David Benavidez: The referee saved Caleb Plant by letting him clinch

By Boxing News - 03/26/2023 - Comments

By Jim Calfa: David Benavidez (27-0, 2 KOs) says referee Kenny Bayless was a massive factor in Caleb Plant’s surviving to the final bell to go thee 12 round distance against him last Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Benavidez won the fight by a 12-round unanimous decision, but he felt he could have “clipped” him if Bayless had stopped Plant from holding, allowing him more opportunities to connect with more shots.

Without the gas tank needed to fight hard for the whole 12-round fight, Plant did the only thing he could, and that was to hold to keep Benavidez from knocking him out.

Despite Plant fading after the sixth round, the judges scored it close, giving Benavidez the win by this final tally: 117-111, 116-112, and 115-113.

If you’re Plant, you can find solace in that he might have won if his stamina had been better.

Benavidez sent Plant to hospital

“I just went to war. I beat the f**k out of Plant. I did everything that I said I was going to do. I beat his a** and said I was going to send him to the hospital, and that’s exactly what I did. He ended up going to the hospital,” said David Benavidez to ESNEWS about his victory over Caleb Plant.

“Yeah, I got to give it to him. He was a warrior,” said Benavidez when told by the interviewer that he was surprised that the corner for Plant didn’t stop the fight. “The person that saved him was Kenny Bayless. He was warning me for fighting, and Caleb Plant was hugging & throwing low blows, and he didn’t tell him s**t.

“I don’t know, but I think if Kenny Bayless would have penalized him, it would have been a little different. I think it’s an eye-opener. I got to go back and tweak some stuff at the gym. It was a tough fight.

“I felt like we gave the fans exactly what they wanted to see. I did see them,” said Benavidez when told that there were a lot of stars in the audience for the fight. “I don’t know if you saw me at the beginning. I was in the ring smiling and s**t.

“It was everything I’d worked for since I was two years old. I’m just happy with the way everything has turned out. I was talking s**t and that he was a p**y and all that,” said Benavidez when asked what he was telling Plant inside the ring at the end of every round.

Plant given a timeout after getting hurt

“The first time I hurt him, I hit him with a body shot, and he pulled me in and tried to hold, and he went ‘Ah.’ I told him, ‘I heard you, your hurt. I heard you.’ After that, I kept putting it on him, and every time I would hurt him, and I would hurt him with body shots, he would hold. I’d say, ‘I got you. I got you.’

“It was fun. Like I said, I love fighting and putting on a show for people. That’s why they call me a ‘Monster’ because I keep coming. I told  him [after the fight], ‘I don’t want to hold grudges.’ He went in there and took a beating.

“I told him I was going to do that, so I’m not holding any grudges after I went and did what I had to do. I think the fans seen it was a pretty clear fight. No one is going to say that there needs to be a rematch because everybody seen what I did to him.

“I’m a little disappointed. I could have knocked him out. Some things I can fix in the gym, and I will fix it. I don’t know. I guess if you get hurt and you’re a favorite, the referees give you a timeout,” said Benavidez reacting to the referee Kenny Bayless calling a timeout at one point in the fight after he’d hurt Plant.

“I’m happy that I was able to give thee people what they wanted to see.  I’m happy that I was able to prove the doubters wrong,” said Benavidez. “You seen new elements in me.

“I thought Caleb was going to be faster, but he wasn’t as fast I thought. I was blocking a lot of his s**t and cut the ring off. He couldn’t hurt me. I seen in his face that he was scared the whole time. I knew I was going to do this. I’ve hurt everybody I’ve been in the ring with,” Benavidez said.

Canelo could be next for Benavidez 

“David Morrell is a potential one too. I want to give the fans what they want to see. I want to go in and test myself against Canelo,” said Benavidez.

“I’ve never said nothing bad about him. I’m not hating on him. He’s one of the best fighters ever. He’s a legend, but it’s my right. I’m the #1 in the WBC.  I have the interim belt, and they said after this fight, it’s guaranteed that I have to fight Canelo.

“I just want what has to be given to me. It was really good. It was an experience,” said Benavidez about him fighting Plant in front of a packed MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“I wasn’t nervous at all.  I thought I was going to be nervous, but I wasn’t. I was in my comfort zone. I worked four months for this. I worked hard; I worked really hard, so I was happy that I was able to perform like that.

“I’ve never fought with emotion like that. I’ve never done that. People just say because I talk s**t, I’m going to fight with emotion. It’s part of the game. You guys seen me. I was cool, calm & collected, and picking my shots.

“Once I hurt him, I knew it was time to go. I turned it up on his a**. But they’re always talking s**t about me until I show them what I can do.

“All the critics say, I can’t do nothing, and I get hit with all these shots and this and that. I wasn’t even getting hit. He was head-butting. If you saw the fight, I had hurt him in the round before in the last second. Then he came out and low-blowed me right at the beginning.

“He took a page out of Felix Trinidad. It was crazy. Keep supporting me. I’m going to keep winning these fights. If anything, it’s going to get better. I don’t back down from nobody. I proved that against everybody.

“I like to fight like this. I go toe-to-toe. If you run from me, I’m going t find you. If you try to brawl with me, I’m going to out-brawl you. You guys are going to keep getting a hell of a fight against whoever I go into because I love fighting like this,” said Benavidez.

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