By Jim Calfa: The fans loudly cheered Caleb Plant, showing appreciation for his valiant performance in walking through fire in his 12 round unanimous decision loss to the bigger & stronger David Benavidez last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Plant’s face was badly swollen from the heavy blows that the undefeated WBA interim super middleweight champion Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) connected with from rounds eight through twelve.
That’s where most of the damage that Plant sustained in the fight took place because that was after he’d gassed out and could no longer stay on the move as he’d done in rounds one through seven.
Plant showed a lot of heart taking the shots that he did in the championship rounds from Benavidez, and you wonder how many fighters in the 168-lb division would have been able to take those same punches without surrendering.
The scores for the fight were 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113. Benavidez felt afterward that he could have knocked out Plant if the referee Kenny Bayless had been proactive about wanting Caleb about the excessive clinching he was doing throughout the 12-round contest.
Fans cheer beaten Caleb Plant
“I’m glad me and Caleb were able to bury the beef basically,” said David Benavidez at the post-fight press conference after his win over Caleb Plant last Saturday night in Las Vegas. “I knew I was stronger than him, and I knew I had a lot to prove and show to the fans.
“A lot of people said I didn’t have defense and that I just come forward. Yeah, I do come forward, but I have a lot of defense, and I have a lot of tricks up my sleeves too, and I think I showed that I’m a ‘Monster,'” continued Benavidez.
“After the sixth round, I started picking up. I started landing some big shots and the body shots. As soon as I got the engine going, there was no turning back. I’m one of the best fighters in the game, and I just love going toe-to-toe with anybody.
Benavidez wanted referee to warn Plant for clinching
“I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t get the stoppage, but you saw how his face looked. It was really bloody,” said Benavidez when asked if he was upset that he didn’t knock out Plant. “I was really imposing my will. I beat him up really good.
“Like I said, I’m not really satisfied because I didn’t get the knockout, but this is a great way to get the victory by dominating performance. It was a great performance. There are a lot of things I can tweak in my game to make sure I get the stoppage next time.
“But I also feel like, I don’t want to throw [referee] Kenny Bayless under the bus, but he didn’t call Caleb Plant out in any of the clinches he was doing the whole fight.
“I think if Kenny Bayless had said something about the clinches, then maybe it would have stopped Caleb from trying to clinch, and I would have clipped him.
“I was hurting him a lot of times, busted his eye open, and hurt him to the body. I could get better. I am satisfied with this performance. I’m not going to say I’m not,” said Benavidez.