By Dan Ambrose: Trainer Jose Benavidez Sr. says Caleb ‘Sweethands’ Plant has woken “the animal” in interim WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez with his name-calling and contact trash-talking in the build-up to their fight next Saturday, March 25th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
(Photo credit: Lalo Hernandez/ SHOWTIME)
Jose Sr. states that Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) is going to be badly punished in the process of being knocked out by the unbeaten ‘Mexican Monster’ Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) in their headliner on Showtime PPV.
Plant showed some rare power in his last fight, stopping Anthony Dirrell in the ninth round last October. Jose Sr. says he’s not worried about that display of power from Plant because he expects him to run to daylight when he starts getting hit by Benavidez, and he won’t stop running for the entire fight.
Why Benavidez wants to destroy Plant
“We’re having a hard fight against him on March 25th, but as a man, I have no respect for that guy,” said Jose Benavidez Sr to Fighthype about Caleb Plant.
“It gets to the point where you woke up the animal in David after so many years of getting bullied by this guy [Plant], saying that he’s fat. Even on his Instagram, he put a blowup picture of David, saying that David is fat. He’s always saying that about David. ‘Fat boy.’
“He’s just a bully, and after a while, David just got tired. He woke up. People don’t like that. You get tired after a while of getting bullied. No, because this fight got him super motivated,” said Jose Sr when asked if Benavidez may have gotten too amped up for the Plant fight.
“He’s doing things that I’ve never seen him do before. It feeds him to stay motivated. He’ll handle himself well, and he’s not going to go in there with anger. You need anger sometimes to go to war, but as long as you control it. I’m not worried about it. He knows what he’s doing,” said Jose Sr about his belief that Benavidez won’t go berserk inside the ring, fighting like a wild man and getting clipped by Plant.
“He knows he’s not going to go for the knockout right away. We’re going to try and break him down and hurt him and put him away. That’s the plan. Knockouts come. I’m pretty sure if the knockout doesn’t come, he’ll have him set up to put him away when he wants to.
“I’m not going to underestimate Caleb Plant. He’s a good fighter, a slick fighter, and a fast fighter. He has fast feed and good footwork. He moves very well, but nothing he has isn’t anything that we haven’t already seen.
“He left his old trainer. I think if his old trainer had been with him, he would have done much better. He was the one that took him to a world title. He took him all the way to the top. Now, he’s brought his dad in. His dad was there in the corner to just watch and advise him.
“Now his dad is the trainer, and he’s brought other trainers. Sometimes it takes time to adjust to new ideas, and he started. He’s 30 years old. When you’re 30 years old, you’re not the same as when you’re 26 or 27. You don’t learn that fast.
“So that’s a big advantage for our side. He has good trainers and people with good ideas, but in order to execute those ideas, it takes a little bit of time. He came off a loss when he got this trainer, and now they want to fight together, and he looked spectacular in that knockout [of Anthony Dirrell last October].
“In reality, he wasn’t looking good in that fight. That knockout came out of nowhere. To me, that’s good. I’ve been with David since he was born, so I know him very well. So, I think that’s a big advantage,” said Jose Sr.
Benavidez going to another level
“Caleb Plant says that I never put gloves on, and I don’t know nothing about boxing,” said Benavidez Sr. “I’ll tell you right now that I don’t know s**t about boxing. I’m learning, but look at who I’ve been working with. Two world champions.
“I have three world champions. Now, I have the opportunity to work with David Benavidez, Rayo Valenzuela, and Diego Pacheco. Diego Pacheco looked spectacular last week, so I must be doing something good.
“A lot of people don’t give him a lot of credit,” Jose Sr said about Benavidez. “He’s not a two-time world champion. He’s a three-time world champion. He’s an interim world champion with the WBC. So that, it’s a lot.
“If Canelo vacates the regular [WBC super middleweight] world title, then he becomes a champion. We’re super happy and super motivated, and we’re going to show the world a new David.
“A lot of people say he’s flat-footed, and his defense is not good. You guys are going to see a lot of head movement, defense, cutting the ring off, and going to the body.
“David is only 26 years old. We brought Memo Heredia. I would say this is the best camp because of the motivation and the level of opposition, and he’s super motivated about his first PPV event.
“He went to another level. If you saw David a fight before, two fights before, you’re going to see David at another level, and he’s only 26 years old. This is the time, this is the fight that motivated him a lot more, and I can see the big step up at a different level.
“I would say this is his best camp, but his next fight is going to be harder. So we have to adjust and fight harder. I would say every fighter has to be at their best. They’re not confident. We’re confident,” said Jose Sr.
Plant will run after he gets hit
“Caleb, at the press conference, he had his hands in his pockets the whole time,” Benavidez Sr said. “These guys, you don’t hear nothing from the trainers. Breadman is giving him [Plant] confidence that he can hit hard. Hopefully, they can do that, try and stay there and try and trade with David. We’re going to see what happens.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen. As soon as he feels the punches from David, he’s going to run, move and stick. Our job is no secret. Hurt him, go to the body and slow him down, connect with our punches, and put him away.
“His job is to move, and run, and run and move to try and do something. We’re going to see who is the best fighter. The brawler or the boxer. It’s a good fight for us to show the people that we’re ready to be at this level. I think David Benavidez ‘The Mexican Monster’ is the best fighter at 168.
“Caleb Plant is a dangerous fighter, and we just have to perform and do what we said we were going to do. It’s the most important fight for his career and the most important fight for our career. We got to go get it. We got to look impressive.
“We can’t just win the fight. We got to knock him out. I don’t think that fight is going to happen because he doesn’t want to fight the ‘Mexican Monster,’” said Jose Sr. about his belief that Canelo Alvarez won’t fight Benavidez.
“If I was Eddy Reynoso, I’d probably do the same. Don’t face this guy. You’re going to get injured. We have to look spectacular. We can’t look past Caleb Plant, and the only way we can get Canelo is how we did with Caleb Plant. He was pressured. He did not want to fight David, but he had to.
“There’s a point where you can’t hide, and you can’t run. I think the same thing is going to happen to Canelo. Once we look impressive, then we own the right to fight Canelo, and the fight and people are going to demand the fight. That’s what we have to do. We have to look impressive. We can’t just win the fight.
“How humiliating will that be against the Mexican people?” said Jose Sr about Canelo looking bad if he doesn’t fight Benavidez. “If you’re the champion and your the best, you have to fight who is looking impressive otherwise, you have to retire. Guess what? He’s going to have to leave all those belts,” said Jose Sr.