Canelo Unifies 168 Pound Belts With KO Over Plant;
Dirrell Eyes Canelo After Stopping Hernandez In 4th
By William Trillo
Photos: Ryan Hafey - Premier Boxing Champions
In front of an electric crowd of over 16,000 at The MGM
Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Super Middleweight Saul
Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KO’s) unified the 168 Pound titles
when he KO’d Caleb Plant (21-1, 12 KO’s) in the 11th
round of a tougher than expected fight. Plant gave a
valiant effort against the Superstar Canelo but he just
did not have pop in his punches to slow down the Alvarez
As always Canelo began the fight moving forward trying
to dictate the action in the ring, but a determined
Plant shoulder rolled and weaved his way in and out of
trouble time and time again. At times Plant was catching
Canelo with flush punches. Yes, the light taps were
annoying Canelo, but like a big game hunter trying to
drop his prey with a pea shooter, the light punches from
Plant only irritated Canelo and set up the inevitable
It was at the end of round six that the look on Canelo’s
face said, “I got you now, it’s just a matter of time.”
Left hooks were barely missing Plants chin while a 53
punch solid body attack slowed Caleb down when the
Championship rounds began.
That’s when Canelo moved in for the kill.
Those left hooks that were missing their target earlier
were now landing flush. Plant was in trouble. Canelo
seized that opportunity. Landing a left hook combination
Canelo put Plant down for the first time in his career.
A wobbled Plant arose and stumbled to the ropes, but he
beat the eight count and was willing to fight on.
Smelling blood, Canelo jumped all over his fallen prey
and with a flurry of punches followed by a crushing
right hand Plant hit the deck. The fight was over.
Officially it was halted at the 1:05 mark of round 11.
At the time of the stoppage Canelo was ahead on all
cards 97-93, 96-94, and 98-92.
The fight may have gone longer than most expected but in
the end Canelo once again showed why he is the top
attraction in professional boxing. He now owns the WBC
World Super Middle, WBA Super World Super Middle, IBF
World Super Middle and WBO World Super Middle Title.
That’s a collection of belts that is hard to argue with.
On his knockout performance Canelo said, “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 continue. I told him there’s
no shame. We had a great fight tonight. He was making
the fight 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 University Medical Center
following the bout as a precaution.
In the semi-main event Super Middleweight Anthony
Dirrell (34-2-2, 25 KO’s) scored a vicious fourth round
KO over Marcos Hernandez (15-5-2, 3 KO’s).
On the KO Dirrell said, “It was a spectacular knockout.
It was a punch we were working on. It wasn’t that wide.
I used to use that punch way back when. I came up with
the shot and he never saw it coming. My brother (Andre)
was yelling at me and I said, ‘I got it.’ I saw it and I
had to take advantage of it. I had to take it away from
When asked what is next for him Anthony announced, “I
want the winner of the main event tonight, either Canelo
or Plant. That’s what we’re working for, me and Sugar
Hill (Steward). We’ve worked hard to get here. In my
career, I’ve had none of the major fights. But that
would be a major fight, we all know that. And I want
At the post fight press conference when asked if they
can’t get the Canelo fight what’s next, Dirrell boldly
stated, “Then I will retire!”
Welterweight Elvis Rodriguez (12-1-1, 11 KO’s) got back
on the winning track against Juan Pablo Romero (14-1, 9
KO’s) in a very entertaining bout. Romero started off
strong and appeared to be giving Elvis problems but that
would not last long.
With under a minute left in round four Rodriguez put
Romero down for an eight count with a straight left
hand. That same left hand brought a grinding halt to the
battle in round five. Romero went to the seat of his
pants but was unable to get back up to his feet. After
counting to ten the ref halted the battle at the 2:59
On his victory Elvis said, “Ever since my baby left me,
I found a new place to dwell”….kidding…he really said,
“I am fully aware that I started out slow in the first
two rounds, but then I saw signs of wear and tear on his
face and I gained the upper hand. Romero is a fast
starter by nature, but I’m the other way around. Then I
was able to straighten out. The division already knows
who I am after having seen most of my fights. I suffered
a little setback, but I think that everyone knows that
Elvis Rodríguez brings powerful, quality punches in each
After a twenty-eight month layoff Featherweight Rey
Vargas (35-0, 22 KO’s) made his return against a game
but overmatched. Leonardo Baez (21-5, 12 KO’s). The
length and height of Vargas was a difficult obstacle for
Baez to navigate. Long punches upstairs and a plethora
of body blows punctuated the unanimous decision victory
for Vargas. Final scores all in favor of Vargas read
99-91 and 100-90 twice.
On his victory Vargas stated, “I was surprised he went
the entire distance. He’s a good fighter and I don’t
take anything away from him. I’m looking forward to my
next fight being for a world title.”
Super Featherweight Jose Manuel Gomez (12-1, 5 KO’s)
kissed the deck twice before being upset by Jose Antonio
Meza (8-6, 2 KO’s). It was close but Meza got the nod
76-75 on all three judges scorecards.
Super Lightweight Rances Barthelemy (29-1 1, 15 KO’s)
put Gustavo David Vittori (25-10-1, 12 KO’s) down twice
while stopping him at the 1:54 mark of the second round.
Super Flyweight Jan Salvatierra (7-1, 3 KO’s) was handed
his first defeat as Fernando Diaz (10-1-1, 3 KO’s) upset
the previously undefeated fighter with a fifth round KO.
Flyweight Joselito Velazquez (14-0-1, 9 KO’s) dominated
Gilberto Mendoza (19-11-3, 10 KO’s) over eight rounds
pitching a shutout on all cards 80-72.