Caleb Plant didn’t get the knockout he was looking for against Juan De Angel, but he was no less dominant Tuesday night.
Although taken to the final bell in his first 10-round bout, Plant gained a clean sweep of the judges’ scorecards to earn a unanimous decision at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
“I felt relaxed, sharp and in control,” Plant said. “I didn’t force or rush anything and I stuck to my jab, and that’s what it’s all about when you’re fighting a tough guy with a lot of knockouts.
“For a young dude being in front of all of the lights and cameras with only 13 fights in his first 10-rounder, I did a good job being patient. I remained cool and calm under pressure, did what I had to do and got the job done.”
The 24-year-old native of Ashland City, Tennessee, dictated the action from the outset, working largely behind his jab and using his footwork to continually frustrate De Angel, who was unable to find many openings.
“Caleb used his jab, closed distance, gave angles and mixed in uppercuts, overhand rights and right crosses,” said Plant’s trainer, Justin Gamber. “De Angel felt his power and stepped away.
“There was a point where I thought Caleb was headhunting a little bit and I wanted him to throw more body shots, but his jab won the fight.”
Neither fighter was particularly aggressive or accurate, but Plant outlanded De Angel 120-57 in total punches according to CompuBox despite throwing 12 fewer blows (418-406).
“I felt the size difference in the ring,” De Angel said. “I trained for a southpaw and he came out righty. That caught me off guard. He was better tonight.”
The closest Plant came to any real danger was in the ninth round, when an accidental clash of heads left blood streaming from his forehead. Otherwise, he showed himself both the more powerful and more elusive boxer throughout the fight.
“It’s another win in the bag. I had bounce in my legs for all 10 rounds,” Plant said. “I feel like I’m getting better every fight.
“I’ll fight whoever my team has lined up for me. It feels great to win as a headliner. We’re going right back to the gym and get ready for another fight.”
In undercard action, southpaw David Grayton (15-1, 11 KOs) capped a strong performance by earning an eighth-round TKO of Kareem Martin (8-1-1, 3 KOs) in a 147-pound matchup of Washington, D.C, residents.
While Martin was sharp early on, Grayton heated up as the fight progressed and wore his 20-year-old opponent down before finishing him off in the final round.
For a complete look at Plant vs De Angel, visit our fight page.