Caleb Plant is without a doubt still one of the rising stars in the sport of boxing today. After winning the IBF Super middleweight title in 2018, many have enjoyed watching the tennessean 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 American boxer from Nashville who started boxing at a very young age. In 2011 he won the prestigious Golden Glove amateur competition at light heavyweight. He earned an impressive amatuer career overall, building up a record of 97-20.
After not reaching the 2012 Olympic 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 has only fought three times with Plant holding the remaining belt at 168lbs right now and Canelo with the rest. The two are set to fight in what should be a fascinating contest to become undisputed super middleweight champion. (Check out my fight preview page here)
Amateur – Golden Gloves 2011
Professional – IBF Super Middleweight World Title
Caleb Plant’s Boxing Style
For the most part Caleb Plant is considered a technical pure boxer. He does like 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.
For the most part he stance is in a similar philly shell stance that resembles something similar ro Floyd Mayweather.
I will now go into the key elements of Plant’s style, how he does certain technique uses and some 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 image further below:
When Plant jabs, inside or outside he will always try to keep his head right off the centre line of his opponent. See 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 / Mayweather type stance for the most part. This helps create unpredictability with his jab, but most importantly gives him the defensive edge. This because he likes to use the flexibility in his hips to doge incoming shots when he gets trapped on the ropes.
He is also very effective at drawing in his opposition and he does this by leaning his head forward to try and tempt his opponent to jab. 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 do often (Floyd would use a leaning high guard instead). See example of Plant doing this below:
An unusual tactic, which I think 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 Cuban boxer.
Caleb Plant is most comfortable when he is on the back foot waiting for counters. He will usually take little shimmy steps backwards while pawing his jab or feinting. He basically waits for the correct moment to counter with his right or to throw a combination punch. See below against Medina:
His use of lateral movement is fantastic and when a more aggressive fight will have him on the rope. Plant will usually try to escape to his right to return to the centre ring, controlling where he wants to be.
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 hips to roll and move out of the way of close range returns.
One of his favorite combination punches he like to throw is 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 the 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.
It will be interesting to see if a match up takes place with Canelo, who is now a first class pressure fighter. But styles make fights and that is exactly which Plant is used to.
If you are inspired by a counter puncher 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!
Thanks for reading!
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