Canelo: ‘I’m sticking with my prediction of a knockout before round eight’

Mexican superstar, four-division world champion and unified WBC/WBO/WBA Super Middleweight Champion Canelo Álvarez held a virtual workout on Wednesday, as he showed off his skills ahead of his highly anticipated undisputed 168-pound championship showdown against undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant taking place Saturday, November 6 live on SHOWTIME PPV from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Canelo was joined by his renowned trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso at their gym in San Diego. Canelo and Plant will be looking to make history on November 6, as the winner of their fight will become the first undisputed 168-pound champion of the four-belt era.

See below what Alvarez had to say on Wednesday:

CANELO ÁLVAREZ(Photos: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME)

“I feel strong and I’m very excited. I’m just continuing to move forward day by day toward fight night. I’m ready to make history on November 6.

“It’s new for me to have this much bad blood with an opponent. It’s very different from normal and it’s definitely the most animosity I’ve had with an opponent heading into a big fight.

“I’m sticking with my prediction of a knockout before round eight. The first couple of rounds will be difficult, but as the fight progresses, I am going to be able to get him out of there.

“I delivered the message I had to at our press conference. I don’t have to say anything else to Plant. I’m just going to prepare to face him in the ring on November 6.

“The secret to me and Eddy’s relationship is our discipline. My mind is so strong and I’m going to use that to my advantage in this fight.

“I’ve never been involved in anything like what happened at the first press conference between me and Caleb. Whether it sells the fight or not, the most important thing for me is to become undisputed on November 6.

“I’ve been in the ring for huge fights like this a lot of times. For him, it’s going to be a challenge being in there for a fight of this magnitude for the first time. He’s going to have to control his emotions.

“I’m a complete fighter. I can do various things in the ring. I can be aggressive, I can counterpunch, I can move. At the end of the day, I know I have to be a complete fighter. That’s what I’ve learned to be under Eddy Reynoso.

“Caleb is a good boxer, he has a good jab and he moves very well. But it’s nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m just going to use my skills and experience to win the fight.

“This is very important for my country of Mexico. This is one of the most important fights of my life. I’m taking it very seriously and a win means a lot to me.

“I don’t want to compare myself to great Mexican champions of the past. I just want to go out and make my own history. In the end, I want to be considered one of the best along with the legends who came before me.”

Canelo-Plant undercard announced

Three high-stakes matchups featuring former world champions, top contenders and rising future champions have been added to the highly anticipated SHOWTIME PPV event headlined by Canelo Álvarez and Caleb “Sweethands” Plant battling for the undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell will square off against exciting contender “Madman” Marcos Hernández in the 10-round co-main event, while unbeaten former super bantamweight world champion Rey Vargas returns to action against Mexico’s Leonardo Báez in a 10-round attraction. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, super lightweight contenders Elvis Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Romero will duel in a 10-round showdown.

Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion, won the title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Mich. dropped the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision, before putting together six straight victories to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He captured the title for a second time in 2019, winning a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim. Most recently, Dirrell battled Kyrone Davis to a draw in February, in his first fight since a title fight defeat against David Benavidez in September 2019.

“I’m very ready for this fight,” said Dirrell. “I know Hernandez is a tough competitor and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fans there since we’re fighting on the same card as Canelo. But I know I’m ready to fight on the big stage and on a card of this magnitude. I fought on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter undercard and I think this fight night is going to have a similar feel. I’m just prepared to do whatever I have to do to get the victory. The fans should expect fireworks. I’m not shying away from the action and hopefully I can get the winner of Canelo vs. Plant if I perform well on November 6.”

Fighting out of Fresno, Calif., Hernández (15-4-2, 3 KOs) has faced excellent competition in his career, battling a litany of tough fellow rising contenders. The 28-year-old most recently scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Armando Resendiz in September. In addition to his recent triumph, Hernández has twice faced former unified super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario, fighting to a draw in their first meeting before losing the rematch. He has also taken down then-unbeaten fighters in Kevin Newman II and Thomas Hill.

“I’m having a great training camp for this fight coming off of my performance in early September,” said Hernández. “As always, the fans can expect me to bring an entertaining fight. I know that I’m up against a former world champion who’s accomplished a lot in his career. I’m just focusing on working hard every day to get the victory and everything that will come with it.”

