There remains no love lost between David Benavidez and Caleb Plant, but outside of some hard trash talks and guarantees of victory and brutality, the two fighters kept things professional at today’s final presser.
Benavidez (26-0, 23 KO) and Plant (22-1, 13 KO) are set to meet in Saturday’s Showtime pay-per-view main event from Las Vegas. Benavidez focused a lot on his power — and his assurance that he’s never trained harder than before — while Plant tried to dig in psychologically, it seemed, maybe getting Benavidez emotional ahead of the fight.
It may have worked, too, though we’ll have to wait and see what the result of a potentially “emotional” Benavidez is on Saturday, because it might not be what Plant hopes.
Here’s everything both main eventers and the undercard fighters said at today’s final press conference.
“All the talk is done. But Caleb Plant’s been doing that gravedigging gesture. Does he know he’s digging his own grave? We’re gonna see what that chin looks like. We’ll see.”
“We worked extremely hard. I’m definitely the harder puncher. Caleb Plant said he’s found his new power, I’ve had this power. I’ve just tweaked it, now I’m stronger and faster. This is definitely gonna be a fight of a boxer and a pressure fighter. This is gonna be a war, and Team Benavidez will come out on top.”
“I wouldn’t (be satisfied with a decision). He’s talking about blown-up (opponents), when you fought (Vincent) Feigenbutz, he was a blown up 160 and you couldn’t do shit with him. Then when he fights a true super middleweight like (Jose) Uzcategui, his fuckin’ eye gets split open.”
“(Uzcategui) almost knocked you the fuck out, and you got knocked the fuck out by Canelo. Every time he fights a real, true super middleweight, he gets hurt or he gets knocked out. He’s gonna be in there with the hardest, most accurate super middleweight. We’re gonna see what’s up.”
“He’s a good boxer, he has good speed, he moves around really good. I don’t wanna fight bums no more, I want the real deal. I’ve hurt everybody I’ve got in the ring with, I can’t say the same for him. I know I have power. We’re ready to put Caleb Plant’s chin to the test, and I know he’s gonna be hurt.”
“(The winner deserves to be) fighting for all the belts, but I’m not worried about anything else besides this fight. My mind and my focus is set on Caleb Plant.”
“They’re gonna see me break Caleb Plant’s fuckin’ jaw on Saturday night. By the sixth round.”
“We’re gonna put on a big fight. This is what boxing needs, what it’s all about. Boxing needs big fights.”
“I worked extremely hard for this fight. I’m ready. And somebody you know let me know (you’re) already on weight. Right? But that don’t mean shit to me. I don’t care if you’re already on weight. That’s not bragging rights. I brought my mouthpiece and my cup this week, but I don’t need a pat on the back for it. That’s what you’re supposed to do.
“You’re supposed to be on weight. So welcome to the club. And you’ve got your newfound muscles you’ve been showing off all week. Welcome to the club. That’s what happens when you work hard.
“I don’t need the right opponent in front of me. ‘Hey, I got the right guy in front of me, I’m gonna get after it now!’ I’ve been walking that straight line, I’ve been this disciplined. I’ve been doing that my whole life since I was a little kid.
“You got a real one in front of you. I’m not some blown-up 154 lber, I’m not a 160 lber blown up with a two-week notice. I’m the real deal. And you’re gonna find out, I promise you that.”
“I’m a full-fledged super middleweight and I’m one of the best in the world at what I do. We’ve yet to see if he can perform on this type of level. We’re gonna find out.”
“David’s a good fighter. He likes to make a scene like I’m not a good fighter, I’m a bum, but if I’m a bum, why fight me? I know David’s not a bum, I’m not interested in fighting bums, I’m interested in fighting good fighters. That’s what boxing needs, that’s what the fans need, and most important, that’s what I need for my legacy.”
“I think a win puts us right there at the top. As of now, Canelo has that title, and rightfully so. He’s undisputed, a future Hall of Famer, could be considered an all-time great. I’m super motivated for this fight, I want to be able to right a wrong (against Canelo), and I’m going to handle business on Saturday.”
