In a dominating display of power, the unbeaten David Benavidez maintained his clean record as the WBC interim super middleweight world champion demolished Caleb Plant courtesy of a unanimous decision victory this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The fight had started out much more competitive than it had ended. Although Plant made a strong and lively approach at the start, as soon as Benavidez started making connections, Plant’s game plan started to dismantle and into the second half of the fight, it seemed like there was only Benavidez in the ring.
The first round saw the fight mostly in the center of the ring, consisting of jab duels, with few follow up shots. The best shot of the round was a jab from Plant that shook Benavidez’s head but misses his response.
In the second round, Plant’s striking became much more effective, and started to circumnavigate Benavidez, pecking him with the jab, all while avoiding the Mexican-American’s counters. At times, Plant stepped in to land combined blows on Benavidez, who couldn’t find any distance and was chasing Plant around the ring, unable to efficiently cut the exits.
From the third round, things got better for Benavidez, especially in the start, with a more intense and pressing approach. But that pace and intensity once again fell off in the second half of the round, when Plant re-imposed his style of fighting around Benavidez. Plant did make some risky maneuvers trying to jump forward and exposing himself up in the process.
In the fourth round, Benavidez put pressure again and managed to find Plant on several occasions, having gotten more settled at a distance. Plant, on the other hand, continued to surprise from mid to long range and landed some sharp jabs on Benavidez’s face. However, it was Benavidez who was landing the powerful shots.
In the fifth, Plant started to taunt Benavidez, making him fail to find any distance Benavidez looked more frustrated with the way Plant was moving around the ring comfortaboy, while he fails to make connections.
Coming into the middle of the fight, it was when Plant peaked in his performance, but from then and there, things started to go on downhill for the American, and Benavidez started to make his comeback into the bout.
In the sixth, Benavidez shook Plant for the first time. Starting with a hard left straight, and another hook to the liver, Plant was started by Benavidez’s punches, which looked to generate a lot of power for the first time in the fight.
The seventh round was close without many big power shots from either fighters, but Benavidez pushed on short ground and landed some good shots. Plant started to remain more static, but also more exposed as Benavidez manageed to overwhelm him.
In the eighth, Benavidez hit power shots and cut an overwhelmed Plant, who had now gone into survival mode. As Plant was starting to look beaten up, Benavidez rose to his prime in the fight.
By the ninth round, it was clear that Plant has lost his hold of the fight. WIthout the earlier speed, and mobility, his left eye was swollen, and a bleeding nose from Benavidez’s left hand. With each of the hits from Benavidez, Plant seemed to lose his temperament more and more and it seemed that the fight may not go the distance and a stoppage is imminent.
The tenth round was when it was nearly over for Plant, who was clinching desperately, all while Benavidez continued his barrage of shots systematically demolishing Plant’s defense, as he continued to take the beating, and neither the referee nor Plant’s corner tried to intervene yet.
Into the 11th round, several fans at ringside turned to Plant’s corner, asking them to throw the towel. However, the fight kept on going, all while Plant kept on receiving the brutal offense from Benavidez.
In the 12th round, Benavidez seems to have mitigated his attacks on Plant, and having already guessed that he’s leading on the scorecards, took his foot off the accelerator, throwing in some sporadic power shots.
While it seemed that the fight was going to end badly for Plant, Benavidez taking a backfoot in the final round seemed to have helped Plant to not sustain any major accident or injury,
After the final whistle, the cards were read, announcing Benavidez the winner over Plant via unanimous decision. The three judges scored the fight in favour of Benavidez 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113.
“I know I said we weren’t gonna end the beef, but we fought like warriors in the ring, and this guy’s a f—ing hell of a fighter,” said Benavidez after the win. “We gave the fans the best rivalry of the year, the best rivalry of the last five years. … I hit him with a lot of hard shots. I would talk shit, but I like this guy now, so I don’t want to keep it going.”
Talking about his next fight, Benavidez once again mentioned the challenge he has been asking for a long time- Canelo Alvarez.
“I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now,” Benavidez said. “That’s what everyone wants to see. Let’s get in the ring in September.”
“I take nothing from David. We haven’t been the best of friends, but we got in the ring and settled it like men, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Plant commented. “When the best get in there with the best, you roll the dice, somebody’s going to come up short. I’ve got in there and rumbled with the best in the world. I haven’t ducked nobody, and maybe we can have a rematch in the future. David was the better man tonight and I take nothing from him. Congratulations to him and his family, he’s a hell of a fighter.” [H/T CBS Sports]
David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant Full Result:
- WBC interim Super Middleweight championship: David Benavidez (c) defeats Caleb Plant via unanimous decision (115-113, 116-112, 117-111)
- Jesus Ramos defeats Joey Spencer via seventh-round TKO
- Chris Colbert defeat. Jose Valenzuela via unanimous decision (95-94, 95-94, 95-94)
- Cody Crowley defeats Abel Ramos via majority decision (114-114, 115-113, 116-112)