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David Benavidez Starts Slow but Finishes Strong, Overcomes Caleb Plant

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  • David Benavidez Starts Slow but Finishes Strong, Overcomes Caleb Plant

    LAS VEGAS-David “The Mexican Monster” Benavidez proved too strong and simply overpowered Caleb Plant after a tight early half of the fight to win going away by unanimous decision in the super middleweight elimination fight on Saturday.

    Plant would not quit.

    “Caleb Plant is a tough fighter. He gave me everything in the first few rounds,” said Benavidez who had predicted he would not go the distance.

    Arizona’s feared Benavidez (27-0, 13 KOs) was unable to stop Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) but battered his way to victory before a sold-out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena. Despite no knockdowns it was clear who was stronger.

    Plant used his speed and footwork to maneuver in and out of danger in the match and gained control for the first four rounds. His hand speed and ability to clinch in tight quarters with the aid of referee Kenny Bayless gave the Las Vegas-based fighter an early advantage.

    Things turned around when Plant clinched then smacked Benavidez who thought it would be a clean break. That seemed to spark Benavidez into berserker mode.

    From the seventh round on Benavidez punched through clinches and would not allow Plant to take advantage. In the eighth round Benavidez powered through and Plant seemed staggered and hurt by the Arizona fighter’s power. But he kept upright.

    Benavidez took advantage of Plant’s inability to maneuver as he did before and hammered the former champion who lost to Canelo Alvarez with triple left hooks and overhand rights. Plant would not go down and held on and absorbed the punishment.

    The 10th round saw Benavidez dominate every second of the round. Plant tried fighting back but his punches lacked any power and Benavidez battered him from post to post, It was a round that could have been stopped or scored 10-8.

    “I think I was catching him with a lot of power shots and that’s why I’m called the Mexican Monster because I keep coming like a monster,” said Benavidez.

    Plant proved unwilling to quit despite cuts on his face and withstanding some hellish blows. The slender super middleweight refused to go down and somehow withstood the punishment.

    It was remarkable bravery on is part.

    When the final bell rang Plant tried valiantly to fight it out with Benavidez but just did not have the power to hurt the most feared man in the super middleweight division. Despite all the heated words during the promotion of the fight, the two warriors hugged and shook hands warmly. The animosity was gone.

    “I know there was a lot said between us but in the end we settled this like men. He’s a helluva fighter. I’m happy we gave the fans the best rivalry of the year or the last five years. I’m just very happy,” said Benavidez.

    Plant was equally benevolent.

    “David’s a hell of a fighter. We settled it like men in the ring,” said Plant. “You roll the dice someone is going to get their hand raised. No excuse, David was the better man, he is a hell of a fighter.”

    Benavidez now is the number one ranked WBC super middleweight and a mandatory for Saul “Canelo” Alvarez who is undisputed world champion.

    Other Bouts

    Arizona’s Jesus Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) proved too strong for Michigan’s strongman Joey Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs) and ended the fight by stoppage at the end of the seventh round in the super welterweight contest.

    Ramos scored early with a left-hand knockdown in the first round and powered his way past Spencer in almost every round. Spencer was valiant throughout the match but just couldn’t match Ramos speed or strength. Most of the fight took place in close.

    “After the first round knockdown I kinda knew my power was too much,” said Ramos.

    Despite an early first round knockdown Chris Colbert (17-1, 6 KOs) won by unanimous decision in a lightweight fight over the more aggressive and busier Jose Valenzuela (12-2, 8 KOs) in a decision that left the fans very displeased.

    “He lost for a reason,” said Colbert as fans booed lustily.

    A counter left cross floored Colbert in the first round and Valenzuela took control early with more punching to the body and head as Colbert covered up. It was a tactic he used often and was rewarded by the judges.

    Valenzuela was not pleased at all.’

    “I dominated,” said Valenzuela.

    The judges scored it 95-94 for Colbert across the board.


    Canada’s Cody Crowley (22-0, 9 KOs) imposed his will early against Arizona’s Abel Ramos (27-6-2, 21 KOs) and held on for the victory by majority decision down the stretch in a brutal war for the right to fight for the WBC welterweight title.

    A knockdown scored in the 11th round by Ramos by a counter right cross was reversed by the Nevada Commission after a replay of the blow revealed his glove did not touch the ground. That proved beneficial to Crowley in the scoring.

    Crowley pressured Ramos throughout the first eight rounds then the fight changed and was fought at a distance as Ramos used pot shots to score heavily from that moment on.

    Ramos rallied by staying in the middle of the ring and using the space to crack the always pressuring Crowley with long range shots. From the ninth round on the scoring got tighter with Crowley scoring rapid combinations and Ramos scoring with heavy shots.

    After 12 rounds one judge saw it even 114-114, two others saw Crowley the winner 115-113, 116-112. Crowley now gets the shot at the WBC title held by Errol Spence Jr.

    “This fight was something else,” said a tearful Crowley whose father recently died. “If not for my dad I wouldn’t be here today.”

    Photo credit: Al Applerose