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  • By Miguel Maravilla Photos Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Benavidez Decisions Plant

Undefeated former two-time WBC super middleweight champion David “The Mexican Monster” Benavídez and former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant settled their long-simmering feud on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Close fight for the first half of the bout. But Benavídez (27-0, 23 KOs) then took over after Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) slowed down and starting dealing out the punishment en route to a twelve round unanimous decision by scores of 115-113, 116-112, 117-111.

Sizing each other out in the opening round, Benavidez and Plant jabbed, later in the round Plant tied up as Benavidez attempted to get rough drawing the attention of referee Kenny Bayless. Plant began letting his hands go in round two as Benavidez stalked, countered, then chased as Plant circled and boxed. Circling the ring and keeping his distance in round three, Plant boxed and moved as Benavidez could not get set swinging wildly. Moving side to side, Plant’s rhythm was effective as Benavidez was stationary, later in the fourth the referee warned Benavidez for shoving with his forearm.

In the fifth, Benavidez attempted to corner Plant but the former world champion was elusive in the process as Benavidez was showboating, Plant was active throughout the round. Benavidez kept pressing the issue in the sixth as Plant kept boxing and moving, Benavidez began to connect with short effective counters. Benavidez had a moment in the seventh as he landed short on the inside tagging Plant but Plant responded well connecting and scoring with combinations. Going into the eighth round, Plant began to slow down as Benavidez tagged Plant effectively as Plant clinched and held on for dear life. The fight was momentarily stopped as Plant suffered a nasty cut but continued on as the momentum was now in Benavidez’s favor.

A huge low blow to begin the ninth round resulted in the referee Kenny Bayless issuing a warning to Plant. Benavidez kept going at Plant searching for the one big shot as Plant’s face was a bloody mess. Benavidez appeared to be going for the finish in the tenth as a bloody Plant appeared to be ready to go. There was still fighting left in Plant as he came out for the eleventh staying close punching and tying up as Benavidez looked to land the big punch. Despite the blood and punishment, Plant came out to fight for the final round as Benavidez stalked and looked for the knockout as Plant let his hands go and made it to the final bell.

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In the co-feature bout of the evening, Casa Grande, Arizona’s Jesus Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) handed Joey Spencer (16-1, 10 KO’s) of Fenton, Michigan his first defeat in stopping him in the seventh round. Off to a slow start, Ramos used the jab as the height advantage was obvious, Spencer worked his way cornering and tying up Ramos. A hard left by Ramos dropped Spencer in the closing seconds of the first. Fighting effectively on the inside in round two, Ramos ripped away as Spencer stood close receiving solid punches. Ripping away on the inside in round three, Ramos kept the pace as Spencer attempted to work his way inside but continued to eat shots. Using his size to his advantage in the fourth, Ramos used his body to lean and work Spencer inside. Continuing the work output in the fifth, Ramos worked from the distance behind the jab keeping Spencer at bay.

Past the halfway point in the sixth round, Ramos continued to attack and outwork Spencer. Ripping to the body and following up upstairs Ramos finished it off early in the seventh as Spencer’s father and trainer Jason Spencer threw in the towel prompting referee Tony Weeks to wave it off at 1:25.

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Lightweight and former super featherweight world champion Chris Colbert (17-1, 6 KOs) of Brooklyn edged out a questionable majority decision over Jose “Rayo” Valenzuela (12-2, 8 KOs) of Washington by way of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.

Rayo came out lightning fast scoring a knockdown in the opening round as Colbert was up but Valenzuela pressed on the attack. Colbert survived and continued as Valenzuela kept coming in round two. In the third, the jab by Valenzuela snapped Colbert’s head as the momentum was in Valenzuela’s favor. It was all Rayo through four as he continued to work Colbert and dictate the pace.

Rayo was on the offensive to begin the sixth as he cornered Colbert and continued to wail away, moving his feet and boxing Valenzuela appeared to be getting his rhythm intact fighting confidently. Valenzuela kept the pace and controlled the action through seven. Coming out strong in the eighth, Rayo cornered and attacked Colbert connecting with a hard left, retreating Valenzuela appeared to be cut. Comfortably ahead and fighting confidently in the ninth, Rayo stalked as Colbert jabbed and kept his distance. The final round, saw Colbert on the offensive as Valenzuela was limited and stalked but in the closing seconds unloaded a barrage to finish.

In completing ten rounds, all three judges scored the bout 95-94 giving the decision to Colbert.

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In the opening pay-per-view bout of the evening, Las Vegas’s welterweight Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) won a hard fought majority decision over Arizona’s Abel Ramos (27-6-2, 21 KOs) in a WBC eliminator. The action picked up quickly as Crowley and Ramos banged it out on the inside letting their hands go in the opening round.

Staying close on the inside, Crowly was active and got the better of the inside fight in round two but Ramos continued to come as he slipped late in the round. Crowley backed Ramos to the ropes in round three and kept him there for the majority of the round, letting his hands go but Ramos kept at it. Continuing to bang inside, Ramos was warned of a low blow in the fourth, Crowley stayed close and Ramos once again connected with a low blow as referee Robert Hoyle issued a second warning.

Crowley kept the pace going as he continued to back and outwork Ramos through five. In the sixth, Crowley connected with a solid uppercut and continued to go forward backing Ramos. Past the halfway point in the seventh, Crowley’s face was red but continued to work as Ramos had a moment connecting with an uppercut. In the eighth, Ramos fought well of the ropes as Crowley stood close inside, Ramos began to get some momentum late in the fight.

Tying up on the inside in round nine, Crowley stayed close as Ramos began to box and get out. The southpaw Crowley kept tagging Ramos with short punches. Snapping the jab to begin the tenth, Crowley boxed and kept his distance as Ramos attempted to chop with the right, Crowley found rhythm boxing away. In the championship rounds, Ramos connected with a right that stopped Crowley’s momentum – and moments later a right staggered Crowley as his glove touch the canvas prompting referee Robert Hoyle to call it a knockdown. The knockdown was reviewed and it was overruled. Heading into the twelfth and final round, Crowley boxed popping the jab as Ramos kept the pressure behind the right hand to the final bell.

After completing twelve rounds, one judge scored the bout a draw 114-114, as it was overruled by the two other judges 116-112, 115-113. Crowley edges out the decision.

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In the opening bout from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, super lightweight Oreste Velasquez (7-0, 6 KO’s) of Miami by way of Cuba won a unanimous decision over Argentina’s Marcelino Lopez (37-3-1, 22 KO’s) as he went the distance for the first time. Velasquez boxed well throughout the fight but Lopez was tough in the process giving Veláquez work. After ten rounds the judges scored the bout 99-91, 99-91, and 97-93 all three in favor of Velasquez.

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Culiacan’s undefeated super bantamweight Kevin Gonzalez (26-0-1, 13 KO’s) won a unanimous decision over Columbian veteran Jose Sanmartin (34-7-1, 21 KO’s) in going the distance ten rounds. It was a hard fought fight as Gonzalez was aggressive and smart in the process, boxing mixing it up against the aggressive Sanmartin that was there all fight. The Columbian pressed for most of the fight but Gonzalez countered and dictated the pace in taking the decision. The judges scored the bout 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93 as Gonzalez stays undefeated in picking up the victory.


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