David Benavidez and Caleb Plant settled their beef tonight, despite saying they wouldn’t, with Benavidez beating Plant clearly over 12 rounds in Las Vegas.
Benavidez stayed undefeated on scores of 115-113, 116-112, and 117-111, starting a bit slow but battering Plant from the seventh round on to take over the fight and give himself the deserved victory.
Benavidez (27-0, 23 KO) and Plant (22-2, 13 KO) put on a good tactical fight, if not exactly a true highlight reel war, but there was plenty of action in that second half, it’s just that all of it came from Benavidez, basically, with Plant displaying a ton of grit and heart.
It’s also a fight where referee Kenny Bayless, a veteran, is going to be heavily criticized for a performance that saw Plant blatantly holding far too often, and some odd timing on when Bayless would break up the action and when he wouldn’t.
But in the end, it was simply that Benavidez was the heavier puncher, stronger man, and better fighter on the night. The two talked a lot of heavy trash leading into the bout, and both swore the beef would not be squashed, but everyone showed great respect when all was said and done.
“I know I said we weren’t gonna end the beef, but we fought like warriors in the ring, and this guy’s a fuckin’ hell of a fighter,” Benavidez said, and Plant returned the compliment. “We gave the fans the best rivalry of the year, the best rivalry of the last five years.”
“I knew I had to take it step-by-step, round-by-round. He’s a tough fighter, he’s not gonna give you everything in the first couple rounds, you have to find,” he continued. “I hit him with a lot of hard shots. I would talk shit, but I like this guy now, so I don’t want to keep it going.”
Of the beef ending, Benavidez told Jim Gray, “We got into the ring, we settled it in the ring like men. He took my hard shots, I took his hard shots, we go home to our families.”
“I have a lot of respect for Canelo Alvarez, but he has to give me that shot now. That’s what everyone wants to see, let’s get in the ring in September,” Benavidez said. He added that he does not think Canelo is “avoiding” him, but that he’s got a lot of options.
“I take nothing from David. We haven’t been the best of friends, but we got in the ring and settled it like men, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” Plant said. “When the best get in there with the best, you roll the dice, somebody’s going to come up short. I’ve got in there and rumbled with the best in the world. I haven’t ducked nobody, and maybe we can have a rematch in the future.”
“David was the better man tonight and I take nothing from him. Congratulations to him and his family, he’s a hell of a fighter,” Plant added.