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David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant set for March 25 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas


One of the best possible super middleweight bouts has been finalized.

David Benavidez will meet Caleb Plante in a pay-per-view battle of former title holders on March 25 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, it was announced on Wednesday.

Benavidez and Plant are ranked No. 1 and 2 by the WBC. The plant has been ranked in the top 3 by all the four major sanctioning bodies.

The showdown has been going on for years as the two have regularly exchanged chatty conversations.

“I can’t wait until they put me in the ring with him so I can beat his ass,” Benavidez said. “It’s going to be a great night for boxing fans. I can’t wait to step out there and give everyone the beat they’re coming to watch.”

Plant said: “When I knocked [Anthony] Darrell, I made it clear that I wanted to go after the biggest fight in the division. This is one of the most anticipated matchups and here I am again, showing the world why I am one of the biggest attractions in boxing.

“I feel sharp and on point. I’m looking forward to March 25, not only to give the fans what they’ve been waiting for, but to show them who the better man is.”

Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) is a two-time former champion who is generally considered the second best 168-pounder behind only undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez. And many believe he could land the Mexican star in trouble.

The 26-year-old Phoenix native had beaten his last six opponents, including David Lemieux, in three rounds last May.

He lost his belt after testing positive for cocaine and then failed to make weight to defend the title.

Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) lost his biggest fight in November 2011 against Alvarez with an 11th-round knockout that cost him his belt. This past October, the Tennessean rebounded to stop Darrell with a single punch in the ninth round.

Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. is excited about the matchup.

“This is one of the biggest and potentially most explosive bouts that can be done in boxing, and not just in the super middleweight division,” he said. “It pits two fighters at the peak of their athletic primes, both with singular skill sets and opposite styles, both taking great pride in the way they perform. It’s an intriguing matchup and the outcome is impossible to predict.

“Add to that their genuine and mutual dislike for each other and we have a volatile, 50-50 matchup and potential fight-of-the-year candidate.”

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