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Benavidez And Plant: This Will Be Everything

Image Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

NEW YORK– David Benavidez and Caleb Plant are adversaries outside of the ring and the elite super middleweights have made their anticipated 12-round showdown Saturday night as personnel. A few months ago during their initial press conference they almost came to blows at the podium.

Their ShowTime Boxing Pay-Per-View main event will settle the score, and for Benavidez, (26-0) undefeated and perhaps the best power puncher in the division, a win will earn a long awaited opportunity at meeting unified 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez.

Plant says he is the better fighter, though his lone loss was a 11th round TKO loss to Alvarez, November of 2021. Then, Alvarez continued his legacy and became a unified champion in the four-belt era.

Benavidez has always looked at himself as being bypassed as the one to take the titles, but Plant was in position as the other champion. Many boxing experts say Benavidez, the Mexican-American with his power punches, has the ability to stop Alvarez. Perhaps, Benavidez and Alvarez will finally meet at some point, though we leave that to what is called boxing politics of promoters and sanctioning organizations to determine.

So here we are, a few days from an anticipated fight of the year. A fight that boxing fans deserve. And a fight that could be epic, though Benavidez again on Thursday said, he will stop Plant before or within six rounds.

Image Credit: Showtime Boxing

What will be determined, and finally decided, is who is the better fighter with implications more for Benavidez, again his quest to finally get Alvarez and take the titles. Then again, with Alvarez, considered in command of his legacy, he is looking to avenge a unanimous decision loss to Dmitri Bivol and become a two-time light heavyweight champion. Though, again, leave all those decisions to the promoters and sanctioning organizations, and surely Canelo will be watching and having an interest in the outcome.

Regardless, after much anticipation the two are ready, No obstacles to confront or distractions. The only remaining drama is the official weigh-in Friday afternoon at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, the venue for another significant fight. The drama, will the two be separated at a faceoff?

Believe me, and if you have been observing the past few months, there is animosity here and there may not be any hugs or respect with the two when the verdict is rendered Saturday night.

David Benavidez and Caleb Plant – Image Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

I always bring up fights in another era. Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Durán, Thomas Hearns. I bring up the vicious words and battles of Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, a time when the heavyweight division was considered the face of boxing.

And this one Saturday night has all the makings of being discussed in years to come, a fight that boxing needs though without the drama of insults, pushing and shoving. Without also the vulgar language and insults leveled at each other and their heritage that should not be.

However, this is a mean and vicious fight for supremacy in a division that Plant once ruled, and Benavidez always believed his opportunity was bypassed as a former two-time WBC Super Middleweight champion.

David Benavidez and Caleb Plant – Image Credit: Esther Lin/Showtime

Benavidez said Thursday, “I’m gonna break Caleb’s jaw on Saturday night by the sixth round.” Plant said, “The fans are going to see me get my hand raised. That’s what I’m guaranteeing.”

Benavidez wants his titles. Plant wants to shut up the skeptics and prove he deserves another opportunity against Alvarez, even if he has to wait a little longer because the champion wants that redemption and another chance at getting Bivol.

“Getting my hand raised is all the motivation I need,” Plant says. “It’s super motivating to have my family here with me. I’m gonna show that if you come up short or things don’t go your way, you gotta keep chasing and fighting for your dreams. I’ve been here before. I’ve been in big fights before. I know what this is all about and I know what it takes. Me and my team are fully prepared to get my hand raised on Saturday night.”

So it is Plant, a good puncher and technical with the jab. And Benavidez with that power, (26-0, 23 KO’s) and that 88.46 percent knockout ratio, reason to understand his contention of stopping Plant within six rounds in his first major fight on a Pay-Per-View platform.

“I have tremendous power,” Benavidez says. “ Everybody I hit, get hurt. I end up breaking them down little by little. This is the most focused I’ve ever been for a fight. I know Caleb Plant is going to be a hard fighter moving around a lot. But whatever he brings to the table, I’m going to be ready for it. I’m looking for that knockout and I’m going to get it.”

Indeed, if Benavidez retains composure and goes to the body often, he is liable to wear down Plant, and most boxing experts seem to agree that will occur. Plant, though, can be a good defensive fighter, though against Alvarez, there was that tendency to not throw enough and coming at him proved to be costly.

“But I’m not going to go in there just throwing wild shots,” Benavidez has said. “I’m going to be very calculated. This is the best I’ve ever felt mentally, physically and emotionally. I was already a monster before, but Caleb Pant brought the ‘Mexican Monster’ out of me.”

Boxing experts are split about the outcome. Though, I look at Benavidez coming out strong and Plant attempting to slow down the pace. In the end, Benavidez will find a way and get the TKO in the later rounds. Is Canelo next?

Unbeaten rising stars Jesus “Mono” Ramos and Joey Spencer, who meet in the co-main event, rising lightweight contenders Chris “Primetime” Colbert and Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela, who duel in a lightweight showdown, and welterweight contenders Cody Crowley and Abel Ramos, who square off in the pay-per-view telecast opener at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Ramirez Looking To Reclaim Fame: Former unified world champion Jose Ramirez (Mexico), 27-1, 17 KOs takes on former lightweight world champion Richard “RC” Commey (30-4-1, 27 KOs) in a 12-round junior welterweight showdown Saturday evening on a Top Rank ESPN telecast.

FRESNO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 23: Jose Ramirez (L) and Richard Commey (R) face-off during the press conference prior to their March 25 junior welterweight fight at FSU Student Rec Center on March 23, 2023 in Fresno, California. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

In the co-feature, WBA minimum weight world champion Seniesa Estrada (23-0, 9 KOs) will face WBC champion Tina Rupprecht (12-0-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round unification fight that will also crown a Ring Magazine queen. In the six-round heavyweight ESPN-televised opener, Antonio “El Gigante” Mireles (6-0, 6 KOs) battles Patrick Mailata (6-1, 3 KOs).

Ramirez-Commey, Estrada-Rupprecht and Mireles-Mailata will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Promoted by Top Rank, in association with DiBella Entertainment,

“Towering Inferno” Ready To Rumble: Undefeated super welterweight sensation and Mexican-American Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora and rising contender Brian Mendoza previewed their battle for Fundora’s Interim WBC Super Welterweight Title during a virtual press conference on Monday before they meet on Saturday, April 8 live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif., headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Image Credit: Premier Boxing Champions

“I feel like I’ve been proving myself over and over again. We’re waiting for our shot to fight for the title,” Fundora said. “They keep putting guys in front of me who they say will knock me out or expose me, but I keep proving them wrong. This fight is as important as every other fight before. Mendoza is a contender as well and we’re not looking at him lightly. We have to get past Mendoza if we want to even think of fighting for the championship.”

Rich Mancuso is the senior writer and co editor Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube

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