Caleb Plant won a shutout decision on all three of the judges scorecards this weekend in a dominant performance to defend his IBF super middleweight title for the third time. Plant dominated the fight with his superior hand speed and reflexes. Plant built an early lead behind his jab which he threw from his hip and with hybrid hook/uppercut type of punches that caught Truax by surprise. Truax who is a physical type of fighter who can maul and break opponents down was very cautious in the first six or seven rounds of the fight. Plant bloodied Truax’s nose early on and landed a series of punches at the end of the second round that looked to wobble the challenger. Plant scored effectively and looked capable of stopping Truax early on in the fight but regressed into a more cautious approach. Plant has since pointed to a hand injury and was seen post fight having his knuckles examined. Truax got braver in the last third of the bout as he managed to score effectively with his overhand right trying for the home run. He connected but never clean enough or consistent enough to finish the job. Plant ran away with the decision and out landed Truax by wide figures in total punches by 130 and 100 more power punches.
Plant won but it was one of those fights where the pins were set up for a strike and he only got a spare. Sure it was a clear cut victory but he did not make the statement he should have made against Truax. I picked an early night for Plant and while I may have sold Truax’s toughness short in my prediction he was still very much tailormade for Plant. Plant had been building a streak of stoppages and Truax has been stopped previously but Truax never was able to put a stamp on the performance. I think Plant fights very well in spots but can take his foot off the gas. If he could do what he does for one minute a round for two to three minutes a round he can emerge as the best man in the division. At this moment in time I feel his lapses are his enemy and show a lack of completion in his game. If Plant is ready for an elite talent like Canelo Alvarez, this fight did not prove it. BJ Saunders is the frontrunner for May and I was critical of his performance against Martin Murray where I felt his stock fell a little and any ideas of him beating Canelo faded away. I hadn’t predicted Plant’s chance of victory against Alvarez but that viewpoint had been floating around online since early 2020. I think this fight will quell some of these feelings. I ultimately want to see Plant against David Benavidez in a fight that really should have been made by now given they both fight on PBC for Al Haymon. Plant’s team is unlikely to take this fight as it may spoil the Canelo sweepstakes but I think it is the sort of fight Plant needs to gain experience to defeat Alvarez. Plant has had three soft title defenses since winning the IBF belt and I guess it comes down to the option of does Plant want to play it safe and cash out with Alvarez. Or does he want to do everything he can to win the fight? Hopefully, the hand is fine and a fight can be made in the interim for Plant while Canelo faces Saunders. Of course, Canelo could always face Benavidez, Andrade, Charlo or Golovkin in the later half of 2021.
Before you go: Check out this KO