They can be cheap or revealing.
Words can suggest arrogance or a lack of reality. Some boxers like to talk.
Take David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, who this fight Saturday at MGM Grand Arena in Sin City.
Last month Benavidez said to Plant, “When you’re on the ground bleeding, you’ll learn to respect a real fighter. I’m what you want to be. You’re a chump.”
Plant, not one to shy away from a retort, had said last month, “March 25th, I’m gonna be there. I’m gonna be on weight. I’m not gonna be on cocaine and I’m whooping your ass.”
Benavidez, a champion four years ago, had cocaine in his system in 2018. There went the world title. He regained it in the ring but lost it on the scales in 2020.
Plant poked the bear some more by calling Benavidez fat a few weeks ago.
Benavidez didn’t like it, “At the end of the day, they say I’m fat, they say I’m this, they say I’m that, they say I’m not dedicated. And when I get his ass in that ring on March 25th, I’m gonna break his f—in’ mouth. I’m gonna make him regret everything he said.”
Ok. Strong words.
So, who’s being real?
Both guys are good fighters.
Their styles are like night and day. Some call Benavidez an offensive juggernaut. 23 knockouts in 26 fights speaks for itself.
Pressure is his best friend. Benavidez throws punches in bunches. The Arizona native has stopped six opponents in succession.
“Some people don’t understand that I’m the most accurate puncher in this weight class,” said Benavidez. “I’ve hurt every man I’ve been in the ring with, and Caleb Plant is no different.”
Plant’s nickname is “Sweet hands.” He’s the better boxer and more athletic than Benavidez. His jab comes from different paces. Somewhat unorthodox but effective. Plant, born and breed in Tennesee, is an intelligent boxer, something he mentions quite a bit as if to remind himself.
Plant has said he wants Benavidez to be aggressive.
“If Benavidez wants to come forward, then he should just handle his business how he sees fit,” said the former IBF champion. “We’re going to get in there, roll the dice, and see what happens.
Roll the dice.
Plant’s lone defeat was against Canelo Alvarez in 2021. He fought hard but was stopped in round 11. His comments before the bout had Alvarez on edge. Bravado is bravado, as are results.
Benavidez feels Plant is gun-shy.
“You can see that every time Caleb is in the ring with a power puncher, he’s not comfortable,” said Benavidez. “He beat Jose Uzcategui, but he was hurt in the fight and then Canelo hurt him. Even Anthony Dirrell hit him with good shots, and he’s not a hitter like that.”
Dirrell is a common opponent of both. Benavidez won by stoppage, Plant, the lesser puncher, knocked Dirrell cold.
Oddsmakers like Benavidez in a big way. As do most prognosticators.
Can the boxer beat the puncher?
Oh yeah, but those are only words.
If you enjoy hearing from the legends of pro sports, then be sure to tune into “The Grueling Truth” sports shows, “Where the legends speak”
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