David Benavidez Pummels Caleb Plant To Setup Mega Canelo Alvarez Clash


Updated: Mar 26, 2023 8:43 pm

Arizona’s David Benavidez landed a career-best victory against a brave Caleb Plant to set up an intriguing super-middleweight clash against Mexican hero Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez on Saturday.

Benavidez’s hand was raised after twelve pulsating rounds at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand with all three judges finding Benavidez a comfortable winner (117-111, 116-112 and 115-113).

The 26-year-old is now the mandatory challenger for Canelo’s WBC title at 168lbs and called for a bout against the undisputed super-middleweight king in his post-fight press conference.

“I want to prove myself. Canelo’s proved himself but I feel like he needs to give me the opportunity too. It’s not like I’m begging for something, I’ve been mandatory for the past two fights”, said Benavidez.

It was Tennessee’s Plant who started the sharper of the two on the night, gliding around the ring with impressive lateral movement and fleeting combinations to the head and body of Benavidez.

Two of the three judges had Plant ahead after six but the gap slowly started to close between the pair as the bout approached the second half of the fight.

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Benavidez began to target Plant’s body in an attempt to slow his feet and make it easier for former WBC champion Benavidez to cut the ring off.

Plant’s footwork began to slow as Benavidez continued to let his hands go on the inside, with Plant rocked by a right hook in the eighth.

The 30-year-old suffered a cut to the bridge of his nose in the process, leaving his face bloodied and disfigured as Benavidez’ momentum continued to grow into the final third of the contest.

Plant again looked wobbled in the final seconds of the ninth with his feet now dragging around the canvas compared to the fleeting footwork we saw in the early rounds.

Former IBF champion Plant showed tremendous heart, not once faltering in his pursuits of turning the tide again, but Benavidez was by now in full flow and hurt Plant with another right hand in the final moments of the eleventh.

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Both emptied the tank in the twelfth but Benavidez’ second half showing proved enough to earn him the win against his longtime rival.

The two fighters engaged in a respectful embrace upon the sounding of the final bell to spell an end to their ongoing grudge which played out during a hostile fight week.

Plant vowed to return post-fight, admitting he’d lost to the better man on the night.

Victory for Benavidez moved him to 27-0 with 23 knockouts.

Plant meanwhile suffered his second defeat in 24 outings after his 2021 loss to the aforementioned Canelo, his record now standing at 22-2 with 13 wins inside the distance.

Earlier on in the night, Arizona super-welterweight Jesus Ramos floored and eventually stopped Michigan’s Joseph Spencer after seven punishing rounds in the chief support.

Brooklyn lightweight Chris Colbert also won a controversial decision after ten rounds against Washington’s Jose Valenzuela.

The latter landed a heavy left hand which floored Colbert in the opening round and continued to land damaging blows throughout the contest, only for Colbert to emerge a narrow winner on all three scorecards (94-95 x 3).


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