By Allan Fox: Oscar Valdez says he felt honored to watch history made on Saturday night with Canelo Alvarez becoming the first undisputed super middleweight champion after defeating Caleb Plant by an eleventh round knockout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Valdez states that he had WBA/WBC/WBO super middleweight champion Canelo (57-1-2, 39 KOs) ahead IBF champ Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) going into the 11th round. He had given Plant three rounds, and he felt that Canelo had won seven of the ten rounds.
According to Valdez, Canelo’s trainer Eddy Reynoso told him in between rounds to stop loading up on single shots and to focus on throwing combinations.
Those instructions proved to be effective, as Canelo came out to the 11th round and hurt Plant with a right hand and then dropped him with a massive left hook. When Plant got back to his feet, you could tell that his legs were gone as he staggered across the ring.
Reynoso gave Canelo useful instructions
Moments later, Canelo bludgeoned Plant to the canvas with shopping shots. This time the fight was halted. Canelo, 31, looked like he was chopping wood with the knockout shots that he hit Plant with in the final sequence of the fight.
“It was a great night, historic,” said Oscar Valdez to Fight Hub TV in reacting to Canelo’s win over Caleb Plant. “Congratulations to Plant because he was doing an excellent job throughout the fight, and was getting into Canelo’s head, and great defense.
“In the words of [trainer] Eddy Reynoso, he helped Canelo figure out how to open that defense. He told him not to be looking for one punch. ‘You’re losing focus trying to look for a knockout, use more combinations,’ and that’s exactly what he did,” said Valdez of Canelo.
It was wise for Reynoso to have Canelo switch things up because he was missing with a lot of his power shots in trying to hurt Plant.
It’s unclear whether Canelo was loading up so much out of the bad blood he had with Plant or if he now fancies himself as a big slugger after fracturing the right orbital bone of his previous opponent Billy Joe Saunders.
“Yes, I had Canelo ahead,” said Valdez. “I think the sixth or seventh rounds, I gave to Plant and the third round as well, but all the rest, I gave to Canelo.
“Just landing the power shots. Plant was doing a great job as far as with that jab and using the distance. Yeah, an excellent job with both of these fighters,” said Valdez.
Valdez says Benavidez the tougher fight for Canelo
“I’m happy for several reasons because he’s my friend, because we’re part of the team and I’m happy because it’s a Mexican doing history. It’s great to see greatness. You see this and you see history being made. It was an honor to me to be a commentator for this fight.
“If there was someone that could give him [Canelo] problems, it would be Benavidez more than [Jermall] Charlo, I think. I respect Charlo, but Benavidez is a beast, a great fighter, and for somebody who would give him [Canelo] problems, it would be Benavidez,” said Valdez.
It doesn’t appear that Canelo will be fighting David Benavidez (24-0, 21 KOs) next, as one of Alvarez’s team members said tonight that they’re interested in facing Jermall Charlo next.
That’s an easier fight for Canelo on paper than taking on the hard-hitting, steel-chinned Benavidez. In Charlo’s last fight, he was hurt repeatedly by Juan Macias Montiel last June.
“Without a doubt, a more competitive fight, but a dangerous fight, because he’s a strong puncher and Canelo, is just looking for competition.
That’s what we like about Canelo. He looks for the best fights. He made history. It’s nice. I think that would be a great fight,” said Valdez about Canelo fighting IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev at 175.
It’s difficult to predict Canelo going up to 175 to challenge Beterbiev (16-0, 16 KOs) for his IBF & WBC titles after the way he performed tonight. Had that been Beterbiev in the ring with Plant, he likely would have destroyed him in the first three rounds.
“This guy is the man, he’s the King of boxing right now,” said Teofimo Lopez to Jeff Zimmerman about Canelo following his knockout win over Plant. “I’m very appreciative in being in his presence today. It’s very nice.
“Once I saw Caleb Plant wasn’t doing enough, Canelo started adapting, and he started figuring out the shoulder roll and the right hand because he was getting hit with that in the beginning of the rounds. He adapted to that and he went out and executed.
“Sure, he [Canelo] belongs in that category of Julio Cesar Chavez and so many others. He definitely paved the way and he’s still putting it on and he’s still young. Who knows what else Canelo can do. It’s up to him.
“I would say [Jermall] Charlo,” said Teofimo when asked should Canelo fight David Benavidez or Jermall Charlo next. “I wouldn’t say he would give him trouble but it would be an exciting fight.
“Yeah, Charlo. This motivates me more than ever to see Canelo do what he had to do tonight. To become undisputed, and become the first Mexican to do it.
“It’s a blessing to see that and that just motivates me more,” said Teofimo in being motivated by Canelo’s win.