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Caleb Plant signs to face Anthony Dirrell in return

He and David Benavidez could still lock horns if both win their next fights

Canelo Alvarez v Caleb Plant Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

Two days after announcing that he was “[w]orking on closing a deal” to pit David Benavidez against Caleb Plant, Jose Benavidez Sr. returned to Instagram to claim that Plant had declined the fight. In response, Plant turned to Twitter to confirm a report from Jake Donovan that he’d signed on to face Anthony Dirrell in his return to the ring.

Donovan states that the negotiations “never evolved past casual discussion,” but says that the “intention” is to have the Plant-Dirrell and Benavidez-Lemieux winners square off “later this year.”

The 37-year-old Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KO) is 1-1-1 since claiming the WBC super middleweight title with a 2019 technical decision over Avni Yildirim. Benavidez (25-0, 22 KO) bludgeoned him into submission in his first defense, after which Dirrell drew with Kyrone Davis and knocked Marcos Hernandez stiff with a murderous uppercut. He said after that knockout victory that he wanted the winner of Plant’s (21-1, 12 KO) December clash with Canelo Alvarez.

Instead, he gets the loser.

He’s still a solid fighter, but poses far less of a chance to derail Plant-Benavidez than Lemieux does. He should at least give a decent idea of where Plant’s head’s at after his first-ever loss.

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