Caleb Plant Holds Court in Homecoming Bout; Eyes 168-Pound Unification Bout
CALEB PLANT’S GAME TOO SWEET FOR GERMANY’S VINCENT FEIGENBUTZ , AS SECOND TITLE DEFENSE ENDS IN 10TH ROUND TKO
Abel Ramos upends one-sided Bryant Perrella performance with last-second TKO
Nashville, Tenn. (February 15, 2020) – Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) returned to Nashville and treated hometown fans to a display of the skills he’s honed during his years away from the Volunteer State.
Plant outclassed mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz (31-3, 28 KOs) of Germany, securing a 10th-round TKO Saturday night in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
I was relaxed and sharp. I told you I was going to stop this before the 12th round. – Caleb Plant, IBF Super Middleweight champion
Plant, who grew up in neighboring Ashland City, earned his second defense of the world title he won in January 2019 with a surprising 12-round dismantling of then-titlist Jose Uzcategui. The 27-year old nicknamed “Sweethands” primarily used just a single hand, his left, to break down Feigenbutz until referee Malik Waleed could no longer ignore the gap in skill level.
“I was super fueled by the crowd tonight,” Plant said. “I could have gone all night. The whole city came out. Nashville stand up!”
Plant took control of the pace immediately and dictated the action with a sharp jab to Feigenbutz’ head, as well as underneath. Feigenbutz, 24, stood in with the champion and looked for his openings, but failed to mount a significant attack.
After realizing the limitations of Feigenbutz’ attack, Plant went to work against the German’s guard with varied combination of his left uppercut and left hook. With little concern of anything powerful being returned by Feigenbutz, Plant patiently stood in the pocket and placed shots upstairs which left the challenger in a waiting mode. The crowd’s energy swelled and they stood and cheered wildly each time Feigenbutz’ head snapped backwards after a combination. The champion also maintained the angling of his stance well, leaving Feigenbutz with a narrow silhouette to aim at which basically nullified the use of his left hook – or any wider shots.
Despite seeing few openings, Feigenbutz’ confidence didn’t seem to waver, nor were signs of frustration visible amid the rapid widening of the scoring gap. His biggest rally came in the sixth, during one of the few times when he was able to catch Plant willing to engage inner areas of the ring. Plant’s defense withstood the sequence of shots, and the champion shook it off as wasted energy.
Plant flummoxed Feigenbutz in the two subsequent rounds. The German had to deal with the a cut opening up on his nose and swelling around his right eye. The challenger absorbed enough punishment in the ninth that it required the ringside doctor to make an evaluation in between rounds.
Matters worsened quickly for Feigenbutz in the 10th, as Plant imposed his will and found little resistance. Sensing that the challenger was unable to continue to compete with the oncoming champion, referee Waleed intervened to preserve Feigenbutz for future opportunities. The official time was 2:23.
Watch the stoppage in Round 10 HERE.
“I felt great out there,” said Plant. “I was relaxed and sharp. I told you I was going to stop this before the 12th round. I want to dedicate this to my daughter, to my mother, my grandfather and the whole city of Nashville.”
The champion also, once again, expressed his desire for a unification bout versus unbeaten WBC titlist and longtime rival, David Benavidez.
“Everyone knows I want that unification fight with David Benavidez,” Plant stated. “You know who the best 168-pounder is. If you want that, you’ve got to come see me. I want that fight; I’ve been asking for it and I’m tired of waiting!”
In the co-main event, Welterweight Abel Ramos fought fiercely, late, to snatch a victory from Bryant Perrella with just a second to go in their 10-round bout. The circumstances facing Ramos going into the final round were clear – get a knockout or lose. Ramos (26-3-2, 20 KOs) pressed the action, stayed close to Perrella until he badly hurt and dropped the 6-foot 1-inch Floridian with a left uppercut. Perrella beat the count to attempt to complete a well-fought outing, but he dropped again by a straight right hand with just seconds remaining in the contest.
Even further impaired once back on his feet again, Perrella failed to respond accordingly to referee Jack Reiss’ series of commands and Reiss waved off the fight at :01.
“I know the fight’s not over until it’s over,” said Ramos. “That’s the game. I’ve been sick for two weeks. But no excuses. I wanted to come here and perform.
“I watched the Chavez-Taylor fight like 10 million times and I never thought I’d be in something like that. It just goes to prove that fights are never over till it’s over. You have to fight every single second of every single round.”
Watch Ramos stun Perrella at the end of Round 10 HERE.
Perrella (17-3, 14 KOs) controlled the action all night and held a hefty lead on all three cards prior to the stoppage; 87-84 and two scores of 88-83.
“This is boxing. It’s like Meldrick Taylor and Chavez,” said Perrella, echoing Ramos’ comments. “These things just happen. I’m not going to take anything away from my opponent. I was winning every round convincingly. What can I say? There was second left in the 10th round. It’s like a needle in the haystack. It is what it is.”
Southpaw Perrella out-boxed Ramos throughout most rounds, rarely stood squared up, and incorporated angles and punched in combinations to amass his late lead. He stunned Ramos with a left hook in the third, and with another in the fifth that was telling.