The former WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion, Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs) will return from layoff due to injury when he enters the ring on November 6. The 30-year-old went on the road to the U.K. to capture his title in 2017, winning a decision over previously unbeaten Gavin McDonnell. A native of Mexico City, Vargas made five successful defenses of his title, defeating top contenders including Oscar Negrete, Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan. His last fight and fifth successful title defense came via a unanimous decision over former world champion Tomoki Kameda in July 2019.

“I’m very happy for my return to the ring and my debut with PBC,” said Vargas. “You are going to see a renewed Rey Vargas on November 6. My opponent is a good fighter with speed who throws a lot of combinations. It will be a tough fight, but I know I have what it takes to win. I couldn’t be happier to be on the big stage on Canelo’s undercard. I know that I have to shine on fight night, take advantage of this showcase, and deliver a great fight for the fans.”

The Baja California, Mexico native Báez (21-4, 12 KOs) enters this fight the winner of his last three outings, all coming by TKO. The 26-year-old put together the winning streak after defeats to the previously unbeaten Carlos Caraballo and former title challenger Jason Moloney. Báez, who has fought professionally since 2013, will fight in the U.S. for the fourth time on November 6. Amongst his stateside outings, Báez dominated former interim champion Moises Flores on his way to earning a unanimous decision in February 2020.

“I’m excited for this great challenge on November 6,” said Báez. “I’m planning on giving the fans a true Mexican war and leaving it all in the ring to get the victory. It’s an honor to fight on the Canelo undercard and I’m going to make the most of it. This is going to be a toe-to-toe war, and I’m going to show that he’s not able to stand up to my power and aggression.”

Rodríguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) burst onto the scene with knockout victories in 10 of his first 11 fights. He capped off a five-win 2020 campaign with a knockout of Cameron Krael in October and a decision victory against Luis Alberto Veron four months later. Fighting out of his native Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez most recently dropped a narrow majority decision against Kenneth Sims Jr. in May.

“I am very thankful to my team for getting me this tremendous opportunity opening up the pay-per-view for the biggest fight of the year,” said Rodríguez. “I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready to show everyone that I’m the real deal. My goal remains the same, and that’s to win a world title in 2022. First, I am just focused on November 6 and making sure I take advantage of the opportunity that a victory will produce on my road to the world title.”

Romero (14-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after fighting for his native Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 31-year-old dispatched solid veterans Nestor Armas, Nestor Gonzalez and Ranses Payano in 2019, before earning a 10-round decision over Sergio Torres Alvarado in his only 2020 contest. Romero made it back-to-back 10-round unanimous decision triumphs in April of this year, as he won his U.S. debut by defeating Deiner Berrio. Throughout his extensive amateur career, Romero owns an impressive victory over unbeaten welterweight contender Gabriel Maestre.

“I’m very excited that my team was able to get me this great opportunity to fight on a Canelo show in Las Vegas,” said Romero. “I feel just as happy and excited to fight as I did for the Olympic games. I’m going to prove what I’m made of on November 6. No matter who my opponent is, I always train hard and prepare to do whatever I can to earn the victory.”

Plant: ‘There are a handful of things that I am better than Canelo at in the ring’

Unbeaten IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant(21-0, 12 KOs) continued to declare his intention on becoming the first undisputed super middleweight world champion in boxing history as he nears his showdown against WBC/WBO/WBA 168-pound champion Canelo Álvarez(56-1-2, 38 KOs)taking place Saturday, November 6 live on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

A world champion since January 2019, Plant has made three successful title defenses since wresting the belt from Jose Uzcategui by unanimous decision. Just like he did in the Uzcategui fight, Plant looks to flip the script and score another upset on his way to making history against Canelo.

Here is what Plant had to say about November 6 and more:

CALEB PLANT

“I’m just staying relaxed and letting the process play itself out. We’ve got one half of camp done and a half camp to go. I’m ahead of schedule and my weight is good.

“I don’t think I need to be any more motivated than I already am to fight for the undisputed super middleweight championship of the world. It’s a fight that we both obviously want to win. Maybe Canelo’s emotions boiled over at the press conference and I reacted. Those things happen.

“I’m just staying zeroed in, locked in and focused. We’re just planning to finish out this camp the same way that I started it, and that’s at a high level.

