While Caleb Plant returned to the win column with a brutal knockout this past weekend, it was his post-fight celebration that has taken much of the attention.
After suffering his first defeat as a professional at the hands of boxing great Canelo Álvarez last October, losing his IBF super middleweight title in the process, Plant was looking to make a statement in his return to action on Saturday.
That statement came in the form of a vicious left hook that left its recipient, former two-time WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell, unconscious on the canvas.
While many were concerned for Dirrell following the devastating ninth-round conclusion to the bout, the same couldn’t be said for Plant, who was too busy channeling his inner-Tito Ortiz with a ‘grave digging’ celebration.
Referee Harvey Dock was quick to take issue with the post-fight display, which was widely branded as disrespectful, as he attempted to drag “Sweathands” away from his fallen opponent, who was being tended to by medics inside New York’s Barclays Center.
And the referee was certainly not the only individual to frown upon Plant’s antics…
Fans React To Plant’s Controversial Celebration
Following the memorable knockout, which marked the 13th of Plant’s 23-fight career, a number of boxing fans gave their take on what transpired soon after on social media.
Boxing promoter Rick Glaser shared a common sentiment on Twitter, suggesting that no matter the animosity between opponents, no one deserves the “shovel treatment” following a brutal KO loss.
Others took a different route, with one claiming that rather than the form of celebration being the issue, the fact that it came after a “lackluster” win was the real problem.
But not everyone was of the view that Plant crossed the line with his celebration.
One Twitter user questioned how people can sit and watch two athletes throw hands inside the ring for entertainment, only to take issue with a celebration after.
A number of others also cited the trash talk that Dirrell had directed Plant’s way pre-fight, with the ‘he had it coming’ sentiment being widely put forth across social media.
In the aftermath, Plant claimed that the celebration was his way of “burying beef” with Dirrell. He’ll now look ahead to his next challenge on his path back to gold, which could come against WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo or interim WBC super middleweight titleholder David Benavidez.
Where do you stand on Caleb Plant’s ‘grave digging’ celebration?