Former 168-pound titleholder Anthony Dirrell went to a draw on Saturday with unheralded Kyrone Davis in a no-buzz FOX main event that went head-to-head with a Canelo fight, and while I noted in the rankings update that I did think Dirrell had probably done enough to get his hand raised, it definitely wasn’t a sterling performance, and the draw isn’t that controversial other than a draw is inherently controversial.
But Dirrell still has high hopes for his next fight. The PBC on FOX Instagram account posted a graphic with Dirrell saying, “I’m not looking for just another fight. I’m looking for a big fight. That’s the plan. I’ll take whoever has a belt. I’ll take a Canelo or Caleb Plant.”
Plant, the IBF titleholder, had a pretty simple response:
Now I’ll say a couple things here, from my perspective:
- It’s understandable why Plant (21-0, 12 KO) would laugh off Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KO) right now. Dirrell is 36, looked every day of it against Davis, and being 0-1-1 in your last two just isn’t a great way to get a world title fight. Being boxing, it’s not unheard of or anything, and given general matchmaking it wouldn’t even stick out that badly, really, but still.
- You could still argue that Dirrell would be Plant’s best opponent since Caleb won the belt from Jose Uzcategui in 2019. His title defenses have been Mike Lee, who never had any business near a world title fight; Vincent Feigenbutz, who didn’t have much more; and a rather faded Caleb Truax. Even the version of Dirrell who fought Davis on Saturday might be better than that squad, though I’m not saying it’s dramatically more attractive a matchup than Truax was.
But, like, Plant obviously isn’t going to be doing this. By all accounts, the 28-year-old “Sweethands” has Canelo Alvarez waiting later this year if he wants him, and provided Canelo beats Billy Joe Saunders on May 8 in their three-belt unification. Having an undisputed championship fight with the biggest star in boxing in the wings is a lot to risk.
Like it or not, Dirrell may have “just another fight” waiting for him next. Canelo is simply not going to be interested, and Plant clearly isn’t.