“They’re gonna see me get my hand raised. That’s what I’m guaranteeing.”
WATCH the full final presser
“I took this fight for the same reason (Spencer did). I want respect, I want for people to know I’m here. I’m going to make a statement at 154. I think whoever wins this fight catapults themselves to that next level, that contender status. That’s what I’m here for.”
“I think we’re both good boxers. It could go the distance, but if we want to prove something, we have to get the stoppage.”
“It’s going to be a great fight. We’re both undefeated, we don’t want to lose that ‘0.’”
“I didn’t ‘take’ this fight, I called for this fight. I made this fight happen along with Jesus who accepted it. This is a fight I wanted for respect. I want to show who the top young guy with PBC is. We’re probably a couple of the youngest, and I want to show who’s the best.
“I want to put on a performance that makes it undeniable I’m ready to go for contender status and fight for a title.”
“There’s a few different routes that can happen at 154, depending on what (Jermell) Charlo does after he fights Tim (Tszyu), and if he decides to move up or keep defending at 154. The winner of this fight could get a title shot if he were to vacate soon, or if the belts got relinquished. Or we might need one more fight before a title shot.
“But I’m ready. This is competition at the highest level, this is what the sport’s about. This is what the sport is based on. After this fight, this was the best fight I could get, and I want the top fight I can get after. I’m addicted to preparing for these type of moments.”
“We’re both undefeated. He’s gotta come in and prove to me that he can beat me, and I’ve got to prove to him that I can beat him. One of us has to take the other’s heart in order to do that. That’s the type of fight you really want to tune in to see. Neither one of us believe we can lose.”
“I wouldn’t say I’m desperate. I know what happened in my last fight, but I don’t make no excuses. Everything happens for a reason, I believe. I just know I’m gonna get a win. I know we’ve got a tough opponent in front of us, but it is what it is. It’s just another day, another dollar for me. I’m gonna go out there and do what I do best, and that’s win.”
“He said I’m gonna have a long night. All my nights are long, I ain’t known for knocking nobody out, so it’s no pressure on me. I’m always ready to go 10 rounds, 12 rounds, whatever I gotta go. I ain’t really trippin’.”
“I’m just an overall better fighter. If all you got is power to beat me, he better make sure his tool box is full.”
“This is gonna be fireworks. He said he’s coming to do whatever he said he’s coming to do, and I’m coming to win. I don’t care how, I’m gonna win. If all he’s coming with is power, because he’s got another thing coming.”
“He’s in for a long night. I’ve prepared tremendously, focused a lot on myself, and I’m ready. It’s gonna be a good night for boxing.”
“I think I’ve got advantages. I’m the natural 135 lber, this is his first fight at 135. He was dropped, he was hurt, he crumbled (at 130 vs Hector Luis Garcia).”
“I’m glad he thinks all I have is power. I bring a lot more to the table.”
“He’s in for a world of hurt. I’m like a steam train coming forward. If you’re not willing to throw 100 to 200 punches a round, you’re not up for the Cody Crowley challenge. I enter that ring with one thing in mind, and that is completely suffocating my opponents to the point they can’t breathe and they tap out. I take the thinking ability away from them and make it a war.
“That’s what we’re supposed to be, warriors, gladiators. That’s how this sport started out, two guys in a pit, they’d fight to death. Nowadays, we have a lot of guys running around trying to ‘win rounds.’ My main concern is every fight in the stadium is standing on their feet at the end of a Cody Crowley fight. I always bring fireworks.
“There’s really nothing more I can say to Abel, he knows what to expect. I just hope to God this man has the greatest sleep of his life Friday night, because I want the best Abel Ramos standing and meeting me in the center of the ring. He’s in for a world of hurt.”
“I’m excited. I’m glad he has that type of mindset. But I’m gonna definitely hit him with good power shots, man, I don’t think he’s ever felt power like mine. Saturday, he’s gonna feel it.”
“A win puts me back in line for a world title shot. I know we’ve got a tough fight, but that’s why we trained so hard. I’m ready for this challenge.”
“I just have to win convincingly. A stoppage would be the cherry on top, but convincingly would put me right back.”