“I’m feeling really good. Everything has been on point. I feel like I have all the skills in the world and a great team around me. When the bell rings, I’m just looking forward to showing the world what I can do.

“I believe that there are a handful of things that I am better than Canelo at in the ring. But the only way to find out is to tune-in on November 6. It’s not going to matter what I say right now, people aren’t going to believe me anyway. I’d rather show you than tell you.

“I’ve only had 21 fights as a professional, but a lot of those fights have been on the big stage. I’ve been fighting at a high-level for a long time and I’ve got a lot of experience under my belt. It’s all going to help me on fight night.

“I know that this is the biggest fight I’ve had so far in my career, and that’s the goal, to keep moving forward. I want each fight to be bigger than the last fight. This isn’t anything that I haven’t asked for. I want this and I feel like I’m prepared for it.

“Being undisputed will cement my name in the history books of boxing forever. That’s why I do this. That’s what I set out to accomplish when I first started boxing.”

Photo; Ryan Hafney/PBC

Canelo on Plant: ‘He crossed the line’

Unified 168-pound champion(WBA/WBC/WBO), Canelo Alvarez(56-1-2, 38 KOs), and IBF 168-pound champion Caleb Plant(21-0, 12 KOs) were involved in a heated press conference on Tuesday in Beverly Hills, CA.

The two went face-to-face, and Plant walked away with a cut. Alvarez started the skirmish after he pushed the IBF 168-pound champion. Plant responded by swinging at Alvarez, who ducked and responded with a few punches that cut Plant.

If there wasn’t any bad blood between Plant and Alvarez before Tuesday, there’s definitely some now, which will ultimately be settled on November 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas(Showtime PPV) when the two battle it out to see who is the king of the 168-pound division.

Here’s how Plant’s face looked after the brawl:

Plant described what happened from his point of view.

 “We just had some normal back-and-forth banter up there, and then whatever happened, happened. It’s none of my concern, though,” Plant said. “I’m focused and locked in on November 6.”

Alvarez added on the brawl.

“You can say whatever to me, but not to my mom,” he said. “I’m going to fight anyone who says something about my mom. And he swung first. I just pushed him. He swung first, and I do what I do. He crossed the line.

“It will be over in eight rounds or less. I’m going to knock out this guy. Easy.”

Hopefully, this fight won’t be postponed due to Plant’s cut. Pushing and shoving can be fairly common at boxing press conferences, but punches are not usually thrown, and if they are thrown, the punches typically miss. 

Plant has an opportunity at a reported career-high payday of around $10 million for this fight, so with or without the cut, it’s highly unlikely he pulls out of this fight.

If it still happens, November 6 should be a lot of fun.

Watch below as Alvarez and Plant brawl at press conference:

Plant on Canelo: ‘This man is in trouble’

Boxing’s consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez will face undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant in a historic showdown on Saturday, November 6, live on SHOWTIME PPV at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

Canelo, a four-division world champion, will look to capture undisputed status for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career as he returns to SHOWTIME where he made his pay-per-view main event debut in September 2013. The unbeaten and supremely talented Plant attempts to earn a career-defining victory and keep his perfect record intact as he makes his fourth world title defense. The winner of the November 6 bout will stamp his name in the history books as the first undisputed 168-pound world champion of the four-belt era.

Having already captured world titles at 154, 160, 168 and 175-pounds, Canelo (56-1-2, 38 KOs) has amassed a Hall of Fame resume at just 31-years-old. The fighting pride of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Canelo began his quest for the undisputed super middleweight championship in December 2020 by defeating then unbeaten Callum Smith to capture the WBA and WBC titles. Most recently, Canelo added the WBO belt via a stoppage victory over previously undefeated Billy Joe Saunders in May. November 6 will be Canelo’s first attempt at an undisputed title.

“At the end of the day, this is what I want to do with my career, make history,” said Canelo. “These things, like becoming the first to be the unified champion at 168 pounds, is making history. To potentially be one of the few who holds this prestigious honor in any weight class makes me very happy. For my country, this would be a huge accomplishment. I want to be remembered as one of the greatest in the history of the sport.”

The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) captured his world title and burst onto the 168-pound scene by defeating Jose Uzcategui in January 2019. Plant was the underdog coming into the Uzcategui fight. He quickly set the tone scoring two early knockdowns on his way to a clear unanimous decision victory. It was an emotional night for Plant, who had dedicated his championship win to the memory of his late daughter, Alia, who passed away in 2015.

