WITH a finish of ruthless brutality Canelo Alvarez settled his fight with Caleb Plant for the super-middleweight world championship at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (November 6).
In the 11th round the Mexican caught up to Plant, a left hook thudded into the American’s chin allowing Alvarez to find space for a right uppercut so tremendous it would have felled an ox. The shot dropped Plant to his hands and knees as the crowd, more than 16,000 strong, leapt to their feet.
Plant pushed himself up, stumbling across the ring. With a hint of desperation, he pulled his hands up high, trying to compose himself, but Alvarez was merciless. He harried the American across the ring. He shocked him with another left hook and then Canelo had him on the ropes. He drove his right cross down again and once again, drilling Plant into the ropes and then onto the canvas.
Canelo didn’t need a second glance at the referee as he sped across the ring to spring on the corner post and celebrate. He knew it was over.
“That’s the way it had to finish. He was already hurt and I went for the kill,” Alvarez said.
“He wanted to fight me and still continue. I told him there’s no shame.”
Canelo is the super-middleweight champion of the world and the undoubted global star of the sport.
The finish was spectacular but Plant had been a difficult opponent for the great Mexican. He brought jabs up in the opening rounds, flicking them through Canelo’s guard. His punches were quick, the speed let him catch Alvarez and Plant’s footwork, sliding him over to his right and then changing his direction to move away to his left, was effective. He was denying Alvarez opportunities to cycle through his repertoire.
In the first half of the fight Canelo had to content himself with driving left hooks into the body and slinging his right hooks into Plant’s side when he could. This was solid diligent work that gradually slowed Caleb. “He was making the fight pretty difficult, but Eddy [Reynoso, Canelo’s trainer] told me to just stick to the gameplan in the last two rounds. In the end, I got him,” Alvarez said. “Caleb is a good fighter. I have a lot of respect for Caleb Plant. He was a difficult opponent with a lot of ability and I do respect him.”
As the contest progressed Plant began to make more mistakes, stepping on to the left hook and enduring some hurtful punches, heavy shots which he took well even when Alvarez fired them upstairs, until Canelo found the crunching hits that unravelled him at 1-05 of the 11th.
For a precautionary check up Plant was taken to hospital after the contest.
It was good fight, a real fight and one that will go down as another triumph for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but with your support, my family and my team we’ve gotten really far. This is for everybody, especially for Mexico. This is another one for our team. We did it tonight,” he said afterwards. “This means so much for the history of Mexico.”