Caleb Plant impresses with IBF Super Middleweight title win over Jose UZcategui in the first PBC show of 2019
LOS ANGELES — The challenger proved to be the aggressor as Caleb Plant became the IBF Super Middleweight World Champion, defeating Jose Uzcategui in the main event of the first Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes event of 2019, which took place at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Plant dominated the whole fight as he maintained a fast and aggressive pace from the opening bell.
With scores of 116-110 twice and 115-111 in favor of Plant, the freshly crowned champion, Plant fell to his knees overcome with emotion when he heard “and the new!”.
“I’ve worked my whole entire life for this,” said Plant. “I buried my daughter in the process of trying to get this belt. I promised I would bring her this title and that is what I am going to do.”
The super middleweight barnburner started out strong with both combatants throwing exchanges, but Plant did everything in his power to never back down. Uzcategui threw hard right hands to start the second round, but Plant quickly turned the round in his favor as he knocked Uzcategui to the canvas with a flurry of punches, only the third time Uzcategui had been knocked down in his career. A small cut opened under the left eye of Uzcategui to start the third, but he fought through it and fended off Plant’s aggression. One minute into the fourth round, a cut opened up under Plant’s right eye causing blood to stream. That did not stop the Nashville native as threw a hard left hook that once again sent Uzcategui to the canvas.
As the fight progressed, the Venezuelan was unable to utilize his distance, thus allowing Plant to fight on the inside. Despite good exchanges in the seventh and eighth, it became increasingly clear that Uzcategui would need a knockout to hold onto his belt. Uzcategui flipped a switch in the championship rounds and came forward, throwing hard blows to the body and head of Plant. But it was too little too late for Uzcategui as Plant’s ring generalship controlled the pace of the fight, ultimately ending in a unanimous decision.
"I knew I caught him clean [when I knocked down Uzcategui], but I knew he wasn't all the way out so I took my time,” continued Plant. “I stayed relaxed. I stuck to the game plan and got it done just like I said I would.
"This is overwhelming. I am a kid who came from nothing. I believed in myself and now I've been crowned king. Right now, I am not thinking ahead. I just want to embrace this moment and soak it in."
“I did feel that I had the advantage heading into the fight,” said Uzcategui. “I went down because I was off balance, but I wasn’t hurt. He started to get tired around the sixth round, which was the plan. Caleb knew how to clench and hold. He was smart. He knew how to stay away from the punches.
“I expected more movement and more boxing out of him,” continued Uzcategui. “I would love the rematch. I think everyone saw a great fight tonight. I gave him the chance at the title and I would hope he would give me the chance to win it back.”