A native of Ashland City, Tennessee, Plant now lives and trains in Las Vegas, guided by his trainer Justin Gamber, along with his father and co-trainer Richie Plant. Caleb has successfully defended his title three times, dominating Mike Lee to earn a third-round stoppage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in July 2019. He then earned a TKO victory over Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming bout in Nashville in 2020. Most recently, Plant bested former super middleweight world champion Caleb Truax, winning a unanimous decision in their January clash.

“On November 6, the world will witness boxing’s first ever crowned undisputed super middleweight champion,” said Plant. “When my hand is raised in victory, the world will know then, that I’m the new face of boxing. Everyone should order the PPV now and get their popcorn ready, because I’m about to put on a performance that will go down in history as one of the best ever. This man is in trouble.”

Alvarez-Plant set for November 6 in Las Vegas

Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez(56-1-2, 38 KOs) and undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant(21-0, 12 KOs) will battle to crown an undisputed 168-pound world champion on Saturday, November 6 live on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

A four-division champion regarded by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, Álvarez faces off against a supremely skilled, undefeated world champion in Plant, who’s made three defenses of the title he won in January 2019.

The winner will become the first undisputed super middleweight champion in the four-belt era.

The last time we saw Alvarez was back in May when he stopped Billy Joe Saunders to capture his WBO 168-pound title, while Plant is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Caleb Truax in January. 

This is one of the biggest fights in 2021 and an opportunity for Alvarez to clean out the 168-pound division. If Plant wins, it would be a career-defining victory. We’ll see what happens on November 6 in Las Vegas.

Plant-Truax was a ratings hit!

Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) scored big on Saturday night when he successfully defended his title against Caleb Truax and drew a peak audience of 2.019 million viewers during the FOX PBC Fight Night live broadcast from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles. The main event portion of the telecast, which featured Plant scoring a 12-round unanimous decision victory over Truax, averaged 1.887 million viewers.

The entire FOX PBC Fight Night three-fight main card averaged 1.608 million viewers and ranks as FOX’s best PBC Fight Night performance since December 21, 2019 (Jermell Charlo-Tony Harrison II – WBC Super Welterweight Title bout). Earlier in the day, PBC’s preliminary bouts peaked with 1.221 million viewers and averaged 871,000 viewers.

“This is a strong rating on FOX and further indication that boxing is alive and well on network television,’’ said Tim Smith, Vice President of Communications for Haymon Boxing. “The fight went head-to-head against an NBA game on another network between the Lakers and Celtics, which makes the number even more impressive. Plant’s ratings have steadily increased with each subsequent appearance on FS1 and FOX.’’

Plant, a 28-year-old from Nashville, Tennessee who now lives and trains in Las Vegas, Nevada, has seen his star rise since he began appearing on FS1 and FOX in 2019. His victory over Jose Uzcategui for the IBF Super Middleweight championship on Jan. 2019 drew peak viewership of 986,000 with the main event averaging 917,000 on FS1. Plant’s first defense against Mike Lee drew a peak of 1.41 million with the main event averaging 923,000 viewers on July 2019 and his subsequent match against Vincent Feigenbutz drew a peak of 1.809 million with the main event averaging 1.689 million viewers in prime time on FOX.

Plant: ‘I feel like I’m the best super middleweight champion in the world’

 Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant successfully defended his title with a masterful unanimous decision victory over former champion Caleb “Golden” Truax in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night on Saturday night from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

Using blazing hand speed, a stiff jab and punches from multiple angles, Plant battered Truax and kept him off balance over the course of the 12 rounds. It was a game effort from Truax, but Plant proved to be too much to handle. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Plant 120-108, a 12-round shutout.

Plant sought the knockout but hurt his left hand early in the fight, forcing him to be less aggressive and more hesitant on offense.

“I felt great. I dominated every round. I hardly got touched. He wasn’t giving me much either,’’ Plant said. “I felt like, early on, he was just looking to survive and move away. Then a third of the way into the fight, I hurt my hand. It’s kind of swollen. I felt something similar before. I’ve got to sit down and get it checked out but we’ll see. I don’t think it will hinder any upcoming fights.

