David Benavidez is headed back to the ring for a highly anticipated bout…
The 25-year-old Mexican and Ecuadorian American boxer and Caleb Plant, both former super middleweight titleholders, have announced that they’ve struck a deal for a long-awaited fight.
The 168-pound bout will be presented by Premier Boxing Champions on pay-per-view in the first quarter of 2023, according to ESPN.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) and Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) have circled each other for years with plenty of barbs in both directions. Besides a genuine grudge, Benavidez-Plant is a fascinating clash of styles.
Benavidez is a volume-punching pressure fighter who’s been among boxing’s most avoided fighters.
Plant, 30, is a stick-and-move boxer whose only defeat came last November in an 11th-round TKO loss to Canelo Alvarez, the undisputed super middleweight champion.
But after Alvarez, Benavidez and Plant are widely considered the two best fighters who campaign at 168 pounds (Benavidez is ESPN’s No. 2 super middleweight; Plant is No. 3).
“You can’t hide from me anymore, I’ll see you soon,” Benavidez wrote on Instagram.
“I went and made it happen,” Plant wrote. “Contract signed. See you early next year.”
Benavidez was slated to meet Jose Uzcategui in January before the fight was scrapped. The Phoenix-born boxer twice held a super middleweight title but both times lost his belt outside the ring.
First, a positive test for cocaine in 2018 led to him being stripped. Benavidez regained the title with a ninth-round KO of Anthony Dirrell in 2019 but was forced to relinquish his belt the following year when he failed to make weight.
Most recently, Benavidez scored a third-round TKO of former middleweight titleholder David Lemieux in May.
Plant, who fights out of Las Vegas, won the IBF super middleweight title in 2019 with a unanimous decision victory over Uzcategui. He made three successful defenses before he lost the belt in the undisputed championship fight against Alvarez.
Plant rebounded last month with a spectacular ninth-round KO of Dirrell.