It has taken a little more than six months, but Jose Uzcategui is finally getting in the ring as the IBF's sole super middleweight title.
The newly-crowned world champion will defend his title against Caleb Plant on January 13, 2019. The fight will headline a PBC on FS1 card from the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, marking the first boxing broadcast on a FOX-affiliated channel for 2019. The fight was one of many world title bouts announced in a recent event in Los Angeles.
Uzcategui has been at the center of several noteworthy events in boxing since 2017. In a fight against Andre Dirrell that aired on Showtime in May 2017, Uzcategui was disqualified after throwing a punch at Dirrell after the belt, prompting Dirrell's trainer to rush into the ring and strike Uzcategui, who was unable to defend himself. The two would have a rematch earlier this year for the interim IBF title, which Uzcategui won.
Back in July, then-IBF champion James DeGale vacated the title, which meant Uzcategui would be elevated to full world champion. After Plant suffered an injury that delayed a fight against Uzcategui, the IBF champion fought a non-title fight against Ezequiel Maderna on September 28 on an ESPN+ card from California.
Plant is the current mandatory challenger to Uzcategui's title, winning a title eliminator against Rogelio Medina in February. Plant suffered a hand injury this summer, but now that he's healthy, the title fight will move on and headline its own boxing card in Los Angeles.