Plant to make first title defense against Lee
Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant will make the first defense of his title against unbeaten contender Mike Lee in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes Saturday, July 20 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Televised coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and will lead into the FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event that also takes place at MGM Grand headlined by the mega fight of eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao facing WBA Welterweight World Champion Keith Thurman.
To win the strap, Plant (18-0, 10 KOs) turned the tables on the hard-hitting Venezuelan slugger Jose Uzcategui in their IBF championship fight in January on FS1. Going into the match the consensus was that Uzcategui was the harder puncher and that Plant would have to withstand his power to walk away with the belt. It was the 26-year-old Plant, however, who stunned Uzcategui by dropping him to the canvas twice on the way to a convincing unanimous decision. It was an emotional night for Plant, who is from Ashland City, Tenn. and now lives in Las Vegas. He had dedicated his career-best victory to the memory of his late daughter Alia, who suffered from a rare disorder that caused seizures.
"All my opponents look away first."@SweetHandsPlant refused to turn away from his staredown with Mike Lee. pic.twitter.com/YR9GupjcS7
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) May 24, 2019
“I’m more than ready to return to the ring on July 20 as the main event on FOX at MGM Grand in Las Vegas,” said Plant in a release. “I’ll be defending my IBF world title in tremendous fashion and this is one fight you guys will not want to miss. I’m taking this fight just as seriously as my last opponent.
“This guy is undefeated and looking to stay that way, but unfortunately for him, he took on the wrong challenge against the wrong guy. Come July 20, he’ll realize he’s in deeper water than he’s ever been in. My last fight was for Alia, but this fight I’m dedicating to my beautiful mother Beth Ann. May you Rest in Peace, Love you Momma.”
The 31-year-old Lee (21-0, 11 KOs) graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in business but decided to pursue his boxing dreams rather than take a job on Wall Street. A native of Wheaton, Illinois who now lives in Chicago, Lee has made a steady climb up the ladder and has been campaigning at light heavyweight. He will be moving down to super middleweight to challenge for his first world championship. Lee is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over Jose Hernandez on last June 8.
“I’ve have dreamt of the opportunity to fight for a world title for years,” said Lee in a press release. “All the years of hard work, pain and sacrifice have led me to this moment. On July 20 I will be victorious and prove everyone wrong that didn’t believe I was good enough to even get here.
“When I spent almost two years in and out of hospitals battling an autoimmune disease there were moments I never thought I could get back to this level and there were doctors who told me my fighting days were done. But I have won every fight since and I plan to prove that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. I could not have done this without my Dad, my advisor Mike Borao and my trainers Jamal Abdullah and Julian Chua.”