Caleb Plant Explains How he Deals With Distractions of Hometown Fights

Published 01/29/2021, 6:29 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – JULY 20: Referee Robert Byrd (L) holds up the arm of Caleb Plant as he celebrates his third-round TKO victory over Mike Lee to retain his IBF super middleweight title at MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 20, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)


One of the most prolific super-middleweights in boxing, Caleb Plant, is no stranger to competing in front of massive crowds. But boxing before one’s home crowd results in insane mental pressure for fighters. However, the undefeated ‘Sweethands’ Plant displayed a different mindset when he entered the ring in his hometown, Nashville.

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As ‘Sweethands’ was born and brought up in Nashville, Tennessee, it was a long-time dream for him to fight and defend/secure his title once in his hometown.

Prior to the Nashville fight, Plant was in a chat with ESPN. Where he talked about how he dealt with distractions before taking to the ring for the first time before his home fans.

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He said, ”As soon as I found out that I was going to fight in Nashville, I no longer was trying to focus on (making that happen) or worry about that.” 

Though he was ecstatic to perform in front of his home crowd, Plant never really let those viable distractions enter his head. He prepared himself mentally that he thought he’s competing at just any other usual location. This was a good approach, as the only thing that matters is the ring and the opponent in front of a boxer.

Given his then 19-0 record and the prospect of a title fight, Plant expected his near and dear ones to turn up. Furthermore, the thought of the hometown boy walking in as the champion resulted in the arena vehemently supporting him.

This did not distract him as he opted to separate business and personal time. He said, “I’m there strictly for business and nothing more, and I’m gonna handle business. After the fight, I’m going to give as much of my time to everyone that I can. We can all go out and celebrate and get a good meal and stuff like that. But beforehand, it’s strictly business.”

‘Sweethands’ took care of business in style.

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Caleb Plant honored his hometown with a win

Plant fully used the golden opportunity of fighting in his hometown and delighting the Nashville crowd. Right from the first gong, he dominated his opponent, Vincent Feigenbutz, with eye-catching body shots and quick counter-attacks. It appeared as if the whole of Nashville was present inside the arena to cheer for their champion.

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NASHVILLE, TN – FEBRUARY 15: Caleb Plant celebrates after defeating Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany in their IBF world super middleweight championship bout at Bridgestone Arena on February 15, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. Plant defeated Feigenbutz by TKO during the tenth round. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Plant didn’t let the support of his closed ones get to his head and focused keenly on his job. ‘Sweethands’ figured out Feigenbutz a little late but dispatched him in round 10 with his unmatched power.

His family, friends, and the bunch of fans stood on their feet to pay respect to their champion athlete. With business successful, the hometown boy would have certainly enjoyed the distractions he avoided despite being back in Nashville.

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The approach worked well-fans would love to see Plant back in the city and boxers would look to put his philosophy into practice when they compete in their hometowns too.

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Prathamesh Singh Chauhan

1443 articles

Prathamesh Singh Chauhan is a Boxing Author at EssentiallySports. He is a graduate from the International Institute of Sports Management who combines his love for sports, particularly combat sports, and his flair for writing and analysis to help him in his day-to-day work. He has prior professional experience with sporting organizations such as Star Sports, Khelo India, and NBA.

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