Tonight’s coverage is on the highly anticipated super-middleweight unification title fight between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Caleb Plant.
Canelo comes into this bout after battering unbeaten Brit Billy Joe Saunders in May, extending his record to 56-1-2 and claiming the WBO super-middleweight title.
He faces IBF super-middleweight champion Caleb Plant (21-0) in hopes of adding the final strap to his collection and becoming the first ever undisputed super-middleweight champion.
The tension is rising here at the MGM Grand as this fierce rivalry will finally come to its conclusion, six weeks on from their press conference scuffle.
Canelo Alvarez enters the ring draped in a gold coloured diamond engraved Dolce & Gabbana gown. Plant in the other corner visibly towering over Canelo even from a distance. The Mexican pound-for-pound king suffers a 4-inch reach disadvantage and a 5-inch height disadvantage.
The crowd seem to be on Canelo’s side this evening, as local boy Plant gets a chorus of boos as he is introduced.
The first of a possible 12 rounds in this battle for undisputed gets underway. Plant asserting himself early with a couple of jabs to keep the distance and a body shot. More body work to manage and control the centre in the early stages from Plant.
Canelo takes the centre of the ring as they clinch. The Mexican pouring the pressure on in the second half of this round with body work of his own and switching upstairs and just misses with a big right hook. The bell goes and Canelo takes the first round after his late press.
Plant lands a clean jab to start the second round. Double jab from Plant returned by a short lead uppercut by Canelo. These two going shot for shot so far, Plant lands a left hook and Canelo replies with a right of his own.
Canelo continues to force the issue with a great left hook to the body and Plant is finding himself stuck against the ropes. Left hooks to the body followed by one shot to the head seems to be Canelo’s early combination of choice.
Not typically a fast starter but the early damage is being caused by Alvarez.
Plant attempts to start on the front foot again with a multitude of jabs but quickly finds himself backtracking as the story of the fight continues. Head movement has been great for Plant, though it is only the first quarter of the scheduled twelve rounds and these two still look fresh.
Powerful hooks to the body as Canelo abides by his downstairs-upstairs strategy. That left hook to the body seems to be money so far. Plant can’t find a way to get off the ropes but is replying well with double jabs and single shots.
The power advantage is evident for the Mexican.
Even start to Round 4. Plant does well to stay in the centre for the opening moments but Canelo is relentless with his powerful three punch combinations. Plant’s body is being ripped to shreds so far as he’s further backed up and under severe pressure. Canelo’s best round so far as he’s finding his mark more and more. A lovely left hook to the nose of Plant amongst Canelo’s closing combos.
Plant playing off with bravado after the flurry from Canelo as we end Round 4.
Volume from Plant as he taps up the body and has multiple jabs blocked by Canelo. Aggressive double left hooks to the body from Canelo as he is really setting the pace here. The referee steps in to warn Canelo of punches below the belt.
Plant is far from out of this fight as his great head movement has helped him evade any perfect strikes to the head as it stands. A better round for the unbeaten challenger.
Plant is carrying more fury in his combinations as this round begins. Plant has had the volume in waves but has lacked power – good adjustment early in the round to earn Canelo’s respect.
Canelo goes body-head multiple times. He finds his target with a well timed left hook and the punches are getting through now. Canelo is really feeling himself in there, landing a couple lefts and a clean right within his non-stop combinations.
Alvarez is dancing now. Beautiful feints and head movement in a Muhammad Ali fashion as the bell rings.
Plant instantly forced into a corner as he sweeps low for a left to Canelo’s body. Evasive head movement as Canelo steps in using his lead hand to set up a few attempted right hooks successfully defended by Plant.
Plant counters with a combination of his own as he finds space to work and finally gets Canelo up against the ropes. Canelo seems comfortable, before the fight makes it way back to the middle.
Phenomenal body work followed with an overhand right that catches Plant.
Plant’s movement and chin holding up well. Double left hook and a shot upstairs from Canelo as he works the same combination again in this bout. A momentary clinch is broken up by the referee, Plant is far from being dominated here.
Control and pressure continues to be on the side of Canelo, the combinations to the body has been consistent. Plant failing to put his power onto Canelo but landing jabs and volume in his counters.
Canelo stalks Caleb along the side of the ring. Plant replies with his typical double jab but Canelo produces some meticulous clinch work. Two left hooks to the body followed with a huge right over the top. Double left hook to the head as Canelo cuts off the ring and continues to make Plant carry his weight in the clinch.
Canelo finds himself at the receiving end of Plant’s best combination of the fight finished with a 1-2. Plant absorbed some big shots well in Round 9.
Canelo using his lead hand to measure and control Plant as he carries on with being committed to the huge hooks to the body. 1-2 to the body in response from the IBF champion. Canelo resets as the pair trade body shots which seems to be the weapon of choice for both men. Canelo seemed to visibly feel one of Plant’s body blows.
Evenly matched round as Canelo and Plant up the tempo and volume.
The tempo rises as Canelo feeds Plant more body shots. Both men battered and bruised as we get into the championship rounds.
Canelo leads with a huge left hook followed by a rear uppercut and Plant is down for the first time in his career and left dangling through the ropes!
Plant stumbles to the opposite corner of the ring and communicates with the referee that he is okay to carry on. Plant looks dazed and is on wobbly legs here.
Canelo throws a flurry of left and right hooks as Plant covers up against the ropes, Canelo is finding the target here as a huge right breaks through the high guard of Plant.
CALEB PLANT IS DOWN AND OUT – the referee has waved it off!
Canelo climbs onto the ropes with the Mexican flag flying behind him. The pound-for-pound king has done it, the first time in super-middleweight history.
SAUL CANELO ALVAREZ IS THE UNDISPUTED SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD