Tennessee boxer Plant defends world title with TKO in 10th

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Caleb “Sweethands” Plant defended his IBF world super middleweight championship Saturday night with a technical knockout of Vincent Feigenbutz of Germany in the 10th round.

Plant, 27, improved to 20-0 with his 12th knockout. This was his second title defense since beating Jose Uzcategui for the belt in January 2019, but the first in Plant’s hometown in a moment he had dreamed about growing up.

The referee stopped the fight with 37 seconds left in the 10th after Plant’s uppercut snapped Feigenbutz’s head back, and Plant spread his arms out in celebration. He later dedicated his win to his late daughter and mother and Nashville.

This was the first major title fight in Nashville since July 19, 1997, when Frankie Liles defended his WBA super middleweight championship. Fans filled the lower bowl at Bridgestone Arena, and they were on their feet for Plant’s entrance into the arena. Plant wore an NFL Tennessee Titans’ jersey with his own name and the No. 1.

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On his Titan blue trunks, Plant had “RIP Beth” for his mother who was shot by a sheriff’s deputy in March 2019, and “RIP Alia” was on his left thigh for his daughter who died on Jan. 29, 2015, when Plant took her off life support.

Fans started chanting “Let’s go Sweethands” in the first round trying to will him to a quick victory. Feigenbutz barely hit Plant who landed more than 30 punches through the first two rounds to just five for the German.

In the sixth, Feigenbutz pinned Plant against the ropes with a flurry of punches. Plant looked at Feigenbutz and simply shook his head back and forth signalling “No” to the roaring approval of the crowd. Plant opened the ninth throwing punches, including one to Feigenbutz’s face.

Feigenbutz, 24, had been a mandatory challenger for Plant. Feigenbutz held the WBA super middleweight title in 2016 and now is 31-3.

Welterweight Abel Ramos of Casa Grande, Arizona, (26-3-2) rallied late with a TKO of Bryant Perrella of Fort Myers, Florida, twice in the final seconds of the 10th round. Ramos landed a left uppercut sending Perella to the mat, then hit him with a right. Perella (17-3) stumbled, and the referee stopped the fight with a second left for Ramos’ 20th career knockout.

Lightweight Diego Magdaleno of Las Vegas improved to 32-3 after winning a unanimous decision in 10 rounds over Nashville native Austin Dulay (13-2) despite having a point taken away for a low blow in the seventh round.

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