David Benavidez picked up the first title defense of his career, and now sees an even bigger fight on the horizon.
The interim WBC super middleweight champion retained his belt Saturday in Las Vegas with a convincing unanimous decision win (115-113, 116-112, 117-111) over former IBF titleholder Caleb Plant (22-2, 13 KOs). Though the quicker Plant had success early in the fight, Benavidez eventually found his rhythm and battered Plant with power punches in the second half of the fight to secure the nod.
Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) remained undefeated with the win and buried the hatchet with Plant in his post-fight interview.
Then he made his claim for a shot at undisputed WBC champion Canelo Alvarez.
“I just want to tell everybody I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now,” Alvarez said. “That’s what everybody wants to see. Me versus Canelo, let’s make it happen in September.”
Alvarez is currently scheduled to fight interim WBO super middleweight champion David Ryder on May 6.
If Benavidez manages to book a meeting with Alvarez later this year and the version of him that competed on Saturday shows up, he could give the Mexican superstar a run for his money. Benavidez was methodical, taking his time to stalk Plant before letting his hands go later in the fight. In the latter rounds, it was clear who had the advantage as Benavidez continuously scored with uppercuts inside and power punches with both hands. Plant was left to tie Benavidez up to slow him down, which was enough to make it to the scorecards, but not enough to stop “The Mexican Monster” from securing the victory.
Afterward, Benavidez and Plant appeared to end their rivalry, as Benavidez spoke of Plant’s toughness followed by the fighters embracing.
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