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Caleb Truax as upbeat as 20-1 underdog can be

Boxing Junkie logo Boxing Junkie 1/23/2021 Michael Rosenthal
Caleb Truax in a boxing ring © Provided by Boxing Junkie

Caleb Truax is a 20-1 underdog (BetMGM) against Caleb Plant on Jan. 30 for a reason.

Truax, who will be challenging for Plant’s super middleweight title in Los Angeles, is 37. He’s coming off a shaky performance against David Basajjamivule in January of last year, his most-recent fight. And he’s up against a hot young champion.

That said, he should at least be able to give his absolute best for one reason: He’s healthy for the first time in the past few years.

He tore his Achilles tendon during training for a rematch with Peter Quillin in the summer of 2019, which required a long recovery process. And he said nagging elbow problems, which have hampered his training and performances, have finally cleared up.

“I’m feeling fantastic,” Truax said on a conference call Thursday. “… I’m feeling healthy for the first time in a couple of years. I was talking to my trainer. I’m almost paranoid that something is going to go wrong in the last nine days [because] I feel so good right now.

“I’m just excited, ready to take on the challenge in a week and a half.”

a group of people performing on stage in front of a crowd © Provided by Boxing Junkie

Caleb Truax’s greatest moment was defeating James DeGale to win a title in 2017. Christopher Lee / Getty Images

Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) is best known for his majority-decision upset over James DeGale in December 2017 in London, which gave him a major 168-pound title. DeGale won the rematch four months later and Truax has been an afterthought since.

He stopped journeyman Fabiano Pena four months after the DeGale loss, had a no-decision against Quillin after he was cut in April 2019 and then, after recovering from the Achilles injury, defeated Basajjamivule, another second-tier opponent, by a majority decision.

Truax took something positive from his meeting with Basajjamivule.

“That was a strange fight,” he said. “I didn’t have my greatest performance in that fight. The most important thing I took from it is that my Achilles is healthy after eight, nine months of recovery. It held up perfectly.

“I’m just ready to move forward after that.”

He’s moving forward into a fight that is expected to be as challenging as his two-fight series with DeGale and knockout loss to Danny Jacobs in 2015.

Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) has been pegged as a budding star at 28 years old, with unusual natural gifts – speed, athleticism — and polished technique. He’s making his third defense of the title he won by outpointing rugged Jose Uzcategi in January 2019.

The oddsmakers obviously believe this is Plant’s time, not Truax’s. And that’s OK with the underdog, who faced similar odds going into the first fight with DeGale. He knows he can pull off a major upset because he’s done it before, meaning confidence isn’t an issue.

He believes his edge in experience will allow him to shock the boxing world one more time.

And he’s grateful for the opportunity to fight for another title at this stage of his game. After the Achilles injury, which occurred when was 35, he didn’t know if he’d ever be in this position again.

Yes, Truax is in a good place. He feels about as good as possible — physically and emotionally – going into what might be the biggest fight of his career.

“At my age, at 37, there is no telling when I’ll be able to get a world title fight again,” he said. “So I’ve been approaching it as if this is my last shot. I’ve been very focused in camp and just determined to leave it all in the ring and get my belt back.”

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