Following a bit over 5 years of simmering bad blood and trash talk, former WBC super middleweight champion David Benavidez locked horns with Caleb Plant to squash their beef. After 12 grueling rounds of back-and-forth, Benavized triumphed his way to a unanimous decision. This bout won him the WBC interim super middleweight belt as a result.
The bout was years in the making and was one of the highly anticipated ones of 2023. Needless to say, the show delivered as promised and fans aren’t complaining one bit. As the match played out, it was visibly evident that the two didn’t like each other, as they gestured grim expressions toward one another. The boxing community is ecstatic, for lack of a better word, that the duo battled it out while still in their prime.
WHAT A FIGHT 💥
Give it up to @Benavidez300 & @SweetHandsPlant 🙌#BenavidezPlant pic.twitter.com/sdAx0gthcE
— SHOWTIME Boxing (@ShowtimeBoxing) March 26, 2023
This fight put Benavidez right next in line to face the undisputed WBC super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo‘ Alvarez. However, fans worry it might be a bit too soon for the 26-year-old. Considering how boxing stipulations work and also a potential Dmitry Bivol rematch, it might take a couple more years for these two to face each other in the ring. Nevertheless, fans are excited about the imminent matchup as Benavidez and Canelo are still in their prime.
David Benavidez beats Caleb Plant in a 12-round war
During the early rounds, Caleb started off strong. He used his distance wisely and appeared to throw sharp jabs and combinations to win arguably most of the first 5 rounds. Benavidez seemed to read his opponent while trying to find his range and find his angles. Compromising the initial rounds paid off for David as he slowly started to tee off of Plant before doing what he does best, take over.
By round 7, the 26-year-old started to throw a barrage of power shots, leaving no room for Plant to find his angles or even retreat. The frightening amount of body shots helped Benavidez to start “gassing out” his opponent. Fans might remember round 8 where ‘El Bandera Roja‘ almost finished Plant if the latter hadn’t been saved by the referee Kenny Bayless, who has received heat for his alleged “biased” duties on the night.
Just a precautionary check up. I’m good. No injuries, nothing bad. Just a few licks. You can’t break a poor boys chin, I’ll be back. Congratulations to @Benavidez300 I make no excuses. He was the better man. A great rivalry and we settled it like men.
— CalebPlant (@SweetHandsPlant) March 26, 2023
Round 10 saw Caleb barely being able to keep himself pivoted as Benavidez kept looking for his one-shot kill. The audience was on their feet by the final rounds as Plant struggled to keep David off of him. Benavidez with his Mexican heart and gas tank kept smothering Plant in the final 3 rounds with jabs and left hooks. Surprisingly, Plant took most of the punishment and stayed on his feet till the final second.
Benavidez vs Plant: Punching stats and judges scorecards
Despite the match starting to look in favor of Caleb during the first 5 rounds, the punching stats made available at the end of the match show an anti-climactic ending for Plant. Stats show that Benavidez landed a whopping 210 shots to just 91 for Plant. With striking as crisp as tonight’s, Benavidez has now successfully pushed his record to a perfect 27-0.
As per the scorecards, all three judges scored the contest in favor of David Benavidez. while Tim Cheatham (113-115) gave the first 5 rounds to Plant. However, Dave Moretti (112-116) and Steven Weisfeld (111-117) had their first 5 rounds scored almost the same, giving the edge to Caleb. Eventually, all three judges found common grounds in the last 7 rounds of the bout as the trio scored it in favor of Benavidez.
David Benavidez vs Caleb Plant official judges’ scorecards… pic.twitter.com/AVLnQ1NkXT
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) March 26, 2023
Despite a persistent back-and-forth throughout, fans don’t believe it was a “razor-close” fight. Most fans and fighters alike seem to agree over tonight’s judging for the show-stopping bout. While Canelo seems to be the most reasonable case next for Benavidez, fans will have to wait until next weekend when the Mexican faces John Ryder on Cinco De Mayo.