Caleb & Jordan Plant:- On Needing More Love

Portrait

Caleb Plant

Not Having a home to go to

Jordan Plant

Needing More Love

Couple

The Inner Circle

Fighters

Tyson Fury

Tyson’s Fury Workout

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 4: Jordan Plant, Caleb Plant and Tyson Fury pose before Fury’s workout at the Top Rank Gym on May 4, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Mike Lee

Stand-Off

Stories

Sporting News

Andreas Hale ( @AndreasHale )

The Book of Caleb: Tragedy, triumph, and race are defining Caleb Plant’s boxing legacy

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  1. Tennesse
    • In Plant’s mind, he is not close to where he is supposed to be. He won’t let his guard down because he simply can’t afford to do so. This sense of desperation was instilled in a young boy in rural Tennessee who grew up with two sisters to parents Beth and Richie in an impoverished community dominated by pills, heroin, and meth.
    • “There were not a whole lot of opportunities,” he recalls of growing up Ashland City. “It seemed like since everyone was in poverty or involved in drugs in some way or another. People are in this fog there, and since everyone is in the fog, it’s not really a thing they were worried about.”

    • But even as a preteen, Plant knew this wasn’t how he wanted to live.

    • “It would just make me really upset that I was living in that type of environment,” he continues. “At an early age, I could see through the fog and that I wanted to do something about it. I didn’t like it.”

  2. Beth and Richie Plant
    • From what he recalls, Beth and Richie were constantly at odds. Between his mother’s struggles with drug abuse and his father often finding himself at the bottom of a bottle, chaos in the Plant household was a regular occurrence. Whether it was scrounging for their next meal or being chased by foreclosure papers, the day-to-day battle for survival started to become the norm
  3. Richie Plant:-  Escape Plot
    • However, Richie had plans for his children, and the former amateur kickboxer decided to build a sanctuary for his only boy in the form of a mixed martial arts gym.

    • Little did he know, that sanctuary would be the Plant family’s saving grace.

    • “I started off doing martial arts, and then I started kickboxing shortly after that,” Caleb Plant says. “One weekend my dad would drive me to Atlanta for a two-day boxing tournament, and the next weekend or two he would drive me to Kentucky for a kickboxing fight. Two weekends later he would drive me all the way to Chicago for one three-round amateur fight.”

    • Plant fell in love with the sweet science at the age of 13 and decided it would be his way out of poverty.

  4. Caleb Plant:- Reverse Engineer – Sports, Boxing, and Race
    • What he didn’t realize was that he would have to reverse engineer the subject of race in boxing.
    • In a sport dominated by minorities, Plant is currently one of eight American-born Caucasians to win a WBC, IBF, or WBA world title in the last 38 years.
    • Like a teenage Tiger Woods when he met Jack Nicklaus at the Bel-Air Country Club, or Grant Fuhr lacing up his skates for the Enoch Tomahawks, Plant was a foreigner who had to work twice as hard to prove that he belonged.
    • That fact isn’t lost on Plant, and he began to feel it as a 17-year-old competing in his first men’s national tournament.

    • “I was somewhat of a minority, I guess you could say,” he says as he taps on the table. “For a while I was seen as an outsider like I wasn’t really accepted by the culture. But I never really thought of myself as what I can or can’t be because of the color that I am.”

    • Plant earned the nickname “Sweethands” by his peers who he recalled constantly telling him he “had sweet hands for a white boy.” And that white boy could fight. He was ranked third in the nation and made Team USA in 2011. He followed that by winning the Golden Glove nationals in 2012 and being an alternate for the Summer Olympics.

  5. Robert Plant:- Trading Alcohol For Lead Trainer
    • With his dad ditching alcohol to focus on his son’s budding career as his lead trainer, the duo decided to enter the professional ranks in 2014.
  6. Alia, First Daughter
    • Something was wrong with Alia from the moment she entered the world. She was born with a brain abnormality that would plague her with hundreds of seizures a day.

  7. Alia, Fatherhood
    • Plant debuted as a professional in May 2014 and continued to balance boxing and parenthood.
    • Alia, hospitalized for months on end, suffered from daily seizures, sustained permanent brain damage, and was on life support five times.
    • While Caleb fought in the ring, Alia fought for her life.
    • She died Jan. 29, 2015.
    • She fought until she couldn’t any longer, and now Caleb Plant fights because the odds will never be as insurmountable as they were for Alia.
    • “It’s not something you really get over,” Plant said. “It’s not something you ever become OK with or learn to accept. It’s just something that you’ve got to carry.”
    • So he continued fighting.
    • For himself. For Alia.
    • “It’s not easy. I miss her. I miss Alia,” he said. “I have to continue on. The world doesn’t stop spinning for anybody.”
  8. Alia’s Hope
    • Through me is how she gets to continue to live,” he said. “It’s important to me that I continue to be successful and do right and try to inspire others because through my success is how she gets to keep living and how her name and spirit get passed on.”
    • “Over the years I’ve gotten more used to it, but it’s not something that I’ve come to terms with, or accept, really,” he says about discussing those years of watching his baby girl battle for survival.

