By: Sean Crose
The 56-1-1 Canelo Alvarez stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Resort and Casino outside of Las Vegas Saturday night to become the undisputed super middleweight champion of the world. In order to do that, however, the WBC, WBA, and WBO super middleweight titlist had to get past the taller, slightly younger, and undefeated IBF super middleweight titlist, Caleb Plant, who himself could boast a record of 21-0.
The first round of the scheduled 12 round championship bout consisted of Plant jabbing well and employing the slippery tactics he’s known for. Canelo, however, landed the four or five hard body shots he’s apt to per round in order to start breaking his man down. The second round, too, was close, with each man having his moments. The third round offered more of the same – with each fighter doing what he does well. Canelo landed thudding body shots, while Plant moved and picked away at Canelo with an impressive jab.
Canelo looked to have edged the fourth thanks to powerful body shots. Plant, though, was certainly in the game, zapping boxing’s biggest star with relative frequency. For the most part, Plant was able to keep his opponent at bay in the fifth. Canelo was able to effectively get to Plant in the sixth round. Canelo strangely stood stationary near the ropes for a good portion of the seventh, before unleashing a blistering flurry of punches at the end of the chapter.
By the eighth, Canelo was really going to work on his man. Plant was a challenge for him, but Canelo was now landing regularly, and with impressive power. Things began to slow down a bit for each fighter in the ninth, for it was undoubtedly a grueling fight. Plant, however, needed to pick up the pace if he wanted any chance of winning the bout. Yet Canelo’s relentless attack seemed to have taken a lot out of him.
Canelo assaulted Plant furiously in the tenth. Plant, to his eternal credit, hung in there and continued to fight gamely, even landing well at times. The fight, however, now belonged completely to Canelo heading into the championship rounds. Then, at the beginning of the eleventh, Canelo put Plant down. The American bravely got to his feet and told the referee he could continue. A brutally violent flurry from Canelo seconds later put Plant down again, causing the referee to stop the fight.
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