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USATSI

Unbeaten super middleweight titleholder Caleb Plant went largely untouched on Saturday in pitching a shutout against former champion Caleb Truax. Whether or not that was enough to attract pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez into a fall unification bout remains to be seen. 

Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) relied on speed and combinations to box circles around the 37-year-old Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) in the third defense of his IBF title. All three judges inside the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles scored it 120-108 in favor of Plant. 

"I kind of hurt my [left] hand early in the fight and maybe was a little hesitant at times but I feel like I put on a great performance," Plant said. "I didn't get touched really and I'm happy. 

"I wanted the stoppage. I'm a little disappointed my hand got hurt about one-third of the way through."

Plant, 28, was never bothered by Truax despite the veteran finally figuring out a way to land a smattering of counter right hands over the final third of the fight as the action slowed. Plant overwhelmed his foe with volume and went on to outland Truax 179 to 147, according to CompuBox, including a margin of 124 to 49 in power shots. 

"I feel like I put my foot on the gas and landed combinations but he was just trying to survive and move away," Plant said. 

Truax formerly held the IBF title in 2017 when he traveled to London to upset James DeGale via majority decision before losing the rematch five months later. The native of Minnesota, who was stopped by Daniel Jacobs in his only other attempt at a world title in 2015, lacked the power to give Plant any trouble and the speed to make a dent on the scorecards.  

Although Plant never called out Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) by name, he reiterated his hope of landing a fight against the Mexican superstar during his post-fight interview. 

The 30-year-old Alvarez, who holds the WBC and WBA titles at 168 pounds, recently signed a two-fight deal with Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Sport that covers a mandatory title defense against Avni Yildirim in February and a possible unification bout with unbeaten WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in May. Given Alvarez's stated mission of unifying all four titles, Plant's belt would be the missing link that makes a fight between the two possible for September. 

"That's my goal, I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion of all-time and whoever is in the way of that, it doesn't matter," Plant said. "You line them up and I'll knock them down. I feel like I'm the best super middleweight in the world."

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