Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) became the first undisputed super middleweight champion in the division’s history Saturday night, defeating Caleb Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) by 11th-round technical knockout in front of a sellout crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Plant took a ton of punishment in the fight, with Alvarez walking him down constantly and loading up on his power punches. The accumulated damage finally saw Plant crumble late. Alvarez scored a knockdown with a right uppercut midway through the 11th, and after a brief recovery from Plant, finished the bout for good with a vicious barrage of punches along the ropes.
Alvarez claimed Plant’s IBF world title with the win, adding it to the WBC, WBO and WBA belts he held coming into the fight. He’s won world titles in multiple divisions, but this is the first time he’s owned all four belts in a single weight class.
Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao complemented Alvarez on his historic win after the fight.
Congratulations to the pound for pound king, @canelo, on making boxing history as the first undisputed super middleweight champion ever. Plant put up a great fight but Canelo is just too good. Boxing is in great hands.— Manny Pacquiao (@MannyPacquiao) November 7, 2021
Plant, 29, was always going to have to rely on his footwork and hand speed to be effective, while Alvarez made it his mission to use his pressure and power to establish control.
Alvarez, 31, did well to cut off the ring early on and trapped Plant on the ropes, neutralizing the underdog’s length and making it difficult for him to establish a strong jab. At close range, Alvarez was clearly the more effective fighter.
Plant wasn’t overpowered, though. He did well to get out of the tough spots, and his speed served him well when he was able to keep the fight in the center of the ring. Alvarez nailed him with some great power shots in the fourth round, but Plant absorbed them well.