“A champion can adjust to anything. It’s about staying focused, staying disciplined and sticking to the game plan. Maybe the injury hindered me here and there but I felt I used it well – I got a dominant victory, a shutout on all three cards.”

The 28-year-old Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) had scored back-to-back stoppage victories on FOX in his two title defenses, beating then undefeated Mike Lee in July 2019 before most recently turning away Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming event last February in Nashville, Tennessee.

The victory over Truax (31-5-2, 19 KOs) was the third successful title defense for Plant, who captured the title in 2019 with a victory over Jose Uzcategui. Plant, who is from Nashville, Tennessee but now lives and trains in Las Vegas, was the underdog coming into the Uzcategui fight, before turning the tables with two early knockdowns on his way to a unanimous decision. There wasn’t nearly as much drama in the fight against Truax as Plant took control from start to finish, never allowing Truax to get into the fight in any measureable way.

“I wanted the stoppage. I’m a little disappointed that my hand got hurt early in the fight. But I feel like I put on a good performance,’’ Plant said. “I feel like I’m the best super middleweight champion in the world. I want to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion. I’m ready for whoever, whenever. You line ‘em up and I’ll knock ‘em down.”

For the 37-year-old Truax, the fight against Plant represented his last real chance to rejoin the world championship ranks. Truax had his championship-winning victory in December 2017 as he traveled to James DeGale’s native U.K. to wrest the title away from DeGale in one of the year’s biggest upsets. Truax, who fights out of Saint Michael, Minnesota, dropped a narrow decision to DeGale in their 2018 rematch. Plant never allowed him to get close to his championship belt.

“I’m a little disappointed. I wanted to put pressure on him and make it a dogfight, but he was elusive. He was able to escape out the back door. I wasn’t able to put a glove on him,” Truax said. “I knew he was going to be quick, but he was a little more elusive than I expected. It wasn’t a fast paced fight and credit to him for that. I wanted it to be a fast paced fight and put pressure on him, but he controlled the pace and he was very elusive.

“I was never buzzed or hurt. I felt like my conditioning was very good the whole fight. He just jabbed the heck out of me. I’m going to go home and talk to my family and see what the next step is. I still feel like I have something to offer the game.”

In a battle between young, undefeated heavyweights. Michael Coffie (12-0, 9 KOs) kept his record unblemished with a powerful third-round knockout victory over Darmani Rock (17-1, 12 KOs).

Coffie, a 34-year-old Marine Corps veteran from The Bronx, N.Y., took a couple of rounds to figure out Rock of Philadelphia. When he did, it was lights out for Rock. Coffie went to work in the third round, dropping Rock with a left uppercut. Rock was able to make it to his feet to beat the count of referee Jack Reiss. A few seconds later, Coffie clipped Rock again with a short left hook that sent him to the canvas a second time. Reiss waved off the action at 0:59 seconds of the round, giving Coffie the victory and handing the 24-year-old Rock the first loss of his professional career.

“He had quick hands we knew that, but timing beats speed,” Coffie said. “They said he shuffles his feet and drops his hands. They told me to wait for him to shuffle his feet and then drop that left hand on him.”

“I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping the gun or anything like that or downplaying the need for experience. But I don’t think I’m that far off. I think I have power, movement, and I think just my style of fighting that can really contend with anybody.”

Unbeaten super welterweight prospect Joey Spencer continued his fast rise up the ranks with an impressive first-round KO victory over Isiah Seldon (14-4-1, 5 KOs). In a bizarre sequence of events, the 20-year-old Spencer (12-0, 9 KOs) dropped Seldon with a hard right hand. Seldon rose at the count of eight. When action resumed, Seldon unleashed several punches to the back of Spencer’s head, prompting referee Jerry Cantu to deduct two points for the fouls. It didn’t take long for Spencer to bring a conclusion to matters. He landed another right hand that sent Seldon to the canvas again. This time Cantu didn’t bother counting, waving off the fight at 2:15 of the first round.

“I just knew that I was going to put hands on him, and that’s how I was going to retaliate. I definitely put in the back of my mind that maybe I’d punish him a little further if I would have gotten a chance. But I didn’t. The ref stopped him, and that’s the way it ended,’’ Spencer said. “My man strength is coming. I’m only 20. I turn 21 in March. I’m getting stronger and stronger. I’m getting a lot more confident because people aren’t able to take my punches in the same way.”

