After careful consideration after his contest with Canelo Alvarez last Saturday, Daniel Jacobs came to the conclusion that with his type of build, and the struggles he has had of late in making weight, that he will vacate the Middleweight ranks, and move up to the Super-Middleweight division.
In a rare Sunday attraction for a high profiled boxing match, we just witnessed the IBF Super-Middleweight title exchange hands, as undefeated Caleb Plant (18-0-0, 10KO) dominated now-former Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-3-0, 23KO) en route to a unanimous decision victory in what was a grueling fight full of action, and fiery exchanges.
Caleb Plant fought with the type of technical mastery that forces those in his division to pause and take serious notice, as he was first in most exchanges, forced Uzcategui to do what he wanted to as he proved to be far too elusive, and too sharp of a counterpuncher for Uzcategui to time, catch, or intimidate.
Plant was able to put Uzcategui down in the 2nd round from an impressive barrage. As Plant jumped out to an early lead behind a wide array of boxing skills from middle distance, Uzcategui managed to open up a cut over the right eye of Plant, however that didn’t slow him down. Uzcategui coming in had the bigger reputation of being the big power puncher, which he had proven time and time again however here, to the shock of onlookers in attendance, and viewers at home, Plant was the one landing the power shots routinely, and often got the better of exchanges, most notably when both fighters would land simultaneously. This was evident when Plant put Uzcategui down again, this time with a hook where both landed simultaneously, and his doing the bulk of the damage.
Plant’s shiftiness throughout the fight made Uzcategui look rather lethargic, and Jose’s reluctance to utilize his jab was a factor into that equation as well, over-relying on the threat of the power instead of setting the power up. Plant continued to dominate the middle rounds, though Uzcategui kept getting closer and closer.
In the 9th round, Uzcategui hurt Caleb badly, which had the then-challenger on wobbly legs for roughly a minute, but he was able to survive by evading the big power coming back his way. He regained control back in the 10th round, although Uzcategui successfully landed a devastating right hand on the tip of the chin, but Caleb took it remarkably well, supporting the notion that Caleb has a fantastic chin.
The Championship rounds were a grueling affair, with Uzcategui showing a serious sense of urgency, getting up close, and landing some good shots, while Caleb slipped and weaved his way inside, landing counter hooks and uppercuts, leading up to the final bell. The scorecards were read, and they were accurate, as Caleb Plant was announced as the new Champion. The emotions took over Plant during the post-fight interview in celebration of the victory, in the backdrop of his personal family story, as he was successful in fulfilling his promise, and taking the IBF belt home with him.
PROJECT COMBAT SCORECARDS:
Jon Uddin 117 – 109 for CALEB PLANT
Tre Berry 117 – 109 for CALEB PLANT
2018 was a year of redemption for Jose “Bolivita” Uzcategui (28-2, 23KO).
It all started off with getting some payback for being punched by Leon Lawson, the uncle of Andre Dirrell, after Uzcategui was DQ’d for a questionable punch after the bell in his 2017 fight with Dirrell. Uzcategui methodically beatdown Dirrell on his way to a TKO victory in the rematch last year.
After the original scheduled bout against Plant in August was postponed due to Plant’s injury, Uzcategui took on Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna, winning a 10 round unanimous decision.
Uzcategui looks to bring his usual technical but tenacious style into the ring Sunday, as he wants to kick off 2019 by continuing to establish himself as the man at Super Middleweight against Plant.
“Caleb Plant earned this shot by beating a Porky Medina that no one cares about anymore, and now he’s getting into the ring with me, and I’m for real. Caleb’s done a lot of trash talking, and I’ve taken it personally.
I truly do not like this guy, but now, we’ll see if he can back it up. I don’t want to simply stop him or knock him out. That would be too easy. I am planning to make it a long night for him. I want to give him the beating of his life throughout the whole fight.”
Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (17-0, 10KO) is ready to make his return to the ring, after an 11 month layoff due to a hand injury suffered in a sparring session weeks after his last fight, when he beat Rogelio Medina last February.
Plant, the #2 challenger in the IBF Super Middleweight division, had been rising steadily in the division when the fight was ordered due to James Degale vacating the title, scrapping Plant’s IBF eliminator with Rocky Fielding.
There will be nothing in the way of a tune up fight for the slick Nashville fighter as he faces his biggest test as a pro, when he steps in the ring against the heavy handed Venezuelan, and IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23KO) Sunday night in Los Angeles.
“I’m not sure of I’m in his head or not, mentally, but his scare tactics won’t work on me. Jose’s got someone in front of him who is not scared of him even though he’s saying he’s is the boogeyman of the division.
Jose’s got a bully mentality. As long as people are scared of him, Jose feeds off of that. But everybody knows when you stand up to a bully, they don’t like it. I expect to make this feed fight look easy.”
Power punching Venezuelan Jose Uzcategui (28-2, 23KO) defends his IBF Super Middleweight World Championship against unbeaten #1 challenger Caleb Plant (17-0, 10KO) at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
Uzcategui won the “interim” IBF title after stopping Andre Dirrell in March of 2018 and was upgraded to full champion status after James Degale vacated the title in July. He followed the Dirrell win up in September with a 10 round decision win over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna.
Plant, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, was last seen beating Rogelio Medina in a 12 round decision in February. He was originally scheduled to challenge Uzcategui for the IBF title in August of 2018 but suffered a hand injury that postponed the bout. Surgery and a lengthy rehab created an 11 month layoff from the ring, which is the longest of Plant’s career.
Uzcategui faced Maderna on the scheduled date and went on to win the decision in a lackluster bout.
Uzactegui vs Plant will be shown Sunday on FS1 at 8pm ET/ 5pm PST.