When Caleb Plant upset the odds to take the IBF Super middleweight title from Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui in January, not only did he fulfil a lifelong ambition but he gained a whole new swathe of fans for the manner in which he achieved his victory.
An underdog going into the fight, Plant scored 2 early knockdowns against the bigger, harder punching champion. Using great footwork, fast hands, and solid punching power, Plant bossed the fight from start to finish winning on the scorecards as follows: 116-110, 116-110, and 115-111.
It was a performance that surprised experts and fans alike by its mastery. Criticism that he gassed out in the championship rounds was pointless because, with the 2 knockdowns and the other 9 completed rounds, Plant already had the fight won.
On the undercard of the Pacquiao vs Thurman fight at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Plant now has the platform he needs to showcase himself to a wider audience. His opponent is Mike Lee from Chicago. Lee is not your stereo typical boxer having graduated with a degree in finance from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. Lee has boxed in the Light-heavyweight division up until this opportunity came up, and says that he wished he had campaigned in the 168lb Super-middleweight class now that he has made the weight comfortably.
Lee looks in great condition and will almost certainly enter the ring as the bigger man, however he does not possess the experience or power of Uzcategui. He has not faced the same calibre of opponent as Plant and will do well to see out the full 12 rounds.
I think Lee will have his moments in this bout but ultimately, Plant is on a different level and I expect him to stop Lee sometime in the last 4 rounds.