In other undercard action, Rances Barthelemy (28-1-1, 14 KOs) scored a unanimous 10-round decision over All Rivera (21-5, 18 KOs) in a super lightweight bout. Barthelemy, a two-division world champion from Cuba, put together a workmanlike performance against Rivera, who hails from Bobon, Philippines. The 34-year-old Barthelemy has won world titles at 130 and 135 pounds.

“After almost two years of being out of the ring, it was hard making sure we stuck to the game plan to make sure we didn’t get anxious or desperate,” Barthelemy said. “I felt we controlled the fight from start to finish and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. I’m looking at Alberto Puello next, going after that 140 WBA belt and hoping that sets us up for bigger opportunities before the end of the year.” 

Middleweights Brandyn Lynch (10-1-1, 8 KOs) and Mark Hernandez (14-4-2, 3 KOs) fought to an eight-round draw. In a light heavyweight bout, Atif Oberlton (1-0, 1 KO) pounded out a victory in his pro debut, stopping Nathan Sharp (4-3, 4 KOs) via TKO at 0:48 seconds of the third round.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

Plant: ‘I’m on a mission to be the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history’

Unbeaten IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant will defend his title against former champion Caleb “Golden” Truax in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes Saturday, January 30 from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

A rising superstar who first captured his 168-pound world title in January 2019, Plant makes his third world title defense live in primetime once again as he is opposed by the crafty veteran Truax, whose own super middleweight glory came in 2017 when he traveled overseas to dethrone James DeGale for the IBF belt. In the co-feature Michael Coffie and Darmani Rock clash in a 10-round battle of unbeaten heavyweights. Super welterweight sensation Joey Spencer takes on Isiah Seldon in an eight rounder to open the telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and Sweethands Promotions, in association with Warriors Boxing, and will take place without fans in attendance at the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.

The 28-year-old Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) has scored back-to-back stoppage victories on FOX in his two title defenses, beating then undefeated Mike Lee in July 2019 before most recently turning away Germany’s Vincent Feigenbutz in a homecoming event last February in Nashville, Tennessee. The Ashland City native now lives and trains in Las Vegas and captured the title in a 2019 victory over Jose Uzcategui. Plant was the underdog coming into the Uzcategui fight, before turning the tables with two early knockdowns on his way to a unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who had dedicated his championship victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.

Truax, the highest-ranked IBF super middleweight contender, will be Plant’s second consecutive mandatory challenger as Feigenbutz was also the IBF mandatory challenger.

“I want to say I’m grateful to be making my 2021 debut on FOX.  On January 30th I’m facing Caleb Truax who is going to be coming with everything he’s got, so I’ll be prepared to go to battle with everything that I got,’’ Plant said. “Everyone knows I’m on a mission to be the first undisputed super middleweight champion in boxing history. With that being said, fans can expect to see me at my absolute best.  This fight ends in a knockout.”

Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) became a real-life Cinderella Man with his world championship-winning victory in December 2017. Truax was a 50-1 underdog when he traveled to DeGale’s native U.K. and overcame the odds by wresting the title away in one of the year’s biggest upsets. Truax dropped a narrow decision to DeGale in their 2018 rematch. A former college football player fighting out of Saint Michael, Minnesota, Truax has faced an impressive lineup of super middleweights and middleweights throughout his career, including DeGale, Anthony Dirrell, Peter Quillin and Daniel Jacobs.

“I’m hungry and I’m treating this like my last opportunity to win my title back,” Truax said. “I’m going in as the underdog, but I’ve been in that position before and I’ve beaten the odds.”

A Marine Corps veteran who picked up boxing after returning from overseas, Coffie (11-0, 8 KOs) quickly impressed in amateur tournaments enough to earn sparring assignments with Deontay Wilder and Adam Kownacki. The 34-year-old was born in the Bronx, but now fights out of Brooklyn. Coffie most recently improved his unbeaten record with a TKO victory over hardnosed veteran Joey Abell on FOX on Nov. 11.

“I think this is going to be a really good fight.  We match up with our physical stature both height and weight. It should be a tough and gritty fight for the fans,” Coffie said. “My thought is that Rock is a good fighter. He has never been put in a position where he has had to dig deep. I feel like that I always have had to dig deep because I never had a huge amateur background.  Every fight I have had to will myself. A win will be another step closer to fighting the fights that people want to see.’’

