Caleb Plant fulfills promise to late daughter
By John J. Raspanti
Caleb Plant had dreamed of this moment since beginning his boxing career. Sunday night, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, CA, the dream came true. Plant used fast hands and accurate punching to win a 12-round unanimous decision over Jose Uzcategui and capture the IBF super middleweight championship.
The scores were 116-110 twice, and 115-110 for the new champion.
Maxboxing judged Plant the winner by a 116-110 tally.
In the opening stanza, Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) jabbed and fired right hands from the outside. He also went to the body. Uzcategui (28-3, 23 KO) stalked and tried to rock, but Plant ducked his wild swings. Plant’s hand speed was already an issue.
Plant, did even better in round two. He pumped his jab over and over. A right hand deposited Uzcategui on his blue and green trunks. The soon to be former champion looked more embarrassed than hurt. He got up at seven and tried to tag Plant with a big shot. Plant boxed and moved but did eat a right that he absorbed without incident.
In rounds three and four, Plant continued to beat Uzcategui to the punch. Uzcategui was to slow to keep up. Plant, with blood streaming from a cut over his left eye, connected with a left hook that sent Uzcategui to the canvas for the second time.
Uzcategui tried to pick up the pace in round five, but Plant’s right hand couldn’t miss. Plant, nicknamed “sweet hands” landed four jabs and pretty left hook. Uzcategui’s stalking wasn’t effective.
Plant likely had a comfortable lead entering round six. Uzcategui came out of his corner firing again, but most of his shots drew air. Plant went to the body and landed a lead right hand. Uzcategui was a step behind and didn’t appear to have plan b. Plant dug to the body in round seven. Uzcategui connected with a left hook. Plant landed two combinations in the last minute of the round. Plant went back to working his jab more consistently in round eight - he could beat Uzcategui to the punch pretty much anytime he wanted.
With four rounds to go in the contest, Plant was in complete control, but was he getting tired? Uzcategui needed to catch Plant with a big shot to change the fight around. Plant connected with two uppercuts and sweet hook to the liver. Uzcategui did land a good left hook. Plant looked slightly hurt, but survived the rest of the round.
Uzcategui landed another hard right in round 10. Plant fought well on the inside, but his face was bloody, and Uzcategui appeared to have found his second wind.
Plant put out the fire out by going back to circling and sticking out his jab in round 11. Uzcategui worked the body. Plant connected with a left—while Uzcategui moved in but didn’t let his hands go.
Before the 12th and final round, Uzcategui’s corner told him he needed a knockout to win. They were right.
Plant, though tired, still had his legs, and used them effectively. He moved, punched and held on. Uzcategui didn’t bring the fire his corner had begged for. He fired some hooks, but nothing hard landed.
“I’ve worked my entire life for this,” said the new champion.