Saturday night on FOX (8 pm ET), IBF super middleweight titleholder Caleb Plant defends his belt at home in Nashville against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz, and Bryant Perrella and Abel Ramos look to stay in the hunt at welterweight in the co-feature.
Our staffers make their picks.
Bryant Perrella vs Abel Ramos
Look, ain’t nobody tuning in to see this fight, but it’s arguably the best-matched fight on this weekend’s two bigger televised shows, and given the absolute state of the welterweight division as far as competitive matchmaking goes at this moment, you might be seeing the next opponent for Errol Spence or Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman or Danny Garcia emerge here.
Perrella was once a prospect, got whomped by Yordenis Ugas in 2016, also lost a decision to Luis Collazo in 2018. The latter is more damning. Ramos has lost fights to Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, and Jamal James. I’m edging to Ramos here because I’ve been slightly more impressed with him over the years than I have been with Perrella. Perrella is a tall southpaw, but the height won’t be a huge concern for Ramos; James is even taller than Perrella and Ramos gave James plenty of trouble. Ramos UD-10
Neither of these guys are big names but they’re pretty competent operators. Ramos is fairly solid, though nothing spectacular, and generally looks to take his time and pick his spots to place his jab, which he’ll then turn into a pretty sneaky left hook lead. Meanwhile Perrella is a southpaw who fights in a pretty upright stance and likes to shoot from range before setting up his combinations. I don’t think either man is all that elusive and I think they’re pretty well matched so this fight could provide some good action, but I just think Perrella’s height and reach advantages will work in his favor being that Ramos isn’t really a pressure fighter through and through. Ramos can punch a bit so Perrella will have to be careful not to take too many down to the body early, and if he can avoid that I think he can outpoint Ramos over the distance. Perrella UD-10
Patrick L. Stumberg
It’s not the hypest of matchups, but at least it isn’t another precision-engineered mismatch. Though both of these guys hit a clear wall, they’re capable fighters who figure to be right around the same level.
Ramos strikes me as the superior boxer, and though he’s hit the mat in the past, Perrella’s power has proven unreliable against higher-level opposition. Plus, while Perrella boasts considerable height and reach advantages, he’s not adept enough to use those to great effect. Ramos controls things behind his jab in a fight that might not dazzle but will have a clear winner. Someone’s about to score his career-best win here, though. Ramos UD-10
I can’t claim to know too much about these guys. Perrella looks like he’s still trying to break through as a real welterweight prospect, with Ramos tasked as the gatekeeper for further progressions at 147. Both have endured losses in their step-ups, and both enjoyed fairly successful 2019s and both will fancy their chances in Nashville in what looks, on paper, as a fairly well-matched contest. I’ll side with the rangier, southpaw Perrella who looks solid when he puts his shots together. Perrella SD-10
And the staff winner is...
We have a draw (2-2)!
Caleb Plant vs Vincent Feigenbutz
While Plant and team deserved the criticism for last year’s Mike Lee farce in Plant’s first title defense, this one can’t be blamed on them; Feigenbutz is the IBF mandatory and they had to fight him sooner or later, and he’s the perfect guy to schedule for a homecoming fight in Nashville, as he has no U.S. fan base and no great value as an attraction.
Feigenbutz is dramatically better than Mike Lee in that he certainly belongs somewhere in the top 100 in the world at 168, but Plant should still be able to make the German look slow, basic, and lead-footed, similar to what he did with Jose Uzcategui a year ago. But the good news is that PBC are hinting at the real possibility of a unification fight with WBC titleholder David Benavidez, which I think is a potentially very interesting stylistic matchup. As for method here, Plant isn’t a puncher, but he could overwhelm Feigenbutz enough to force a stoppage, and Feigenbutz has been stopped twice, albeit when he was 17 and 20 and had yet to develop his MAN STRENGTH!!!! I’m playing it safe and saying Caleb cruises through 12. Plant UD-12
I don’t know if it’s just me but I have the sneaking suspicion that Caleb Plant is perfectly comfortable just making some money while coasting against ho-hum opponents now that he has a world title. I mean, I could be wrong, but that’s just my impression from everything I’ve seen thus far. Vincent Feigenbutz is a step up from Mike Lee, I guess, but Lee was an atrocious opponent for Plant to begin with so that’s not really saying much. Keeping it short and to the point, Plant is a more dynamic fighter than Feigenbutz and should be able to outclass him with his boxing ability. I’ll take Plant to break him down and stop him in the second half of the fight. Plant TKO-8
Patrick L. Stumberg
Feigenbutz can actually punch a bit, which automatically makes this more competitive than the Mike Lee debacle, but this mismatch doesn’t even have the catharsis of seeing a manufactured “star” get a faceful of reality. Plant is exponentially better than Feigenbutz, and it’s hard to humor the “puncher’s chance” when Jose Uzcategui had 36 minutes to put a dent in Plant and completely failed to do so. “Sweet Hands” is too fast, too defensively savvy, too slick to give the lumbering German even an inch.
Plant can almost certainly stop him if he decides to make the effort, but seeing as how comfortable he is going the distance, I’m not going to bank on him sticking his neck out. Expect an even more one-sided version of the Uzcategui fight as Plant slips-and-rips his way to a dominant victory. Plant UD-12
I remember watching Feigenbutz lose his secondary WBA 168-pound strap to Giovanni de Carolis back in 2016 after the Italian was robbed in Germany three months prior in a stinker of a decision. Since then, the German hasn’t progressed much past domestic level, padding his record and edging himself up in the IBF rankings with defences of their intercontinental title. His shot has come against “Sweethands” where he’ll have to fight outside of Europe for the first time as a pro, still at the tender age of 24.
Feigenbutz has demonstrated plenty of aggression in his recent run of victories stopping eight of his last nine opponents, but against a technician with the ability of Plant, the challenger will be in for a shock as he is picked off at ease and countered when he throws. Plant’s style will inevitably be too slick for Feigenbutz’s rigid style as he canters to a decision. Plant UD-12