Canelo Alvarez continued to make history on Saturday night, with the boxing world uniting to once again recognise the global phenomenon as the sport’s undoubted pound-for-pound star.
The Mexican, who already holds the status as an all-time great, became the first undisputed super middleweight champion in history as he stopped a tough Caleb Plant in the 11th round of an intriguing but largely one-sided affair in Las Vegas.
Canelo also became the first-ever Mexican undisputed champion in the process, finishing a journey he embarked on less than 12 months ago, beating Callum Smith, Billy Joe Saunders and now Plant to claim all the belts in the 168lb division.
Canelo Alvarez stopped American Caleb Plant in the 11th round of their contest in Las Vegas
Canelo became the first-ever undisputed super middleweight champion with the victory
Perhaps only Oleksandr Usyk can even stake a claim for the title of pound-for-pound No1, having dethroned Anthony Joshua to become unified heavyweight champion. He had previously remained undefeated while claiming all of the belts in the cruiserweight division.
However, after another scintillating display, Canelo’s third stoppage win of 2021, it’s clear who the boxing world deem as their No1.
Manny Pacquiao led the way as boxing’s stars united in praise of the new undisputed champ
The recently retired Manny Pacquiao, who remains the only fighter ever to win world titles across a staggering eight weight classes, was quick to marvel in Canelo’s latest accomplishment.
‘Congratulations to the pound-for-pound king, Canelo, on making boxing history as the first undisputed super middleweight champion ever,’ he wrote. ‘Plant put up a great fight but Canelo is just too good. Boxing is in great hands.’
There was also praise from Josh Taylor, who amusingly welcomed the Mexican to the club after he became Britain’s first undisputed super lightweight champion with victory over Jose Ramirez earlier in the year.
He also stated: ‘I don’t know what people were watching back home going by some of the tweets, but at ringside that was a methodical beat down from Canelo. I gave plant two to three rounds tops, he was being pushed around the ring far too easily.’
Devin Haney, who takes on Joseph Diaz next, also chimed in, stating: ‘Canelo is the best mf fighter in the world! Period.’
YouTuber-turned boxer Jake Paul also added to the mix, jokingly stating that he is thinking of signing Canelo to his Most Valuable Promotions label.
Canelo finally made the breakthrough in the 11th round, knocking the American down twice
Though Canelo was the overwhelming favourite heading into the contest, Plant’s slick defence and work behind the jab was expected to pose some problems for the Mexican, who does often start slow as he adjusts to a new style.
Canelo has had problems with boxers Floyd Mayweather, who inflicted the first and only loss of his professional career, as well as Erislandy Lara and Britain’s Saunders.
Plant did largely operate on the backfoot as he worked behind his jab throughout the contest, but Canelo was fierce from the opening bell, adding the American’s IBF title to his own WBC, WBA and WBO belts with the victory.
The previously unbeaten Plant, now 21-1, was dropped to the canvas twice in the 11th round, before referee Russel Mora called an end to the contest.
Though falling short against the pound-for-pound king, a number of boxers came out in support of the now former champion.
Danny Garcia congratulated Canelo, while coming out in support of the defeated Plant
Danny Garcia said: ‘Congrats to Canelo, he closed the show like a true champ. Respect to Plant.’
Joseph Diaz added: ‘What a fight, Canelo always closes! Respect to both fighters. Plant put on a great fight. We’re witnessing true greatness what Canelo is doing in his career.’
‘Shout out to my guy @SweetHandsPlant for putting up a good effort,’ Jamel Herring added. ‘Congrats to Canelo on his huge accomplishment.’
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