ASHLAND CITY — New IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant returned to Ashland City on Thursday morning and told his hometown supporters that he wants his first title defense to be in Nashville.
“The next fight may be in late July or August but if everything works out then hopefully it will be at the Municipal Auditorium or the Bridgestone Arena and I’ll be defending my title here in Nashville,” Plant said. “But rest assured if we have to go somewhere else next and get the job done, I’m telling you guys I’ll get the job done and by the end of the year we’ll bring it here.”
Plant, showing off his championship belt, was surrounded by his father, fianceé, coaches and publicist. The Sycamore choir sang “Eye of the Tiger” and the Sycamore alma mater while the school’s cheerleaders and band showed their support as well.
Plant started off the event with a few words of encouragement for the younger generation.
“Don’t give up on your dreams,” Plant said. “You don’t think people looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was going to be a world championship boxer in the seventh grade? Of course they did, but just because I came from a small town I wasn’t going to let that stop me and you shouldn’t either.
“And for some of you older people, when the younger generation says they have big dreams and aspirations don’t look down on them, encourage them, help them in whatever way you can. I made it, they can make it too.”
State Sen. Kerry Roberts and State Rep. Mary Littleton announced they have introduced legislation to add Plant’s story to the Official History of the state of Tennessee. McCarver also declared Jan. 31, 2019 as Caleb Plant Day in Cheatham County.
Ashland City Mayor Steve Allen presented Plant with a key to the city.