Pound-for-pound kingpin Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez made history by becoming the first four-belt super-middleweight champion when he stopped IBF champion Caleb Plant on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
“It hasn’t been easy to get to this point, but with your support, my family and my team we’ve gotten really far.” Álvarez told Showtime.
“This is for everybody, especially for Mexico. This is another one for our team. We did it tonight.”
After ten closely-contested rounds, the fight came to a dramatic end in the eleventh after a trademark left-hook from Canelo momentarily buzzed Plant, with a right uppercut sending the previously-unbeaten Nashville-native to the canvas for the first time in his career.
Plant valiantly returned to his feet, but was never able to recover. Canelo would follow-up mercilessly with a barrage of power shots that floored his opponent for a second time, and forced referee Russell Mora stepped in to put an end to the action at 1:05 of the penultimate round.
“Caleb is a good fighter.” said Canelo.
“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.”
The future Hall of Famer Canelo, 31, already a four-division world champion, slowly broke Plant down over the course of the fight with a steady diet of body shots. 53 of his 117 landed punches were to the body and he landed 40 percent of his power shots overall.
It was a history-making night for boxing’s biggest star. In addition to becoming the first undisputed 168-pound champion in history, he became just the sixth male undisputed champion in the four-belt era and the first undisputed Mexican fighter in history.
“This means so much for the history of Mexico to become an undisputed champion,” he said.
“There are only six undisputed champions in history. It keeps me happy and very motivated to be one of the six.” Following the bout, Plant was taken to University Medical Center as a precaution.
Feature image: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions