[WATCHLIVE-TV] Benavidez vs Plant Live Free Online Broadcast 25 March 2023
Two former champions in the sport's most exciting division will touch gloves this weekend in a Showtime PPV offering from Las Vegas featuring no shortage of bad blood between the fighters atop the marquee.
After years of jawing with one another in interviews and on social media, David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) and Caleb Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) will meet in a pivotal 168-pound matchup on Saturday inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
As we draw closer to fight night, let's take a loot at the biggest storylines entering this grudge match.
1. This ain't for show -- these guys really do hate each other
It wouldn't be a big-time boxing event if those involved -- including fighters, promoters and media -- weren't conspiring to hype up every single ounce of potential combustibility between the two combatants in hopes of driving up interest. But a fight like this, after five years of two-way trash talk from both sides, simply sells itself each time Plant or Benavidez are in proximity of one another. The fact that the two teams representing them had to be separated before, during and after February's kickoff press conference says it all. Not only is the beef between them very real, it appears to trace back specifically to a 2018 tussle captured on camera at a gym in Las Vegas. Plant appeared to throw the first punch at Benavidez's older brother and former welterweight title challenger, Jose Benavidez Jr., setting off a melee between both teams after the elder Benavidez had confronted Plant and verbally accosted him. Since then, there simply hasn't been an interview involving Plant or Benavidez in which they haven't been asked about one another, which only added repeated fuel to the fire.
In 2017, Benavidez became the youngest champion in super middleweight history when he outpointed Ronald Gavril at 21 to capture the vacant WBC title. It's a belt that Benavidez went on to be stripped of twice in ensuing years as he slowed to mature, first for a positive cocaine test in 2018 and then for missing weight in 2020 after regaining the crown. The setbacks not only prevented Benavidez from facing Plant, who captured the IBF title in 2019, in a more timely manner, a suddenly belt-less Benavidez was left out of Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez's quest to become the first four-belt undisputed champion in division history (which he completed by stopping Plant in 2021) simply because he lacked a world title. All this did was continue to anger Benavidez and force him to work harder, especially as Alvarez became the sport's pound-for-pound king even though Benavidez has long been seen as the only 168-pound fighter truly capable of giving him trouble thanks to Benavidez's size, power and high-pressure style. Alvarez, who returns May 6 in Mexico against mandatory challenger John Ryder, still has all four titles in his possession, which means a win over Plant in his first headlining PPV role could lift Benavidez to the doorstep of one of the best fights that could be made in the sport.