By: Sean Crose
The time for talking was finally over. Former super middleweight world titlists Caleb Plant and David Benavides stepped into the ring at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Saturday night to advance their careers and decide with their fists and skill sets who indeed was the better fighter. Their scheduled 12 round affair was the main event of a Showtime pay per view card and the biggest match of the year thus far in 2023. The fact that these men were not only high level athletes, but also high level athletes who simply didn’t like each other only seemed to add to the fight’s curiosity factor. The 22-1 Plant the 26-0 Benavidez wouldn’t even touch gloves after the referee gave the instructions.
The first was pretty much a feeling out process, though Plant’s jab told the tale. The slick Plant handily took the second. Benavidez had a much better third by walking his man down and landing at times, though Plant may have still edged it. The fourth was close enough that it could have gone either way. Benavidez, when he landed, landed with a degree of power. With that being said, Benavidez appeared as if he was starting to get frustrated in a fifth that belonged to Plant. The sixth saw Benavidez land well and effectively.
The seventh was close. Once again, Benavidez landed well at times, but it was Plant who employed ring generalship and kept Benavidez from mounting a consistent assault. Plant got rocked hard in the eighth. Would he be able to hang on? Then, strangely, the referee had the ring doctor look at Plant’s face, breaking the momentum. Still, Plant walked back to his corner with a bloody face. The round clearly belonged to Benavidez. A low blow from Plant broke the action early in the ninth.
The tenth was close, though Benavidez’ power shots may have told the tale. Benavidez, simply put, beat the hell out of Plant in the tenth. Plant’s trainer threatened to stop the fight in between rounds. By the eleventh, it was time for the referee to stop the fight. Plant may have taken the twelfth and final round, but the fight belonged to Benavidez. The judges agreed, giving Benavidez a unanimous decision win.
Oh, and the two fighters embraced afterward in a show of good sportsmanship.
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