Current IBF Super Middleweight Champion Jose Uzcategui (28-2 23 KOs) is set to take on undefeated challenger Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (17-0 10 KOs) on Saturday, January 13 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. You can catch it on Fox Sports 1 and if you want Spanish commentary, then Fox Deportes. This is a very good fight that has been picking up momentum as of late. Both sides seem to not like each other, and feel that the other has been talking too much trash. Both fighters are promising victories, but only one will follow through. It should be a close fight for the most part. Caleb Plant has a huge chance here to answer a lot of questions people have about whether or not he’s got enough skill to win a major title. On the other hand, Jose Uzcategui can also answer a few questions, such as if the Andre Dirrell fight was a fluke or if he truly is a dangerous champion at Super Middleweight.
Jose Uzcategui is coming off a win against Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-4 16 KOs). His dismantling of Andre Dirrell (26-2 16KO) was his signature win. Some feel that Dirrell was too old (35 at the time of the fight), and was on a rapid decline. Uzcategui is fighting a young, hungry, undefeated Caleb Plant who has been talking a lot of trash leading up to the fight.
Uzcategui has an awkward style, he’s a smart pressure fighter, meaning he doesn’t just come forward recklessly. He’s very precise about how he comes forward and how he mixes up his boxing skills with his pressure and aggressiveness. He’s an underrated boxer.
He has a lot of power, throws a lot of volume, and he may overwhelm Plant late in the fight. Plant also has an untested chin so it’ll be interesting to see how he takes Uzcategui’s big power shots, assuming Uzcategui can land clean. Uzcategui is the more experienced fighter and has the better resume. However, he’s never gone 12 rounds, so one may wonder will that matter? If Plant can’t keep him honest with counters or power punches, Uzcategui should be able to just walk through him.
On the other side of the ring, Caleb Plant is coming off a win against Rogello “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KOs). It was a good win, but Uzcategui is no Porky Medina. This is a big step up in competition for Plant. He is a very slick boxer, very fast hands, great lateral movement, very good defense and excellent overall boxing ability.
Plant has underrated power but it may not be enough to keep the relentless Uzcategui at bay. In order for Plant to be victorious, he will have to box phenomenally for 12 rounds against Uzcategui. It can be done if Plant is able to keep Uzcategui on the outside for most the fight.
Keys to Jose Uzcategui Winning:
- Go to the body early, neutralize Plant’s movement and speed.
- Be aggressive from the opening bell, but be smart. Mix in combos and pick spots to box effectively.
- Test Plant’s chin early
- Cut the ring off, use jab and hooks to keep Plant in one place. Pin Plant to the ropes or in the corner. Close the distance and establish dominance on the inside. Force Plant to fight.
Keys to Caleb Plant Winning:
- Pick moments to be aggressive, fighting off the back foot too much could work against him.
- Use counters to the body to neutralize Uzcategui’s high pressure style and wear him down. Uzcategui has never been 12 rounds, so test his stamina.
- Use feints and lateral movement to stay away from those heavy power punches that Uzcategui lands on the inside. Keep him at a good range.
- When countering, if Uzcategui is able to get inside, sneak in the uppercut, shoulder roll then uppercut, go to body, uppercut, that’s when he has to be aggressive. Cannot be timid against this Uzcategui.
Fight Prediction: This will be a close fight. There are a lot of unanswered questions about Plant, and about Uzcategui. Uzcategui will be the aggressor and land enough effective punches during the fight and since Plant likes to fight off his back foot, it will make Uzcategui look that much better. If Plant can’t hurt Uzcategui, he will walk Plant down late in the fight. Uzcategui by a close split decision.
Tune in Sunday, January 13th to FS1 for all of the action live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California.