Ever since Caleb Plant got a last-minute call to fight Uzcátegui and win the IBF Super middleweight title in 2018. Many have enjoyed watching the Tennesseean pure boxing style.
In this boxing style analysis, I take a closer look at Plant’s fighting style, and what makes him a problem for any opponent that comes up against him. I’ll also give you some brief background and his achievements to date.
You can watch or read on to find out about his style:
Who Is the Caleb Plant?
Caleb Plant is an American boxer from Nashville who started boxing very young. In 2011 he won the prestigious Golden Glove amateur competition at light heavyweight. He earned an impressive amateur career overall, building up a record of 97-20. Not to mention he also participated in Kickboxing!
After not reaching the 2012 Olympics in London, Plant eventually decided to go professional in 2014 and built his way up in the super middleweight division. After some positive early performances, he started to get his chance on the big networks with PBC and Showtime.
In 2018, Plant eventually got his shot at a world title against tough Venezuelan José Uzcátegui, where he won in a majority decision to become a world champion.
Since then he defended his title three times before going on to face the pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez before losing to him in a valiant effort.
Amateur – Golden Gloves 2011
Professional – IBF Super Middleweight World Title
Caleb Plant’s Boxing Style
For the most part, Caleb Plant is considered a pure technical boxer. As he mainly likes to fight on the outside using his jab to create distance and set up counter shots.
He tends to try to draw his opponent so he can counter with sharp punches. When up close, Plant definitely lives up to his name or nickname ‘Sweethands’ by unleashing perfect punch combinations.
In most cases, he uses a Philly shell stance that resembles something similar to what Floyd Mayweather used.
Read on below to find out about some key elements of Plant’s style and how he uses certain techniques in some of the highlights to show you this in action.
Caleb Plant’s jab for the most part is very good and quick! He usually keeps it in a lower position, much like Floyd Mayweather or Roy Jones would do. See the image further below:
When Plant jabs, inside or outside he will always try to keep his head right off the center line of his opponent. See the image below of him using the jab against Jose Uzcátegui below.
The Tennessean will also try to mix up his jab, throwing at different angles to the head or body. He will also use it as a defensive measure to create range from his opponent.
Lastly, he likes to throw multiple jabs at any time at different areas, this helps to mix up his attack and keep his opponent cautious over how many Jabs he will throw.
Defense and Counters
Now as mentioned earlier, Plant tends to stand in a Philly shell/shoulder roll-bladed type stance for the most part. This helps create unpredictability with his jab, but most importantly gives him the defensive edge. This is because he likes to use the flexibility in his hips to bend and dodge incoming shots when he gets trapped on the ropes. Or roll the right hand with his shoulder.
He is also very effective at drawing in the opposition and he does this by leaning his head forward to try and tempt his opponent to jab. Before quickly slipping to the right, he will counter with a straight right or right hook usually. This was another similar pull counter technique Muhammad Ali or Mayweather Jr would often do (Floyd would use a leaning high guard instead). See the example of Plant doing this below:
An unusual tactic that works against some of his opponents is his showboating, which you will often see him do. Now, this doesn’t work on everyone, but it definitely shows confidence within himself. This can confuse his opponent on what they should do next.
The mental side can be just as important in the ring – read my blog on boxing psychology in more detail.
Another part I love about Plant’s style is his brilliant footwork, which resembles something of a Cuban boxer at times when using pivots.
Caleb Plant is most comfortable when he is on the back foot waiting for counters. He will usually take little shimmy linear steps backward while pawing his jab or feinting. He basically waits for the correct moment to counter with his right or to throw a combination of punches. See below against Medina:
His use of lateral movement is also fantastic. When a more aggressive fighter has him on the ropes Plant usually tries to escape to his right to return to the center ring, controlling where he wants to be. Making sure to use a defensive movement after punching before exiting.
Read my blog on how you can improve boxing footwork here
Another aspect of Caleb Plant is his terrific and quick combination punching. Now as someone who is primarily an out puncher or counter puncher. ‘Sweethands’ has to be very quick in throwing a combo before either using foot movement or using his waist to roll and move out of the way from close-range returns.
One of his favorite combinations of punches he likes to throw the following:
- Jab (head)
- Right hook (body)
- Left Hook (body)
- Left Hook (head)
I highly recommend you try this out in your next sparring or punch bag session. Check out Jared from Punch Therapy demonstrating this below:
Caleb Plant in my opinion is one of the most exciting fighters to watch due to his confidence and slick counter-punching style.
For the most part, he always encourages his opponent to come and get him, but he definitely has the power and ability to keep them weary from over-committing.
If you have a counterpunching or an out-puncher style, I highly recommend you watch some of Plant’s fights as you will definitely learn a trick or two from Sweethands!
Make sure to check out all my boxing-style analysis blogs here. Or why not read about his former opponent Canelo’s boxing style, future opponent David Benavidez or find out about the 7 Boxing Fighting Styles?
Thanks for reading!
One thought on “Caleb Plant’s Pure Boxing Style”
A very good analysis of a very capable boxer.
Caleb Plant has an excellent style and a particularly fast pair of hands with excellent footwork to maximise his effectiveness. The up and coming much anticipated bout with Canelo will be an interesting encounter of counter puncher vs out and out forward fighting fury, it will be interesting for sure.
Great site Jamie with some very good footage and technical details you know your stuff and I will be a regular subscriber for sure.