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  • Miguel Maravilla at ringside Photos from Ryan

Canelo KO's Plant in 11 to Become Undisputed Champion

Mexican superstar WBA/WBC/WBO and now IBF super middleweight champion Saul "Canelo" Álvarez (57-1-2, 39 KO's) scored a sensational eleventh round knockout over Caleb “Sweethands” Plant (21-1, 12 KO's) of Nashville, Tennessee Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in becoming undisputed super middleweight champion.

Things got started with Plant throwing the jab keeping his distance, Canelo landed a hard right hand as he proceeded to stalk moving his head side to side. In the second round, Plant continued to let his hands go with Canelo lurking connecting with the hard right once again, the connected solidly to close the round. Plant stayed away jabbed and countered, Canelo began connecting with the hard left hook upstairs and downstairs. Canelo began backing and pinned Plant against the ropes in round four, as Alvarez connecting solidly inside.

Working the jab in the fifth, Plant boxed as Canelo countered and stalked landing the hard left hook inside getting through Plant's defense. Canelo began to close the distance in the sixth, getting the right hand through and also connecting with the left hook. In the seventh, Canelo continued to back Plant and connect with big punches, later in the round Canelo leaned against the ropes attempting to lure Plant to brawl. In the eighth, Plant boxed as Canelo stalked and timed, the following round in the ninth, Canelo cut the ring as Plant circled, Alvarez connected with a right hand.

As the fight got late in the tenth, Canelo kept coming as Plant appeared to be fading as he could not keep Canelo off. In the eleventh, Canelo finished it as he dropped Plant twice forcing the referee Russell Mora to stop the fight.

Canelo becomes the first Mexican in boxing history to become undisputed world champion.

“It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but with your support, my family and my team we’ve gotten really far. This is for everybody, especially for Mexico. This is another one for our team. We did it tonight.

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

“Caleb is a good fighter. 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 gameplan in the last two rounds. In the end, I got him. That’s the way it had to finish. He was already hurt and I went for the kill.”

Caleb Plant was taken to the hospital, University Medical Center following the bout for precautionary measures.

In the co-feature bout, super middleweight Anthony Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KO's) scored a fourth round knockout over Marcos Hernandez (15-5-2, 3 KO's). A huge right uppercut by Dirrell did it as Hernandez was out cold, the referee reached a ten count at 22 seconds of the fourth.

Former world champion Rey Vargas (35-0, 22 KO's) of Mexico City, Mexico won a unanimous decision over Leonardo Baez (21-5, 12 KO's) of Mexicali, Mexico in a featherweight bout. Vargas came out aggressive in the opening round as he swung for the fences throwing overhand rights on the tough Baez. It was relentless activity from Vargas in the early rounds as he let his hands go, Baez pressed attempting to get inside. In the fourth round, Vargas continued to be active throwing punches from different angles tallying up points. Continuing to let his hands go, Vargas offense was to much but Baez kept coming.

The second half of the fight, Vargas kept his distance and continued to let his hands go but Baez kept pressing. Vargas kept the activity consistent in the seventh but Baez was not going away. Late in the fight, Vargas activity slowed down, Baez suffered a cut on his head as he was bleeding profusely but kept coming. Vargas fought conservatively keeping his distance boxing as Baez proved to be a tough out for the former champion.

After completing the ten rounds the judges scored the bout 100-90, 100-90, and 99-91.

Opening up the Showtime Pay per view, Dominican super lightweight Elvis Rodriquez (12-1-1, 11 KO's) scored a fifth round knockout over Juan Pablo Romero (14-1, 9 KO's) of Mexico. Off to a slow start, Rodriguez and Romero worked the jab, later in the opening round Romero connected Rodriguez with a left hook to the body that momentarily stopped Rodriguez's momentum. In round two, Romero and Rodriguez traded away exchanging big punches, Romero closed the round attacking. Romero pressed in round three as Rodriguez was fighting off his backfoot. In the fourth, the action continued, Rodriguez landed a straight left that staggered Romero as Rodriguez followed up with a barrage sending Romero to the canvas. A short left by Rodriguez in the fifth dropped Romero a second time as he was done, referee reached a ten count at 2:59.

Super flyweight Fernando Diaz (10-1-1, 3 KO's) of Riverside California scored a fifth round knockout over Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KO's) of Los Cabos, Mexico handing him his first defeat. The action began right away as Salvatierra and Diaz let their hands go. Fighting at close quarters, Salvatierra attacked but a counter left hook by Diaz dropped the undefeated fighter as he got up and stumbled to the ropes, forcing the referee to stop the fight.

Super featherweight Jose Antonio Meza (8-6, 2 KO's) of Durango, Mexico handed Jose Gomez (12-1, 5 KO's) of Huntington Park, California his first defeat. Gomez scored a knockdown in the opening round and attacked. Staying on top of the taller fighter, Gomez made it uncomfortable for Meza connecting with the chopping right. Despite being knockdown, Meza rallied and outworked Gomez as he appeared to fade. In the end all three judges scored the bout 76-75.

2016 Mexican Olympian, flyweight Joselito Velazquez (14-0-1, 9 KO's) dominated Gilberto Mendoza (19-11-3, 10 KO's) of San Francisco in winning a unanimous decision. Velasquez was patient early on working the jab and countering as Mendoza came out aggressive. In the fifth, a huge left hook by Velasquez hurt Mendoza as he staggered to the ropes. The undefeated prospect Velasquez, was impressive as he boxed well and connected precisely throughout the fight, credit to Mendoza for hanging in and being tough going the distance as Velasquez finished strong. All three judges scored the bout 80-72.

In the opening bout from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, former world champion, super lightweight Rances Barthelemy (29-1-1, 15 KO's) of Cuba scored a second round knockout over Gustavo Vitorri of Argentina. Barthelemy knocked Vitorri down twice as the referee 1:54 of the second round.

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