“Perrella’s a tough fighter,” said Ramos. “He’s a strong, strong fighter. I have nothing but respect for him. I expected a tough fight and that’s what happened.”
Ramos never relented, and stepped up the pace as Perrella looked like he relaxed thinking a decision was in the bag. With 34 seconds remaining in the 10th, Ramos’ well-timed left uppercut landed flush on Perrella’s chin. He got up to resume fighting, but with shaky legs. Ramos charged forward after Reiss’ command to fight on, and with Perrella opting to slug versus clinching, the 28-year old from Arizona found the opening for the finishing straight right hand. Perrella easily built the count, but a quick stumble seemed to concern Reiss, and the veteran referee immediately waved it off at 2:59.
“Everything was going well, and I was winning the fight, round by round,” said Perrella. “I don’t know. This is boxing. That’s the thing about the sport. It is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to make up any excuses or take anything away from my opponent. It’s just an experience that you go through in life and you have to overcome it. Absolutely I’d like to do it again with him. We can get a rematch in for sure.”
“I want all the welterweights,” Ramos exclaimed. “I’d like to have another big TV fight and go out there and prove myself.”
The Fox PBC Fight Night opener featured a back-and-forth battle that culminated in the resurgence of veteran Diego Magdaleno as he gradually overran Austin Dulay. He out-worked the younger Dulay, dropping the 24-year old Nashville native en route to a 10-round unanimous decision victory.
The 33-year-old Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs) quickly solved Dulay’s hand speed advantage, and punched in bunches over the second half of the fight. He committed to the high output following a left hook that landed below Dulay’s chest, and immediately drove the southpaw to the canvas for the fight’s lone knockdown.
“I knew mentally I could break him down,” said Magdaleno. “If I attacked the body, I knew I could break him down. He’s a young prospect. He’s taller than me so my plan of attack was to get in close and go to the body.”
Dulay’s mannerisms showed his objection with the decision. “I boxed the hell out of him every round, making him miss, catching shots, countering. Yeah, he hit me with a few good body shots. That doesn’t replace the heavy shots that I hit him with every single round for 10 rounds straight. That is madness. And it was a unanimous decision? That’s crazy. That’s unbelievable to me.
“Even Diego just told me that he had nothing to do with the decision. He knows. How can they do that to me in my hometown? That’s dirty man.”
The crowd of Nashville residents could only push Dulay (13-2, 10 KOs) so far beyond his fast start where he landed several clean left hands in the second. Magdaleno never faltered while facing the adversity, relying on his jab to clear the way for shots to Dulay’s body.
As the shorter fighter, some of those shots landed below Dulay’s waistline and resulted in warnings from referee Jack Reiss. Magdaleno accepted the risk of a penalty, especially after noticing a drop-off in Dulay’s work-rate. The sixth round featured some of the fight’s best exchanges. Magdaleno connected with the most effective shots, landing a pair of right hands to the ribs and head.
Magdaleno stuck with the pressure in the seventh, enabling him to score the fight’s sole knockdown with a hard left hook to Dulay’s upper abdomen.
Watch Magdaleno score a knockdown vs Dulay in Round 7 HERE.
Once fight resumed, Magdaleno pounded at Dulay’s ribs until a low left hook dropped Dulay again. This time the foul prompted Reiss to deduct a point.
“Every round he was hitting me low and, in the back, and on the hips,” said Dulay. “It was more times than he got called for. I won that fight 100%.”
With the fight slipping away, Dulay attempted to regain momentum and stepped up the pace for the final three rounds. Magdaleno was in too good of a rhythm by this time, and his steady work-rate earned him a victory with scores of 97-91, 96-92 and 96-92.
“Experience has everything going for me. In my previous fight, I lost my head,” said Magdaleno. “This time I took my time. My camp said slow it down. Happy for the victory tonight.”
On the non-televised preliminaries, former Bantamweight champion Rau’Shee “Nuke” Warren (17-3, 4 KOs) returned from 13-month hiatus to earn a wide 10-round unanimous decision over Gilberto Mendoza (15-8-3, 7 KOs).
Warren’s hand speed was still evident as the 33-year old three-time Olympian displayed his entire arsenal. A clash of heads in the fourth opened a cut above the eye of Mexico’s Mendoza. Warren worked to get a big finish, but Mendoza was durable enough to put up a fight and reach the finish line.
Two judges scored it 99-91 and the third judge had it 100-90.
“It felt good to get back in there after being off for a year,” Warren said. “I didn’t feel like a rookie. I felt like I had to get a little rust off me. But I think I got most of the rust off when I was in the gym training. Going 10 rounds it felt good.”
“I hope to get back in May,” said Warren. “I only need 90 days. I’ve already had my long layoff since last January when I fought on Pacquiao and Adrien’s card. I’m ready to get it on. I’m ready to move on. The only thing he did that I didn’t expect him to do was stay up.”
The event’s promoters included Sweethands Promotions, TGB Promotions and Sauerland Promotions.
All photos by Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions