The long-anticipated clash between IBF Super Middleweight world champion Jose Uzcategui and unbeaten top contender Caleb Plant went down on Sunday, January 13, 2019 in the headlining fight of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1’s first telecast of the year.
The bout, which was scheduled for 12 rounds and took place at the Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, gave fans everything they hoped for including knockdowns and drama.
After an exciting fight in which Uzcategui was dropped twice, Plant took a unanimous decision victory with scores of 116-110 twice and 115-111.
“I’ve worked my whole entire life for this,” said Plant. “I buried my daughter in the process of trying to get this belt. I promised I would bring her this title and that is what I am going to do.”
The Super Middleweight barnburner started out strong with both combatants throwing exchanges, but Plant did everything in his power to never back down.
Uzcátegui threw hard right hands to start the second round, but Plant quickly turned the round in his favor as he knocked Uzcátegui to the canvas with a flurry of punches, only the third time Uzcátegui had been knocked down in his career.
A small cut opened under the left eye of Uzcátegui to start the third, but he fought through it and fended off Plant’s aggression.
One minute into the fourth round, a cut opened up under Plant’s right eye causing blood to stream. That did not stop the Nashville native as threw a hard left hook that once again sent Uzcátegui to the canvas.
As the fight progressed, the Venezuelan was unable to utilize his distance, thus allowing Plant to fight on the inside.
Despite good exchanges in the seventh and eighth, it became increasingly clear that Uzcátegui would need a knockout to hold onto his belt.
Uzcátegui flipped a switch in the championship rounds and came forward, throwing hard blows to the body and head of Plant.
But it was too little too late for Uzcátegui as Plant’s ring generalship controlled the pace of the fight, ultimately ending in a unanimous decision.
“I knew I caught him clean [when I knocked down Uzcátegui], but I knew he wasn’t all the way out so I took my time,” continued Plant. “I stayed relaxed. I stuck to the game plan and got it done just like I said I would.”
“This is overwhelming. I am a kid who came from nothing. I believed in myself and now I’ve been crowned king. Right now, I am not thinking ahead. I just want to embrace this moment and soak it in.”
“I did feel that I had the advantage heading into the fight,” said Uzcátegui. “I went down because I was off balance, but I wasn’t hurt. He started to get tired around the sixth round, which was the plan. Caleb knew how to clench and hold. He was smart. He knew how to stay away from the punches.”
“I expected more movement and more boxing out of him,” continued Uzcategui. “I would love the rematch. I think everyone saw a great fight tonight. I gave him the chance at the title and I would hope he would give me the chance to win it back.”
Plant is now the IBF Super Middleweight champion and has a number of interesting opponents in front of him at 168 pounds.
Photos by Ryan Hafey/PBC