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Boxing | International

Jose Uzcategui, Lennox Lewis and Caleb Plant © Gallo Images

Uzcategui makes first defence of IBF belt

IBF super-middleweight champion Jose Uzcategui from Venezuela makes the first defence of his belt when he faces Caleb Plant of Henderson, Nevada at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Sunday.

The 28-year-old Uzcategui (28-2; 23) won the IBF interim super-middleweight belt in March 2018 with an eighth-round stoppage win over Andre Dirrell, and was subsequently elevated to full champion.

In his most recent fight on 28 September last year, Uzcategui outpointed Ezequiel Maderna (26-4) on a unanimous 10-round point’s decision in a non-title fight.

Uzcategui, who fights out of Tijuana, Mexico, has height (188cm) and reach (194cm) advantages over Plant, who has a height of 185cm and reach of 188cm.

The only other loss on his record was against Matvey Korobov, who beat him on a 10-round unanimous point’s decision in June 2014.

Plant, 26, who made his pro debut in May 2014 has a record of 17-0; 10 and has scored wins over journeyman fighters like Juan De Angel, Carlos Galvan, Thomas Awimbono, Adasat Rodriguez and Andrew Hernandez.

Uzcategui has gone in against better class opponents and also has the edge in power and size, and should retain his belt on a hard earned point’s decision.

The other main organisation champions are WBA, Cullum Smith (England) and WBO Gilberto Ramirez (Mexico).

The WBC belt is vacant, after David Benavidez (20-0; 17) was stripped of the belt and suspended by the WBC in September for testing positive for cocaine in a random urine test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association as part of the WBC Clean Boxing Program.

Former super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (32-1-1; 24) and Avni Yildirim (21-1; 12) will contest the vacant belt on 23 February in Minneapolis, USA.


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