The unbeaten Rock (17-0, 12 KOs) is a hard-hitting 24-year-old from Philadelphia who is establishing himself as a force in the heavyweight division as he climbs the ladder into contention. Rock will have to scrape off some ring rust when he steps in against Coffie. He didn’t fight at all last year. His last fight was a stoppage victory over Maurenzo Smith on Oct. 19, 2019.

“The layoff might have a little impact on me, but I don’t think it will be a big problem. I just got to do what I got to do,’’ Rock said. “I don’t really know much about him. I know he looks strong. The main thing I have to do is get the feel back and listen to my corner and my Pop and follow instruction and have fun. I’m glad this is on Jan. 30, because I want to be as busy as possible this year and make up for that year layoff that I had and stay in shape.’’

The 20-year-old Spencer (11-0, 8 KOs) has made fast strides since turning pro in February 2017. The Linden, Michigan native kicked off 2020 in January with a six-round decision victory over Erik Spring and returned with a KO victory over Shawn West in August on FOX. Those two wins built on an impressive four-win 2019.

“I’m super excited to get back in the ring and kickoff 2021 with an explosive performance for my fans,’’ Spencer said. “I’m having an incredible training camp and I’m in the best shape of my life.’’

Seldon (14-3-1, 5 KOs), the son of former heavyweight champion contender Bruce Seldon, got a late start to boxing, turning pro when he was 22 years old in Atlantic City, N.J. under the tutelage of Bill Johnson, the same man who trained his father. The 32-year-old Seldon of Somers Point, N.J. is coming off an impressive second round KO victory over Darryl Bunting last March.

“I am excited for the opportunity.  I have seen a lot of film on Spencer.  He is a very good fighter with an excellent amateur background,’’ Seldon said.  “I can’t wait until January 30th.  I have a lot of time to prepare and have had a great training camp with Danny Davis.  When this opportunity presented itself, I jumped on it, and I will put on a great performance on January 30th.”

Plant: ‘Everyone knows I want that unification fight with David Benavidez’

Fighting in front of a raucous hometown crowd for the first time in his professional career, undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) put on a show.

Plant dominated mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-3, 28 KOs) of Germany, scoring a 10th-round TKO Saturday night in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

Plant, who grew up in neighboring Ashland City, successfully made the second defense of the world title he won in January 2019 with a thrilling 12-round unanimous decision over then-titlist Jose Uzcategui. “Sweethands” lived up to his moniker, breaking down Germany’s Feigenbutz before putting him away.

“I was super fueled by the crowd tonight,” Plant said. “I could have gone all night. The whole city came out. Nashville stand up!”

Plant gave them plenty to cheer about from the opening bell, landing his jab up and downstairs. The aggressive Feigenbutz, 24, struggled to land anything in return.

Plant began landing the combinations in the third, bringing the crowd to his feet with a series of well-placed volleys.

Watch early round highlights HERE and HERE.

Those shots slowly took their toll, but Feigenbutz was game. He came alive in the sixth, pinning Plant against the ropes and unloading his own combinations. Plant covered up and shook his head as if unbothered.

Watch Feigenbutz fight back in Round 6 HERE.

Plant pounded Feigenbutz in the seventh and eighth, opening up a cut on his nose and swelling his right eye. The challenger absorbed more punishment in the ninth, causing the ringside doctor to take a hard look at him in between rounds.

Watch Plant dominate Round 9 HERE.

The end came swiftly in the 10th as Plant, sensing his foe was weakening, pounded away until referee Malik Waleed mercifully stepped in. The official time of the stoppage was 2:23 of the 10th.

Watch the stoppage in Round 10 HERE.

“I felt great out there,” said Plant. “I was relaxed and sharp. I told you I was going to stop this before the 12th round. I want to dedicate this to my daughter, to my mother, my grandfather and the whole city of Nashville.”

The champion also stated his desire to unify versus unbeaten WBC counterpart and rival, David Benavidez.

“Everyone knows I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” Plant stated. “You know who the best 168-pounder is. If you want that, you’ve got to come see me. I want that fight; I’ve been asking for it and I’m tired of waiting!”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions