12 Rounds With ... Caleb Plant

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The unbeaten world super middleweight champion returns home to his native Tennessee as a husband and a champion to defend his crown versus Vincent Feigenbutz in a 168-pound showdown Saturday night on FOX.

This Saturday, February 15, at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, undefeated IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (19-0, 11 KOs) looks to follow up his three-round demolition job of Mike Lee with a successful homecoming title defense against hard-hitting mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2, 28 KOs) of Germany. The super middleweight showdown headlines a live FOX PBC Fight Night telecast beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT)

What was it like growing up in Tennessee?

I grew up in a place right outside of Nashville, called Ashland City. It’s a rural place, real country. Quiet, slow, a lot of poverty, a lot of substance abuse and stuff like that. But I’m really grateful that I grew up there, there was a lot of room to run around. Really there wasn’t nothing to do but go to the gym or get in trouble. So I chose—well actually I chose a bit of both—but for the most part I tried to stay in the gym and it worked out. I’m super grateful for where I come from. It made me who I am today. 

What does it mean to bring a world title fight home to Nashville?

Big moment, this will be the first world title fight at the Bridgestone. For me to be bringing a world title home to such a huge venue, to my home city, is something I’ve worked toward my whole life. Seems like I’m just bringing one dream to life at a time.

Do you feel more like a champion with a title defense under your belt?

I felt like a champion long before I won a belt. You can’t start to walk like the champ, talk like the champ, train like the champ, eat like the champ and carry yourself like the champ once you become a champion. You have to do that long before. So, I’ve thought of myself as a world champion for many years. I feel like you guys are going to see the best Caleb Plant yet on February 15.

What’s your main goal for 2020?

Keep winning, that’s all that matters. Getting my hand raised, no matter who it’s against, no matter where it’s at and in spectacular fashion every time.

What are your thoughts on stardom, reputation and pound-for-pound?

I don’t really care about the fame and stardom. To me it’s about legacy. It’s about winning, I’m a winner. I feel like if I continue to do my job and focus on what’s in front of me, then the stardom, the money, all of that stuff will come on its own. I don’t have to chase that. I need to focus on the task at hand. If I do that, then pound for pound, belts, stardom, money—all of that stuff will come. 

Being a unified champ, being undisputed champion, being on the pound for pound list, that’s the stuff I’m more interested in. I don’t care about being famous, that’s not what interests me or why I started. I’m in this because I want my respect. I want to win, I wanna eat someone’s face off. I just care about boxing, that’s it.

I don’t really care about the fame and stardom. To me it’s about legacy. Undefeated IBF World Super Middleweight Champion - Caleb Plant

What about you would surprise people?

Jordan, (pointing to newlywed wife, Jordan Plant)), answer this one. 

“He’s a prankster,” says Jordan, “He likes pranking me.” 

I like to goof around and prank people with my family and friends. To the rest of the world, I don’t say a whole lot. I’m kind of reserved and more serious, and that’s really who I am. It’s not a show or act. Jordan will tell you that. But for the few people who are real close to me that I consider friends or family, they’ll tell you I’m a huge jokester and prankster. 

“He just pranked me last night!” said Jordan. “I was bringing the dog in from outside, and he’s hiding behind the curtains with this scary ole’ mask, and when I go to bring the security guard down, the mask is right there and scared me so bad.” 

Yeah, we’re not the boring old couple.

How do you like being married?

It really ain’t no different from when we were dating, engaged, or anything else. I’ve heard stories that when you get married, everything changes, but if you look at the success that we’ve had then there really ain’t no sense in switching it up. I’m the same old Caleb, she’s the same old Jordan. We’re just working hard and living life to the fullest. She’s my best friend. It’s not just like my woman, that’s my homie. We’re friends first. Before anything, we’re friends. Before she’s even my wife, she’s my friend. 

What are your thoughts on Vincent Feigenbutz?

He’s strong, he’s young, he’s hungry, he’s explosive and he’s quick, but he’s gonna fall short. I don’t think there’s anyone in the super middleweight division with as many tools as I have, and I’m going to show that.

How do you see the fight playing out?

I’m gonna win dominantly, and I’m not letting it go 12 rounds. But this guy, I think he’s better than Mike Lee. I think he’s a live dog, it’s the biggest moment of his life, he’s coming to win and he’s coming to become a world champion. It may not be in three, but I’m gonna get him out of there.

What comes to mind when you hear the name David Benavidez?

Unification match. A fight that will happen—it’s something that I want and that I’ve been pushing for. Before he fought Dirrell, it was mandatory for the winner to fight Yildrim. Whoever won already had his path set in stone. I’m a world champion, so I’m not waiting on anybody. I have my own bills to pay, my own career I’m looking out for. So, I have to fight my mandatory, if I don’t do it, I’ll get stripped of my belt. 

How would you describe Caleb Plant?

The full package. I can box, I can scrap. I can fight off the back foot and I can fight off the front foot. I can initiate and I can counter. I’ve got punching power in either hand. I’ve got speed, good defense with fast, explosive offense and I’m only getting stronger and more offensive. I’ve only got 19 fights, too, I’m still just getting started.

Would a fight between you and David Benavidez be one of the best in boxing?

I think it’s one of the biggest, I don’t know about the best. I would be lying if I said he’s a scrub or he sucks or he can’t fight, but I like to be realistic. I’m not saying that it wouldn’t be a tough fight or a hard fight. I’m just saying when that fight does get made, and it’s not near as hard as everyone think it’s gonna be, don’t be surprised is all I’m saying.

For a closer look at Caleb Plant, check out his fighter page. 

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