David Benavidez ends rivalry with Caleb Plant in dramatic fashion
One of boxing's fiercest rivalries came to an end on Saturday after David Benavidez out-slugged his longtime rival Caleb Plant. The "Mexican Monster" earned the unanimous decision victory after 12 hard fought rounds. Judges scored the bout 115-113, 116-112 and 117-111 after Plant started off hot, but started to fade by the middle rounds as Benavidez took over the fight.
The fight the first seven rounds was fought at a very Caleb Plant pace. Plant was able to use his speed and get in and out the pocket while circling the ring and avoiding significant damage. Plant attempted to tie up Benavidez about a minute into the eighth round, but Benavidez broke free and blasted him with a right hand. Benavidez landed a hard right hand to Plant again with just over 1:10 on the clock in the eighth round. A consistent theme of the fight was Plant consistently trying to hold Benavidez and was buzzed several times with powerful left hooks. Referee Kenny Bayless was forced to constantly break up the fighters, but would warn Benavidez instead of Plant.
A weird theme in the fight was the referee Bayless causing random breaks in the action. Benavidez had Plant dead to rights in a near knockout moment. Bayless stopped a Benevidez rally and called for a ringside physician to examine Plant’s cut above his right eye with 48 seconds on the clock in the eighth round. Benavidez continued to orchestrate merciless power, landing the tougher shots in the championship rounds. Plant would do technical things to buy himself time such as hit Benavidez with a low blow that caused a brief break in the action.
After the fight the two men ended their long rivalry with a hug and warm embrace. Saying their beef is over and they now have respect for each other. Benavidez now becomes next in line for the chance to fight undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez. "I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now," said Benavidez. "That's what everybody wants to see in September. ... I don't think he's trying to avoid me; I just believe he has a lot of options."