Boxer Jose Uzcategui to Defend IBF Super Middleweight Belt against Caleb Plant

Jose Uzcategui will defend his IBF super middleweight title against undefeated Caleb Plant in Los Angeles this weekend.

Updated: Jan. 9, 2019 • 10:01 PM ET


Los Angeles will host Sunday's IBF super middleweight title fight.

The IBF super middleweight title will be on the line this Sunday, as Jose Uzcategui will defend his belt against undefeated Caleb Plant at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Uzcategui will ride consecutive wins into the fight after losing by eighth-round disqualification to Andre Dirrell for a punch at the bell in May 2017. In the rematch nearly a year later, though, Uzcategui dominated Dirrell, who quit on his stool after the eight round. With the win, Uzcategui captured the interim IBF super middleweight belt and his first major title. His last victory came in September over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna in a non-title fight. Uzcategui was scheduled to face Plant, who was named mandatory challenger, but an injury forced Plant to withdraw from the fight.

The 28-year-old Uzcategui has repeatedly displayed his desire to fight anyone, anywhere. Against Maderna, the Venezuelan proved he’s one of the toughest fighters in boxing; and on Sunday, he’ll finally get his chance to defend against Plant and answer any unresolved questions stemming from their first scheduled matchup.

“It is an honor to defend my IBF title for the first time on FOX Sports,’’ Uzcategui said via Premier Boxing Champions. “About the only thing I can say about my fight is that I don’t respect Caleb Plant. He has talked too much and I will punish him, beat him up and then knock him out.”

Including Maderna and Dirrell, Uzcategui (28-2, 23 KOs) has defeated notable fighters who include Julius Jackson, David Lopez and Michel Rosales. He has proven he can overcome adversity inside the ring but will have a new challenge in Plant, who’s hungry and trying to prove to the world he’s worthy of a title shot.

Plant (17-0, 10 KOs) is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over veteran fighter Rogelio Medina in February. The 26-year-old Nashville native has thought about winning the IBF belt ever since he pulled out of the first fight with Uzcategui.

“I have a high-definition picture of the IBF belt — really big, even bigger than an actual belt — on the ceiling above my bed and every night before I fall asleep, it’s the last thing that I see,” Plant said via the Nashville Post. “Every day when I wake up, I see that belt as well. Also, on the wall, there’s a dry erase board counting down the days, with everything that I have to do on it each day.

“… I think about this moment literally all day every day.”

Plant continued, “After I hurt my hand, I didn’t just sit on the sidelines waiting for my turn. I knew that was a time for me to get better. So I stayed in the gym, worked on my strength. I worked on things that I wanted to tighten up and when I came back I wasn’t the same me, I was a better me.”

Including Medina, Plant has key victories over Andrew Hernandez and Thomas Awimbono. He has won his last four fights by decision and hasn’t collected a finish since defeating Carlos Galvan by fourth-round knockout in June 2016.

• The fight can be seen on FS1 at 8 p.m. this Sunday.

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