Many of the elements of the most compelling fights will be present on Saturday night when David Benavidez and Caleb Plant clash in a Showtime pay-per-view main event. The style matchup promises fun action, the two men have grown an increasingly strong dislike for each other and the opponent poses several interesting questions for both men.
Benavidez is facing by far the best opponent of his career in Plant, a slick boxer with higher-level skills than any of Benavidez's previous foes. Benavidez will be forced to see if his pressure-first style can get to -- and break down -- a fighter who has made his living by not often being there to be hit.
To date, Benavidez has been perfect in his career, with 26 wins in 26 trips to the ring, 23 of those coming by knockout. His worst opponent has been himself, twice losing world titles because of his own missteps. First, Benavidez was stripped of the WBC super middleweight championship in 2018 after testing positive for cocaine. After regaining the title, he was stripped again after failing to make weight for his August 2020 fight with Roamer Alexis Angulo.
He now holds the WBC interim super middleweight title, which he will put on the line on Saturday.
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Plant has been in with one truly great fighter in his professional campaign, giving a good effort in November 2021 against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez before being stopped in the 11th round. Benavidez and Alvarez are not carbon copies of each other, but like Alvarez, Benavidez will force Plant to try and navigate the space between defensive slickness and planting his feet to exchange punches.
"I'm one of the best in the world at what I do. We've yet to see if he can perform at this level, but we're gonna find out on Saturday," Plant said. "David is a good fighter, and he knows I'm a good fighter too. I'm not interested in fighting bums. I want to fight good fighters for the fans and for my legacy.
"The winner of this fight is right there at the top. Canelo has that spot right now and I'm super motivated for this fight so that I can eventually right that wrong. First, I'm gonna handle business on Saturday night."
CBS Sports will also have live coverage of the fight with round-by-round scoring and blow-by-blow updates to keep you up to date throughout the night.
The loss to Alvarez is Plant's lone career defeat and he rebounded this past October with a stunningly brutal knockout of Anthony Dirrell, which was the single biggest display of power Plant has ever shown.
The fight comes with a yearslong built-in backstory involving insults, scuffles and deep personal wounds. In the days before the fight, tensions between the two men have not cooled in the slightest and both men still seem totally focused on not only winning but dominating a man they detest.
"I wouldn't [be satisfied with a decision]," Benavidez said at the pre-fight press conference. "He's talking about blown-up [opponents]. When you fought [Vincent] Feigenbutz, he was a blown-up 160 and you couldn't do shit with him. Then when he fights a true super middleweight like [Jose] Uzcategui, his f---ing eye gets split open.
"[Uzcategui] almost knocked you the f--- out, and you got knocked the f--- out by Canelo. Every time he fights a real, true super middleweight, he gets hurt or he gets knocked out. He's gonna be in there with the hardest, most accurate super middleweight. We're gonna see what's up."
🚨 TWO MORE SLEEPS 🚨@Benavidez300 and @SweetHandsPlant exchange some fiery words during their post final presser face off 😳#BenavidezPlant is LIVE Saturday 9PM ET/6PM PT 👉 https://t.co/BYO7umAuMy#Showtime #PPV #Boxing pic.twitter.com/2pEzo60blF— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 23, 2023
Plant, seemingly already under Benavidez's skin, made sure to take a few more digs at the interim champion for any pride of already being on weight or having trained hard for the impending clash.
"I worked extremely hard for this fight," Plant said. "I'm ready. And somebody you know let me know [you're] already on weight. Right? But that don't mean shit to me. I don't care if you're already on weight. That's not bragging rights. I brought my mouthpiece and my cup this week, but I don't need a pat on the back for it. That's what you're supposed to do.
"You're supposed to be on weight. So welcome to the club. And you've got your newfound muscles you've been showing off all week. Welcome to the club. That's what happens when you work hard."
The undercard has three fights to get you ready for the main event on Saturday night. To open up the festivities, Cody Crowley is back and looking to make a statement in his biggest test to date when he takes on former title challenger Abel Ramos at welterweight. Then, we move to the lightweight division where Chris Colbert is set to debut after previously holding an interim title at super featherweight when he battles Jose Valenzuela. And the co-feature bout sees a super welterweight contest between Jesus Ramos and Joey Spencer.
Let's take a closer look at the rest of the undercard for Saturday night in Las Vegas with the latest odds from Caesars Sportsbook before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event.
Benavidez vs. Plant fight card, odds
|David Benavidez (c) -360||Caleb Plant +280||Interim WBC super middleweight title|
|Jesus Ramos -230||Joey Spencer +190||Super welterweight|
|Chris Colbert -130||Jose Valenzuela +110||Lightweight|
|Cody Crowley -800||Abel Ramos +550||Welterweight|
There's no real mystery on either man's path to victory. Benavidez is a pressure fighter who wants to walk his opponents down while utilizing his hand speed to crack with jabs and crisp lead right hands while also letting combinations go when he's in range, and he has the power to hurt anyone in the division. For Plant, it's about using his footwork to not allow Benavidez to cut off the ring, landing his own shots and resetting the chase once again.
Plant showed off his power against Dirrell, but that's not a true part of his offense and engaging in a toe-to-toe firefight with Benavidez is a recipe for a very short night for Plant. If Plant can instead move consistently and keep Benavidez off of him, he has solid potential to score the upset and derail hopes of a long-awaited clash between Benavidez and Alvarez.
Plant likely takes several early rounds, managing to use his quicker feet to force Benavidez to overextend while trying to get in range. But Benavidez is a fighter who can break Plant down even as he loses some rounds. As punches start to add up for Benavidez, Plant will slow and become an easier target, at which point things could quickly snowball toward a late rounds finish. Pick: Benavidez via TKO10
Who wins David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant? And which prop could bring a huge return? Visit SportsLine now to see Peter Kahn's best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing specialist who has netted his followers a profit of nearly $4,000, and find out.