Caleb Plant: Dirrell likes to act bully but sells a lot of wolf tickets

Caleb Plant is never short of finding an enemy in the super middleweight division.

It’s never personal, although he wonders if that’s the case for Anthony Dirrell.

The rise of the battle of former super middleweight title holders has been nothing short of contentious. This is normal for both fighters, although Plant detects a pattern from his next opponent.

“I definitely feel there’s a lot of jealousy out there,” Plant told and other reporters on a Zoom conference call to discuss their upcoming WBC title eliminator. “He can get mad, he can hate me and feel whatever he wants. He’s not a bully. He likes to act like a bully but sells a lot of wolf tickets.

“I don’t care where he comes from or what he says. He and his team are barking, they’ve been doing this for seven years and still not where they want to be. It means nothing to me.

Plant-Dirrell takes place on October 15 as part of a Fox Sports Pay-Per-View event from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The fight serves as the mainstay of semifinal heavyweight title eliminator Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius WBC.

Both Plant and Dirrell return after a 49-week layoff, having previously competed in separate fights on the same show on Nov. 6 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Plant (21-1, 12KO) suffered his only career loss, as he was knocked out by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the eleventh round of their undisputed super middleweight championship atop a Showtime Pay-Per-View. The co-feature saw Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KOs) pick up a fourth-round knockout of fringe contender Marcos Hernandez, who went up in weight. The victory was the first for Dirrell since becoming a two-time list title winner in a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim in February 2019 to regain the WBC super middleweight title.

Caught between the two, a stoppage loss to David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) and a disappointing twelve-round draw with middleweight Kyrone Davis, who moved up in weight for his February 2021 semi-final knockout. .

During that same span, Plant won the IBF super middleweight title and made three defenses. Dirrell twice lost the WBC belt in his first title defense during both reigns.

Although there has never been a clear shot in a title unification bout, Plant and Dirrell have not shied away from shooting each other over the years. The two had a lot to say once their fight was finally signed, trading harsh words during the announcement press in Brooklyn. Both insist it was just shop talk, though Dirrell has a deeper history of expressing contempt for Plant.

“I really don’t feel any kind of way about him. He can say whatever he wants to say,” insists Plant. “He sells a lot of wolf tickets and barks a lot. But its bite is not close to what its bark is. His whole team, the same guys have barked alongside him for the past seven years, but he’s never been able to defend his title.

“In his last fight, he knocked out Marcos Hernandez…a bloated middleweight who was getting stopped at 154 pounds. If you stop at 154 pounds…you know. We’re not even in the same galaxy as (Hernandez). He had a draw with Kyrone (Davis) – who is a good fighter but is fighting at middleweight – in the fight before that. The list is lengthened increasingly. He barks a lot and shouts a lot. But when was the last time he beat a super middleweight?

Jake Donovan is Senior Writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox