’s second defense of the IBF super middleweight title. More importantly, it was his homecoming. “Sweethands” could have easily succumbed to the pressures of fighting at home, with family and friends tugging on him for tickets and access as the fight neared.

But Plant showed great discipline in handling the outside demands and chewed up Feigenbutz, who was carrying a 10-fight winning streak and had not lost in four years.

Plant ended that run with a virtuoso performance, stopping Feigenbutz at 2:23 of the 10th round before a national TV audience watching on the FOX PBC Fight Night telecast, and a packed Bridgestone Arena. 

“I had a lot going on and a ton of people showed up, and the place was electric,” Plant said. “Vincent had a lot of experience, and there were a lot of opportunities where I could have been distracted and I wasn’t. I stayed focused and won.”

1 JOSE UZCATEGUI

Date: January 13, 2019 

Location: Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles 

At stake: Uzcategui’s IBF world super middleweight title

Records at the time: Plant 17-0, Uzcategui 28-2

Result: Plant W 12  

Significance: It marked the first time Plant fought for a world title, and he had his doubters. Two fights prior, Uzcategui had stopped Andre Dirrell for the first time in his career to capture the IBF 168-pound title in March 2018. At the time, Plant may not have had the resume that Uzcategui possessed, though he was coming off an impressive points victory over Rogelio Medina in February 2018 to set the stage.

“No one wanted to fight Uzcategui and everyone doubted me going in,” Plant said. “That fight gave me the chance to prove who I am and what I’m capable of doing. I heard a lot of people saying I wasn’t ready and I didn’t have enough experience to beat him.”

Plant was dazzling. He knocked down Uzcategui twice, in the second and fourth rounds, using pulverizing left hooks each time. The judges had no doubts. Two scored it 116-110 for Plant, while the third judge had it 115-111 for the Nashville native.

With blood dripping down the right side of his face from a cut right eye, caused by an accidental headbutt in the fourth, Plant heard what he wanted to hear since he first put on boxing gloves: “And the new . . .” Plant fell to his knees and raised his hands in victory.

For a closer look at Caleb Plant, check out his fighter page. 

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