In the first Premier Boxing Champions card of 2019, Plant survived a late rally by Uzcategui to win the IBF super middleweight title, his first world championship.
Plant, not known for his punching power, knocked Uzcategui down twice, in the second and fourth rounds, with lightning-quick left hooks each time. Even when he fought in September and he said he had a down performance because he was "trying to trick" someone into fighting him, I was waiting for this fight and I hope he's not taking me as an easy task. Both landed; Plant's punch was significantly harder, driving Uzcategui across the ring and to the mat. Both men would go on to battle back-and-forth in the second half of the fight, but Plant failed to land numerous big punches that got him an early lead in the scorecards. Plant decided not to put his foot on the gas as Uzcategui didn't look badly hurt.
"I knew I caught him clean during those knockdowns, but I knew he wasn't all the way out, so I took my time", Plant said. "I stayed relaxed, I stuck to the game plan and got it done just like I said I would".
Plant knocked down Uzcategui twice en route to a unanimous decision.
Still, Plant would not be deterred. After the fifth round, it seemed like Plant was going to cruise to a victory. The fights are available on desktop at FOXSports.com and through the app store, or connected devices including Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Xbox One and Roku. There was question of whether he was jumping into water that was too deep, but he proved he was ready for the task.
Caleb Plant drops Jose Uzcategui twice to win super middleweight title by unanimous decision
"I'll be stepping between those ropes for Alia", Plant said. "Boxing 17 hard years". "I buried my daughter in the process to get this belt". "I promised I would bring her this title and that is what I am going to do". I came prepared and I am ready to face people that are undefeated. It's a poverty-stricken town that's been hit hard by the opioid crisis in the past few decades and Plant went into the fight intent to prove that you don't have to be a victim of your environment. He improved to 18-1 with 12 KOs, hardly breaking a sweat in stopping Delgado, who has lost his last four fights by knockout. He's a rough, rugged guy who comes forward and I know he's coming to win. "I believe that on [Sunday] you will hear [the ring announcer say] 'and the new!'"
For Plant, his reign as world champion has come and his future is bright, but he chose to enjoy the moment atop a division which recently saw Canelo Alvarez win a belt.
In the co-feature, Brandon Figueroa (17-0, 12 KOs), 22, of Weslaco, Texas - the younger brother of former lightweight world titlist Omar Figueroa Jr. - will square off with Moises Flores (25-1, 17 KOs), 32, of Mexico, in a junior featherweight title elimination bout that will put the victor in position to be the mandatory challenger for world titlist Daniel Roman. Flores made it to his feet, but was unable to weather the storm, getting dropped again, causing referee Jack Reiss to stop the fight at 1:35. "He's 25-1 and he's been in some tough fights, especially the championship fight against Daniel Roman". I am most definitely ready for a title shot. In his first title shot, Plant handled the move up in competition easily and won via unanimous decision after twelve intense rounds. It was Rigondeaux's first fight in 13 months since suffering his first defeat at the hands of Vasyl Lomachenko at 130 pounds.
That show is preceded by PBC Prelims on FS1 and FOX Deportes beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT that will see the return of former world champion and pound-for-pound contender Guillermo Rigondeaux against Giovanni Delgado and hard-hitting 2016 Mexican Olympian Lindolfo Delgado in an eight-round super lightweight fight.