In the eleventh round and dramatically, Saúl “Canelo” Álvarez managed to knock out Caleb Plant in a fight that was adverse to him, Saturday night in Las Vegas.
It was in the penultimate round and in Caleb Plant’s best moment, when Canelo managed to catch the American with a left hand that hurt him.
Caleb Plant put up a worthy fight, anchoring himself in a Mayweather-style cross guard, from where he stabbed with right hands that Canelo could never remove all night. Plant came to impose on the environment the feeling of adversity, against Canelo. But the Mexican, just as he did against Kovalev and as he did against Billy Joe Saunders, managed to impose his punch in the last stretch of the fight to defeat a difficult opponent.
The fight started with a more active Plant jabbing. Canelo tries very little, studies hard, and misses his punches. Plant moves around the ring, while Canelo tries to close the exits.
In the second round, they both managed to connect and Plant got some good left hands on the counter. But Canelo presses, locks up and hits the best power shots. That would be the tone of the fight. Canelo pressing, and Plant leaned into a cross guard. Caleb sought to present a slim profile, always showing him the side, and trying to close the angle so that Canelo could not connect Plant’s cheekbone that showed the wound from the blow at the September press conference.
Coming to the third round, Plant continues to move around the ring, and trying to hunt down Canelo in counterattack. At times, Plant closes the space when Canelo throws, and that makes Saúl not have extension in his blows. But Canelo presses, delivers power shots, and the scar on Plant’s cheekbone begins to redden.
In the fourth round, Plant was effective from his cross guard, Mayweather style. Caleb starts connecting Canelo with right-wing responses from that cross guard. Plant is effective with the jabs and with the rights from the guard. But not very effective. Canelo hits the power shots, and is more aggressive.
Coming to the fifth round, Plant makes Canelo miss a lot, who lands a lot of punches on Plant’s cross guard. Caleb continues to respond with kickbacks. At one point, the two intersect in the counterattack duel. Canelo counterattacks, and Plant hunts him down, and attacks him on the same Canelo attack that he was not expecting.
In the sixth round, Canelo continues to be more emphatic on the power punch and combines hard. Caleb is no longer as effective with his right hand from cross guard. Canelo begins to adjust and read Plant, and is more cautious, he does not let go as much. Plant uses a lot to hold the glove to Canelo, and to avoid Saúl’s answers with the other hand.
Canelo breaks round seven, which was a close round, in the final seconds by landing a combination of power that goes dry on Plant. Plant is no longer so sharp, so lively, so agile in his reactions. His cross guard is no longer as effective, nor is the right punch from that guard. Canelo adjusts and retracts on the strings, inviting Plant to be more aggressive.
Caleb Plant had a rebirth in the fight starting in the eighth. Canelo is not so accurate in his striking, and Caleb dominates the rhythm of time and space; he connects with his right and with his jab, surprising Canelo at speed. However, there are no power shots. Plant dominates the commando round of the fight.
The ninth was Plant’s best round. It makes Canelo show a gesture of discomfort and helplessness when he throws a combination of four or five quick blows at him, with a shot that hits the Mexican’s face dry. Plant dominates with offsets, jab, and right-hand punches. Canelo looks outmatched as long ago he was not dominated in a round. Caleb goes giant to his corner at the end of the ninth.
In the 10th, there aren’t many power shots, but Caleb Plant looks more in control of the fight, confident. Canelo looks desperate, tired, a little slow, and lacks explosiveness and speed in his punches. You feel in the environment that the fight is complicated for Canelo, while Plant is in his rhythm, dynamics and distance.
However, in the eleventh round, the fight had a dramatic somersault in Plant’s prime. It was a left hook that Canelo managed to get into Plant’s temple on the cross guard that entered with clarity. Plant, shaken, fell back on the ropes and Canelo went to finish him off to send him to the canvas.
Plant got up badly, and Canelo went for him, connecting solid right hands, before a Plant who had his back, and went back to the mat. At that moment the referee stopped the fight.
Until the 10th round, the LEFT PUNCH card had Canelo winning a close 96-94 fight over Plant. The American had won the last three rounds.
Canelo, again, rowed from adversity and based on power, managed to surrender a Caleb Plant who made a worthy and warrior fight. Álvarez showed that he is in a superior class, and he asserts it in the most difficult moments.
Saúl Álvarez had one more victory that adds solidity to his career. But above all, it is the culmination of a blitzkrieg that Canelo waged at 168 pounds to win all four belts in the category in less than a year. These are the best months in Canelo Álvarez’s career, where he took giant steps up the historical ladder, and where he gained respect, credibility and legitimacy.