    • The reason I have told this story is because I know that I’m not the only person out there who’s had or has a disabled child, and I’m not the only person who’s lost a child for whatever reason”.

    • I’ve opened up about it because I want other people to know that they can still chase their dreams or that they can still become successful. That they can still obtain whatever goal that they’re on a mission for. I want people to know that … I know it’s cliché, but if I can do it, you can do it.

  9. PBC ( Premier Boxing Champion ), Al Haymon
    • “I think it just scared a lot of people off because they thought, ‘Here’s this young kid with this disabled child. Probably going to get distracted and fall off,’” Plant said. “Everybody stopped returning my calls.”
    • Except for Premier Boxing Champions’ Al Haymon, with whom Plant signed in 2014.
  10. Caleb & Robert Plant:- Bonding
    • The father and son don’t spend a lot of time soaking in their success, but Caleb is aware he has made Richie proud. Few can comprehend what Caleb Plant has endured to get to this point, but Richie Plant knows about as much as one person can know about his or her child.

    • “We don’t really sit down and have big old conversations about it,” Caleb Plant says when asked if he celebrates his success as a fighter. “Sometimes it’s just eye contact that says, ‘Look how far we came, and look what boxing has done for us.’

  11. Beth Plant
    • But turbulence wasn’t done with the Plant family. Just two months after the biggest win of his career, as he was moving into his new home, Plant was dealt another huge blow in the form of a phone call from his younger sister informing him that their mother had been killed.
  12. Mike Lee
    • Which is why July 20 is far from another fight for Plant. His opponent is Lee, who couldn’t have a more different backstory, aside from the commonality that they are white Americans vying for the super middleweight title, a first in boxing.

    • You may have seen Lee in a commercial peddling Subway as the national spokesperson for the sandwich company. A product of Notre Dame, Lee turned down a lucrative career on Wall Street to try his hand at boxing. Aside from being white and unbeaten, the two have nothing in common.

    • “He hasn’t had nightmares about things that I’ve been through in real life,” Plant says when addressing their backgrounds. There’s been a fair amount of trash talk between the two, and Plant admits he is taking it personally. Then again, he takes all fights personally, because he views them as a battle for survival.

    • “Anybody who’s trying to send me back to where I came from and all in the way of my dreams and aspirations, that’s personal to me,” he says. “Boxing is life or death for me. I do not look at this as just a sport, this is my livelihood. If I don’t win, I don’t get to go home, because I’m not going to have a home.”

  13. Jordan Hardy:- Meet up
    • Plant met the woman of his dreams in 2016, just a year after the passing of his daughter. He wasn’t looking, but he also wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity if it presented itself.

    • The story of how Plant and Hardy met is consistent: She liked a few pictures on Plant’s Instagram and happened to be in Los Angeles at the same time Plant was getting ready to face Adasat Rodriguez in his 12th professional fight. Plant made a promise to himself that if he ever met this mysterious woman, he would speak to her. Little did he know, Hardy was present at his weigh-in. She purposefully positioned herself by the water fountain at which Plant would rehydrate. The two spoke, but Plant didn’t ask for her number, a non-action by which Hardy was taken back.

    • The prettiest girl in the room? You can’t be pressing them,” Plant says as he glances over at Hardy, who is in conversation with his publicist. “You just got to sit back. Luckily it worked out and we just started talking.”

    • The two maintained a long-distance relationship as Hardy lived in Las Vegas while Plant resided in Tennessee. Soon enough, the unbeaten fighter made the move to Las Vegas, and the rest is history.

  14. Jordan Hardy:- City Meet Country
    • What’s interesting about their relationship isn’t so much about Plant being a white kid from Tennessee and Hardy being a black woman from Las Vegas — it’s how different their respective backgrounds really are. Where Plant was surrounded by drugs and poverty, Hardy grew up in a seven-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot home her parents built.

    • Once again, Plant found himself reverse-engineering the perceived role of race in a relationship. Hardy would be the one from a solid foundation, while Plant’s world was unlike anything the daughter of Eugene Hardy, a gang detective on the police force, had ever experienced.

    • “I knew that in order to have a relationship go well, I’d have to understand what he’d been through,” Hardy says. “It let me know that he needed more love than I would need, because I grew up with all that love and affection, and he didn’t.”

  15. Jordan Hardy:- Noisy World
    • That willingness to learn about each other’s differences created a peace Plant has needed to mute the noise that comes with his turbulent past. When the madness is outside the door, it’s just Caleb and Jordan, playing “Call of Duty: Zombies” in a hotel room, enjoying each other’s company, talking about starting a family in 2020 and plotting to become boxing’s first power couple.
  16. Jordan Hardy:- Dreams

    • With Jordan working inside the industry as a reporter and Caleb being knee-deep in his career, the future Mrs. Plant has plans to help the boxing community and give Caleb the opportunity to finally do what he’s always wanted — give back.

    • She speaks of starting a boxer’s union when it’s time for Plant to hang up the gloves. The union will focus on financial literacy and education so fighters can survive once their short careers in pugilism are over. And because of Plant’s burning desire to make sure kids like him have a brighter future, Hardy’s plan nurtures the community that gave him the opportunity to overcome a nightmarish struggle. It’s commendable and also how you establish a legacy.

