Caleb Truax has made it clear that he relishes being the underdog. Now, IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant plans to make him eat his words when the two face off at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Plant comes into the fight as an overwhelming -5000 favorite against Truax (+1000), according to DraftKings Sportsbook.
Challenger Welcomes Underdog Role
Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) has been in title fights before. In fact, he held the same IBF belt briefly in 2017, beating James DeGale for the crown before losing it back in a rematch four months later. Truax now says he’s at home in the underdog role, and thinks his championship experience makes him a difficult test for Plant.
“I embrace that role. It motivates me to prove everyone wrong,” Truax told RingTV. “But I feel like I’m the best fighter he’s faced by far, and I think I offer something that no other fighter that he has – except for [Jose] Uzcategui – offered to him in being a former world champion and being experienced, and having fought the much better fighters than he has. So I feel really good about the matchup.”
|Plant vs. Truax Odds (via DraftKings Sportsbook)|
|Caleb Plant: -5000||Caleb Truax: +1000|
The 37-year-old Truax has been agitating Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) for years. Saturday’s fight serves as the culmination of a long-simmering beef, one that Plant is more than happy to finish.
“He’s had some things to say about me in the past, and I plan to make him pay for it on Jan. 30,” Plant told BoxingScene.com. “It’s a fight, so I don’t want him to like me. I know I don’t like him. I couldn’t care less about his feelings towards me. When that bell rings, if he’s got something that he don’t like about me, then that’s where he can do something about it.”
Plant Aiming to Unify Division
Despite that talk, Plant’s focus may be elsewhere. Plant has talked about his wish to land a fight with Canelo Alvarez in a bid to unify the super middleweight titles. Still, the champion says he’s taking things one step at a time.
“As of now, I’m getting more questions about Canelo, but my focus is on Truax,” Plant told Yahoo Sports. “It’s about keeping my eyes on the prize. That comes in steps. So for me to get where I really want, I have to take it one step at a time, and I have to focus on the plate of food that’s in front of me.”
No matter the result on Saturday, Truax won’t earn a fight against the likes of Alvarez. But even if an upset is unlikely, he has found motivation in the fact that this may be his last, best chance at becoming a champion again.
“At my age, at 37, there is no telling when I’ll be able to get a world title fight again,” Truax told Yahoo Sports. “So, I’ve been approaching it as if this is my last shot. I’ve been very focused in camp and just determined to leave it all in the ring and get my belt back.”