By Mark Elezaj

MGM Grand, Las Vegas – Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) became the undisputed super middleweight champion on Saturday night with a sensational knockout victory over unbeaten Caleb Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) in the eleventh round. (photos by Ryan Hafey, Amanda Westcott)

According to CompuBox’s unofficial punch stats, 53 of the 117 punches Canelo landed were body shots. Overall, Canelo connected with 16 more punches than Plant (117-of-361 to 101-of-441).

Alvarez also had a huge advantage in power shots according to CompuBox (102-of-251 to 59-of-209).

CompuBox had Plant landing more jabs against Canelo (42-of-232 to just 15-of-110).

Plant looked to establish his jab early, trying to keep Canelo at a distance so he couldn’t come in on the inside. It took Canelo a couple of rounds to figure out Plant, who’s jab became more effective in the first two rounds, but it was clear that Canelo’s power was better than Plant’s. Canelo would land the harder shots, including a hard right hand followed by a left upper cut at the end of round two.

By the halfway mark of round three, Plant caught Alvarez with a jab, backing him up momentarily, but Canelo responded with a left hook. With just over 30 seconds left in the third round, Canelo landed a hard left to Alvarez’s body, Plant responded abs landed a counter left to Canelos body later in the third round.

Round Four, Plant was able to land some punches while Canelo waited for an opening and landed his power shots. Two hard lefts by Canelo backed Plant to the ropes. Canelo cornered Plant, who was working off of his jab and landed a hard right to Plants head.

In the fifth round, Canelo landed a left to the body before referee Russell Mora asked him to bring his punches up. Plant landed an effective combination while Canelo continued to work on the inside causing damage.

At the start of round six, clearly Canelo’s best, Plant came out landing a nice combination. Canelo responded with hard power shots, landing a left hook up top followed by two lefts to the body and a right hand.

Round seven, both fighters exchanged lefts. Canelo, unafraid of Plant’s power, continued to work on the inside landing three hard shots. Plant looked to respond but was unable to get through Canelos guard. After a A head-butt, Canelo lands a hard left to the head, followed by a huge right to the body and a left to the head.

Canelo was the aggressor in the eighth round, in which Plant looked to move away from him, rarely throwing any punches.

In round nine, Plant continued to back away from Canelo, occasionally stopping to throw punches. Canelo landed a hard right hand in the final seconds of the round that caused Plant clinch.

In round ten, Canelo would corner Plant again, although Plant gets the better of their exchange. Alvarez then presses Plant to the ropes and lands a hard hook to the head. Canelo continued to land hard body shots followed by the body head shots.

Round eleven, Canelo landed a left hook and a right uppercut that made Plant bend over and touch the canvas with both gloves. Plant, up until this point, had not been down as a pro.

Plant tried to continue, but Canelo jumped on him, unloading a left-right-left combination and knocked him onto his back. Mora immediately stopped the fight after Plant went down again.

“Caleb is a good fighter,” Canelo told Showtime’s Jim Gray following his win.

“I have a lot of respect for Caleb Plant. He was a difficult opponent, with a lot of ability, and I do respect him. We are both men at the end of the day. He wanted to fight me and still continue. I told him there’s no shame. We had a great fight tonight.”

“He was making the fight pretty difficult, but Eddy told me to just stick to the game plan in the last two rounds,” Canelo said. “In the end, I got him. That’s the way it had to finish. He was already hurt and I went for the kill.”

With his victory, Canelo became just the sixth fully unified champion in any division during boxing’s four-belt era. He now joins Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, Oleksandr Usyk and current undisputed junior welterweight champ Josh Taylor.

“This means so much for the history of Mexico to become an undisputed champion,” Alvarez said. “There are only six undisputed champions in history. It keeps me happy and very motivated to be one of the six.”

~ The Fighting Voice ~

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