David Benavidez gets Canelo Alvarez’s attention

A critical look at the past week in boxing


David Benavidez

Benavidez is still Benavidez in the end, a stubborn, ruthless hunter who almost always picks up his prey. Caleb Plant came into play early on, tracking, moving, holding, doing whatever it took to stop Benavidez’s attack and throw enough punches to win rounds. However, that only works for a long time. Benavidez continues to stalk his opponent and gradually closes the gap despite having an oversized ring, which allows him to initiate a burst of damage that knocks Plant down and results in a burst of damage. unanimous decision to win Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The winner’s knockout record ended in sixth but he couldn’t have been more dominant for long, winning the last seven rounds on all three cards and overtaking Plant by a margin. number 161-46 in the last six games, according to CompuBox. It was arguably the most impressive performance of Benavidez’s career thanks to Plant’s abilities and a sign that he is ready to take on anyone, including undisputed champion Canelo Alvarez. Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs) is a better boxer than he looks and a physical freak, which could make him unstoppable. And remember: He’s only 26 years old. Maybe he’s getting better and better. Scary thought, huh?


cabbage plant

Caleb Plant was defeated by David Benavidez. Joe Camporeale / US Sports TODAY

Plant had the right game plan. Get in, out, move your feet and hold as needed. Those tactics have given the Tennessean the lead on the scoresheet after the first six innings and could have caused a significant disappointment. Team Plant couldn’t be more optimistic half the battle. After that, things went south. Plant simply couldn’t stand the pressure of a particularly good opponent, getting stronger and weaker as the fight progressed. We saw it when he fought Alvarez who stopped him in the 11th roundlame pants round. And we saw it again on Saturday night. Benavidez outstripped him by an average of 17.5-7.6 per round, including rounds that Plant won. Plant only lands 14.6% of his punches, which says something about his limitations and Benavidez’s defensive skills. The CompuBox numbers are unofficial but they do highlight the underperformance of the underdog. Plant (22-2, 13 KOs) is a good, but limited, boxer with medium punch who seems to have hit the ceiling. He can beat the Jose Uzcateguis and Anthony Dirrells of the world but can’t beat next level, caliber opponents.


Chris Colbert Jose Valenzuela University

This decision isn’t outrageous, but Colbert was certainly lucky win against Valenzuela on the Benavidez-Plant card. All three judges had the same score after 10-round 135-pound, 95-94, six-quarter quads for Colbert (17-1, 6 KOs). Valenzuela won the first round, in which he knocked out Colbert. That means the judges gave Colbert six of the final nine rounds. It’s hard to swallow. Colbert recovered from the knockdown to make the match competitive, sometimes landing quickly, accurately with jabs and coordination. However, Valenzuela still put pressure on Colbert and seemed to unleash more powerful punches than his opponent. That’s why I scored 96-93 for Valenzuela, the 6th half score in his favor was 4. The Mexican had reason to be upset afterwards, especially since he is currently suffering games. consecutive losses. The good news for Valenzuela (12-2, 8 KOs) is that we saw what we saw, a good performance against a good opponent. He’ll be fine. And Colbert, also out of failure, took a step in the right direction – even if he didn’t get there.


Jose Ramirez

We shouldn’t read too much about Ramirez 11lame pants-Richard Commey’s knockout round on Saturday in Fresno, California, because of Commey restrictions. The Ghanaian is 0-2-1 in the last three and 1-3-1 in the last five. That said, Ramirez looks sharp even though he hasn’t fought in a year, attacking Commey from the start with passion and efficiency. And he ended the strong performance by knocking Commey (30-5-1, 27 KOs) twice in the penultimate round, the second time with a nasty hook that brought him to his knees. give up. That’s how you make a statement. Ramirez (28-1, 18 KOs) has now won two games in a row since he lost to Josh Taylor in a close decider in 2021, costing him two world titles. He seems to be back in shape. What’s next? He wants to challenge WBC owner Regis Prograis, although he recently passed up the opportunity to face the champion. Ramirez opposes a 65%-35% split in favor of Prograis authorized by the WBC, which seems too disproportionate to Ramirez’s reputation. We will see how this plays out.


The Benavidez-Plant war was disappointing in several respects. First, the ring was 22 feet by 22 feet instead of the standard 20 by 20 in Nevada, as requested by Plant during negotiations. He wants more room to move. Benavidez should be applauded for agreeing to the unusual rule; it says a lot about his confidence. However, I was surprised that Nevada officials agreed to that. I’ve always thought that they stick with the ring size in the name of consistency. I hope they don’t give a gladiator such a significant advantage again although it doesn’t save Plant in this case. Second, the referee Kenny Bayless awful. Plant’s holdings were over the limit and Bayless apparently didn’t issue a warning. He stopped the action to have the doctor look at Plant’s cut on the eighth round even though Benavidez injured him, which gave Plant time to recover. And, in general, he’s too intrusive. In other words, he committed a fundamental sin: He became an important part of the story. … For the record: Plant is very smart to hold. Bayless shouldn’t have allowed him to do it as much as he did. … Alvarez seems to be aiming for a rematch with Dmitry Bivol in September, assuming the Mexican star beats John Ryder on May 6. He wants to avenge his loss, that’s understandable. I hope Alvarez changes his mind and faces Benavidez. Boxers always say they want to give fans the fights they want to see. Fans want Alvarez-Benavidez, not Alvarez-Bivol II. Who wins if it happens? I like Benavidez, even against a 100% healthy Alvarez. …

Colbert went from 130 pounds to 135 for the match against Valenzuela. In the early rounds, it looked like Valenzuela, lightweight since 2020, might be too big and strong for Colbert. After the first round, however, he took everything thrown at him – including many punishments – and finished the match on his feet. However, he said that going into the match he intends to go back to 130 more naturally to try to win a major title there. Good idea. It’s hard to compete when you’re the smaller, weaker person. … Young middleweight candidate Jesus Ramos (20-0, 16 KOs) overwhelmingly undefeated before Joey Spencer (16-1, 10 KOs) on the Benavidez-Plant card, stop Spencer in the seventh round is the result of the accumulation of punches. Ramos knocked Spencer out late in the opening round and more or less landed at will afterwards, prompting Spencer’s keepers to stop the fight to save their man from serious injury. We shouldn’t get too excited about Ramos’ win because Spencer is unproven but he looks scary. First, he seems to be a level or two older than Spencer even though he moved up to 154th just two years ago. And, second, the effective, methodical killing of another opponent again depends on his youth. He’s only 22. I’d love to see Ramos play against a top contender before making any bold statements about him but his ceiling certainly seems high. … Seniesa Estrada (24-0.9 KO) proves once again that she is one of the best in the business, closing Tina Rupprecht (12-1-1, 3 KOs) to unify two 105-pound titles on the Ramirez-Commey card. All three judges gave 100-90 points, 10 rounds no points. The Los Angeles native’s goal is to be the undisputed champion, which means she will now target the other two major belts holder, Yokasta . Valley (28-2, 9 KOs).


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