Plant Gets Plastered By Benavidez
Middleweights, Recent Fights, Tom Donelsonadmin
By Tom Donelson (BWAA) Member Boxing Writers of America
Caleb Plant after his loss to Canelo Alvarez came back with a brutal knockout of Anthony Dirrell and faced undefeated David Benavidez for another shot at Canelo Alvarez. The winner will be in a position for a big money fight and Benavidez would like to be a champion again. On paper this was the classic battle between the boxer Plant versus the power punching Benavidez .
Plant began the fight and feinted a few times while Benavidez fell short on a couple of body shots. Plants jab to the body and then jabbed to the head before holding. Plant won the opening rounds with his jab.
The second round saw Plant begin with a quick flurry and dodged out of the way of Benavidez punches. Benavidez landed a good left hook while Plant circles around to land accurate fast punches to the body. The round ended with a Plant jab .
Plant began the third round aggressively with a left hook while Benavidez attempts to cut off the ring while scoring with a left hook. Plant was jabbing but Benavidez looked like he was starting to time Plant’s jab . Plant smiled as Benavidez scored a hard right.
The fourth saw Benavidez starting with body shots and Plant responded with body combinations of his own. Benavidez looked for spots to land his shots but Plant defensive skills proved elusive . Benavidez connected with a left hook and Plant was forced to hold. After four rounds, I had score 39-37 in favor of Plant, but it was a close fight with no one at this point dominating .
Benavidez went to the body at the beginning of the fifth round and Plant’s hand speed forced Benavidez to the rope and a left hook missed Plant’s head. As the round continued, it looked like Benavidez trapped Plant in the corner but Plant spun away from the rope and Plant closed the round with a hook.
Round six saw Benavidez making moves to take over the fight as he started to close the gap against Plant. Benavidez landed a double left and a right, Plant started to hold more. This was the round that the fight changed in Benavidez’s favor. I had the fight 58-56 but there was a feeling that the momentum would change and the boxer would succumb to the pressure of the slugger over the second half of the fight.
Round seven was close but I had it for Benavidez as his pressure took control of the round and he landed the harder punch. There was one Benavidez left hook that bothered Plant. Over the sixth and seventh round, Benavidez landed 26 punches to Plant’s 16.
Plant began the eighth round holding and he got away with lot of holding but then Benavidez hurt him. A right-hand lead sent Plant reeling and the referee Kenny Baylas had Plant evaluated which gave Plant time to clear his head. This may have saved him from a stoppage.
Plant landed a left hook to the body after taking a left hook to his body. Plant landed a combination but had little effect on Benavidez. Benavidez landed a left hook to the head and to the body followed by a solid right. After nine rounds, I had it 86-85 in favor of Benavidez but from this point it was Benavidez’s fight.
In the tenth round, Benavidez landed 43 punches which included rights to the body, uppercuts and left hand was flying and he landed 36 more punches in the eleventh round. Plant’s corner considered stopping the fight, but Plant wanted to finish this fight on his feet. Benavidez had not lost a round since the fifth round. Plant came out in the final round with the goal of standing on his feet, but Benavidez landed body shots and right hands to the head but at the end, Plant unleashed a combination, landing three punches but Benavidez countered with a fierce left hook as the bell rang.
I had the fight 116-112 and the judges had it 115-113, 117-111 and 116-112. All reasonable scores and the fight was close over the first six rounds and even the seventh could have been called in Plant’s favor but the final five rounds were easily Benavidez as his power simply overwhelmed Plant. Benavidez landed twice as many punches and nearly three times the power shot and even landed more jabs despite Plant throwing more than double of the jabs.
Plant is the third best super middleweight, but he lost to the two best in the division by wide margin. Alvarez stopped him in the eleventh and Benavidez dominated the last five rounds by a wide margin. Over the last five rounds, Benavidez landed 146 punches to 38 punches. Contrast that to the first seven rounds in which Benavidez landed 64 punches to Plant’s 53. This shows this was two fights with the first seven rounds close but the final five rounds saw complete domination by Benavidez.
For Benavidez, there are several fights available but there is one fight he wants with Canelo Alvarez. A September match up in Mexico featuring two Mexican’s best fighters celebrating Mexican independence. This would be a great fight with the tough rugged Benavidez against the more technically sound Alvarez.
Alvarez still is viewing Bivol rematch at the light heavyweight division and Benavidez does have other options including Jermall Charlo who is looking for a big pay day. As for Plant, he will be a worthy opponent for any major contender for Super Middleweight including Jermall Charlo.
In case it matters, this was for the WBC interim Champion but this means Benavidez is not truly champ but he is in line to fight for a title in the future.