Super middleweight, Lionel Thompson, has sparred both Caleb Plant and David Benavidez – and has claimed Plant’s power was harder to deal with than that of Benavidez.
Plant and Benavidez will face off in Las Vegas on March 25, with the winner of the 168lb bout well-placed to call out undisputed champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez.
With 23 stoppages from his 26-0 record, Benavidez is seen as the power puncher in the fight.
The former champion – lost his title on the scales and for a drug offence – is heralded as one of the most dangerous boxers in the sport by the likes of Mike Tyson, and has vowed to end things early in March.
In the other corner, Plant has just 13 knockouts from 22 wins. He’s been stopped too, by Canelo back in 2021.
A knockout of the year contender against Anthony Dirrell last year raised his stock in the power department, though, and Thompson has added to that further.
The 22-5 fighter known as ‘Lonnie B’ told FightHype.com that Plant hits harder after sparring both.
“When Caleb catches him clean, is gonna be like ‘oh I can still walk [him down]’? Cause that’s the problem with Caleb – Caleb got some pop. He’s not the pillow puncher like everybody try to make it seem like. They say he’s got no power. Nah, he’s got some decent pop.”
“When I sparred, Caleb punched harder. And when I sparred with David he was like 230 at the time. He’s fast but I was like [his power] is decent, it was nothing like i was… If you can be in good shape, you can get him.
But with Caleb, I’m like yo keep your hands up … He kinda shocked me.”
The Sin City scrap is one of the most intriguing on the six month boxing calendar, and fans hope that the winner does indeed get their shot at Álvarez, who faces John Ryder in Mexico in May.
Whether that’s a rematch for Plant or a first shot for Benavidez remains to be seen.