Caleb Plant was repeatedly told he ‘had no power’ by Anthony Dirrell in the lead-up to their WBC super middleweight eliminator — a fact which was rewritten in emphatic fashion.
A cagey opener showed moments of promise with both men setting traps and loading up on their counters. In the second, Dirrell landed a huge right hand, letting out a loud “woo!” as the glove glanced off Plant’s chin.
Plant came back in the third, landing multiple thudding straights to the body and began to visibly frustrate his foe by timing the straights on his advancements. The former IBF champion continued to stab away at Dirrell’s body at the quarter-way mark and started to land his powerful left hook over the top with foot feints to the body.
In the fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth there was more of the same as Plant began to look extremely comfortable. Boos echoed around the Barclays Center at the halfway stage with the Brooklyn crowd clearly not appreciating the chess match on display.
In his post-fight interview, Plant said: “You know this win felt good. You’ve heard how much he hates me and calling me all types of names. Even saying, ‘I’ll never let a white boy beat me’ but let me tell you, skin colour don’t win fights, this wins fights, what’s inside.
“And what I’ve got in here is more than he had. I was in full control the whole time, my coach kept telling me to stay patient, don’t listen to the crowd, stick to the gameplan and that’s what we did and then, boom baby!”