David Benavidez promised he would make Caleb Plant pay and he delivered.
Although he failed to finish the fight in the sixth round, El Monstruo Mexicano scored one of the most important victories of his career by winning a unanimous decision on Saturday night in front of a packed MGM Grand.
Benavidez not only kept a clean record, but he also won the WBC interim super middleweight championship and did not miss the opportunity to challenge Canelo Alvarez again.
"I took the fight round by round. We settled the rivalry like warriors. I have movement, I have a defense. And even though there were a lot of clinches and the referee didn't call out. I showed my quality. I undermined him with my power punches," he said.
Benavidez is known for his slow starts and this time was no exception. For the first five rounds, he let Plant work loose and fell for every single tie-up, but eventually, the punches downstairs paid off and he cut Plant's legs.
From the fifth round onwards, with power punches and he started to undermine Plant and by the ninth round the punishment was too much, but still the former champion's corner decided not to stop the fight and go all the way.
With a lot of pride, but without the material to win, Plant finished the fight on his feet, giving Benavidez the opportunity to show what a monster he really is.
Benavidez improved his record to 27-0 with 23 KO's; while Plant took his second loss in less than two years.
Don't miss all the details and previous results of the fight here.
Plant comes out for the kill or be killed and Benavidez has not stopped throwing punches to demolish someone as tough as the former champion. Plant doesn't stop throwing punches, he looks for the jab and hooks downstairs, but the damage is minimal compared to Benavidez's power. Plant is a warrior who ended up on his feet
Plant is already taking too much punishment, the corner respects his desire to continue. Benavidez does not stop and continues to demolish him with punches. Jab, hook, Benavidez aims only to the head. He wants to finish Plant, who is still showing a lot of pride. How can Plant stay on his feet?
Benavidez grabs distance and although Plant looks to tie up, Benavidez keeps punching him. Plant is bleeding more and more, the traces of the battle. Benavidez keeps dropping bombs and it's too much punishment for Plant, but he stays on his feet. Plant counters, but his punches don't have the power to make Benavidez respect him.
That low blow at the beginning of the round from Plant to Benavidez was with all the bad intentions. The referee just called it. Benavidez lets his guard down and begs Plant for more punches, he's shifting the balance in his favour now that Plant has no legs left. Hook and two uppers from Benavidez, Plant's face is hurting badly. A right hand catches Plant on the jaw and the bell rings for a break.
Benavidez rubs his glove in Caleb's face, lands a right and then a hook, but Plant clinches. The ref separates them. Benavidez lands a bomb to the face and Plant suffers a cut. He's hurt, the ref takes him to the doctor.
Plant shows some signs of fatigue, but does not stop. It's time for Benavidez to start taking advantage. Benavidez goes for a single strike. He shows frustration that he is being tied up. 1-2 that sends Benavidez backwards.
The MGM is packed, reporting 13,865 fans in the venue. Plant while still an awkward opponent and he throws water on that forecast of Benavidez who wanted to break Plant's jaw in 6 rounds. Jab and upper from Plant, he starts dropping bombs.
Plant doesn't shy away from the attack, Benavidez throws everything he's got, but there's a clinch. Before releasing, Plant at speed connects. Benavidez seeks to hurt, takes Plant into the ropes, but misses. Plant mocks imitating a bullfighter.
Plant throws a warning blow, Benavidez on wobbly legs, but nothing too risky. He soon recovers. Double hooks and an uppercut from close range, Benavidez's accuracy doesn't come at full strength, but it still works. Left hook to the jaw for Plant. Plant at speed responds, but he's connected.
Benavidez comes in with hooks to the chin to avoid Plant's lateral displacements. There is a clinch, Benavidez goes for pressure to spoil Plant's work. Right from Plant, which Benavidez counters with a short hook.
The fight isn't very clean, but it's what works for Plant to neutralise Benavidez's bombs.
The work continues in the centre of the ring. Plant uses his timing well and taking advantage of the big ring. He walks and forces Benavidez to walk and close the distance. Plant lands a couple of punches to the soft areas, Benavidez analyses and measures, but miss a couple of hooks. Plant squeezes in the final seconds with a nasty combination.
From the start Plant looks to land that dangerous right hand. The reach is on Benavidez's side - he's much longer - but he have a habit of starting slow. Caleb takes it easy too, doesn't run wild. There's a tie-up, Plant takes short punches. The ref warns them. Both at half distance. Benavidez with a left hand that went in, but not full on, as Plant side-stepped. Shows timing and experience.