    • “Caleb can be remembered for what he does in the ring, but if we’re changing these fighters’ lives, he’ll be remembered forever,” Hardy says. “Legends are remembered by helping people and changing lives, not by winning belts.”
  17. Caleb Plant:- Great White Hope
    • But before fighter’s unions, marriage and children, Plant has to take care of business July 20. As he reiterates, he can’t afford to lose.

    • “If I lose what are they going to say about me?” Plant asks while leaning back in his chair with his eyebrows raised. The question isn’t rhetorical. He really wants to know if he’ll be regarded as just another great white hype.

    • He’s far from it.

Inside Story

Now you’ve some of the inside stories as told by Andreas Hale; writing for “The Sporting News“.

  1. Growing Up Poor
    • Growing up poor in Ashland, Tennesse
  2. Alia ( Daughter )
    • His daughter laying on his chest as she breathes her last
  3. Richie ( Father )
    • Kicking alcohol
  4. Beth ( Mother )
    • One of his two sisters called to tell him mama finally lost her battle
  5. Jordan Hardy ( Wife )
    • Jordan Hardy, Caleb Plant’s wife, works as a journalist; specifically as a Reporter
    • Caleb’s unabashedly thanks media organizations and athletes for supporting his spouse and giving her work

 

Listening

  1. Craig Morgan
    • Craig Morgan – This Ain’t Nothin’
      • Videos
        • Craig Morgan – This Ain’t Nothin’ (Official Video)
          Channel:- Craig Morgan
          Date Published:- 2010-May-31st
          Date Added:- 2021-November-5th
          Link
  2. Jamey Johnson
    • Jamey Johnson – In Color
      • Videos
        • Jamey Johnson – In Color (Official Video)
          Channel:- Jamey Johnson
          Date Published:- 2009-June-16th
          Date Added:- 2021-November-5th
          Link
  3. Billy Currington
    • Billy Currington – Walk A Little Straighter
      • Videos
        • Billy Currington – Walk A Little Straighter
          Channel:- Billy Currington
          Date Published:- 2009-October-6th
          Date Added:- 2021-November-5th
          Link
  4. Kenny Chesney
    • What I need to do
      • Videos
        • Kenny Chesney 06 What I Need To Do {Live Tennesse Homecoming} TL IMV
          Channel:- Eddie Colwell
          Date Published:- 2011-September-27th
          Date Added:- 2021-November-4th
          Link
    • Better as a memory
      • Profile
        • Video of Kenny Chesney fighting the tears while trying to sing “better as a memory.”
        • So the fans help him out by singing it for him. Very emotional moment
      • Videos
        • Kenny Chesney Cries on Stage
          Channel:- Guy Masters
          Date Published:- 2012-January-20th
          Date Added:- 2021-November-4th
          Link

Lyrics

Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan – This Ain’t Nothin’

Genius.Com

Link

He was standin’ in the rubble
Of an old farmhouse outside Birmingham
When some on-the-scene reporter
Stuck a camera in the face of that old man

He said, “Tell the folks, please mister, what are you gonna do
Now that this twister has taken all that’s dear to you”
The old man just smiled and said, “Boy, let me tell you somethin’
This ain’t nothin'”

He said, “I lost my daddy when I was eight years old
That cave-in at the Kincaid Mine left a big ol’ hole
And I lost my baby brother, my best friend, and my left hand
In a no-win situation in a place called Vietnam”

“And last year, I watched my lovin’ wife
Of fifty years waste away and die
And I held her hand ’til her heart of gold stopped pumpin’
So, this ain’t nothin'”

He said, “I learned at an early age
There’s things that matter, and there’s things that don’t
So if you’re waitin’ here for me to cry
I hate to disappoint you boy, but I won’t”

Then he reached down in the rubble and picked up a photograph
Wiped the dirt off of it with the hand that he still had
He put it to his lips and he said, “Man she was somethin’
But, this ain’t nothin'”

 

Video Comments

Craig Morgan

Craig Morgan – This Ain’t Nothin’

  1. Crystal Mclaughlin
    • I lost my dad to cancer he was 48, my hero. I thought he was invisible then watch him struggle for his last breath. Then a 1 year and seven months later my little brother died in a car wreck he was only 20. My poor momma, she just was never the same. She died in her sleep at 54 I am pretty sure of a broken heart. I have always hidden my pain and tried to teach others that there are more important things than money and material things. I met my husband and was able to have him learn from my heartache about what was important. His dad passed away only 2 months after my Mom we watched him struggle from his last breath. Then in November 2019, I took his mom for a colonoscopy appointment and she never awoke from the procedure and died. I have watched so many people I have loved pass away. I truly know what matters and what doesn’t. I wish others would have that perceptive. I have 3 kids a daughter and twin boys. My daughter got pregnant and lost her first baby. She kept trying. And now I have a beautiful grandson that is named after my little brother Tyson. He has red hair and blue eyes and he is perfect. Now that is something.

 

Referenced Work

  1. Las-Vegas Review-Journal
    • IBF champion Caleb Plant fights for late daughter, mother
      Link

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