Live round-by-round analysis of super middleweight bout

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Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez aims to affirm his reign as boxing’s pound-for-pound king Saturday night in Las Vegas when he tries to become the sport’s first undisputed super-middleweight champion of the four-belt era.

The 31-year-old Alvarez (56-1-2, 38 KOs) meets International Boxing Federation champion Caleb Plant (21-0, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Alvarez stands as a -1000 favorite over Nashville’s Plant.

The winner joins Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Terence Crawford, Oleksandr Usyk and Josh Taylor as the only male fighters to wear four belts simultaneously. Alvarez, wearing the 168-pound division’s World Boxing Council, World Boxing Assn. and World Boxing Organization straps, has won titles in four weight classes ranging from 154 to 175 pounds.

At Friday’s weigh-in, when an adoring crowd that included former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson greeted Alvarez, he exchanged heated words with Plant as they faced off for the cameras.

Minutes later, after Alvarez’s longtime coach Chepo Reynoso told USA Today Sports Plus that Alvarez finds Plant annoying because he’d prefer boxing at this level to be gentlemanly and respectful, Alvarez said he intends to punish his opponent.

Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant.

Canelo Alvarez weighs in for his super middleweight championship boxing match against Caleb Plant.

The pair took swings at each other to start their introductory news conference in Beverly Hills in September, with Alvarez cutting Plant under the right eye with a short left-handed punch after Plant slapped Alvarez on the cheek.

“He’s going to pay in the ring,” Alvarez told USA Today Sports Plus on Friday.

USA TODAY Sports has round-by-round analysis:

Round 1

Escorted to the ring by a rocking Mana song amid the waving of Mexican flags, Alvarez saluted his overwhelming fan base by bowing to each corner. The odds favoring Alvarez shrunk late toward Plant, with Alvarez going off at -750 and facing the 21st champion of his career.

Plant sends jabs that Canelo blocks with his gloves. Alvarez stuck a left hand to the face and landed a right, followed by another. Canelo lands a left and harder right to the body in the feel-out round.

10-9 Alvarez

Round 2

Plant uppercuts. An Alvarez left and two body shots follow Plant’s continued jab work. Alvarez shrugs off a Plant combination and charges ahead. So Plant tries the body. Alvarez corners Plant and scores inside body shots. But Plant was more active.

19-19

Round 3

Plant jabs. Good left uppercut by Plant. Plant lands a left to the head. Left hook and right to body by Canelo. Plant jab lands. An Alvarez right sets up a left to the body.

29-28 Alvarez

Round 4

Plant’s busy-ness ensures some scoring blows while Alvarez waits for open power shots. Two hard lefts by Canelo back Plant to the ropes. He corners Plant, who gets away with jabs. A hard Canelo right to the head. Alvarez misses a massive right. A hard Canelo left to the head.

39-37 Alvarez

Round 5

A Canelo left to the body, and referee Russell Mora asks Alvarez to bring his punches up. Plant charges with an effective scoring combination. Alvarez working to inflict inside damage. A short left to the head by Alvarez extends his lead.

49-46 Alvarez

Round 6

Plant staying true to the jab. Alvarez willing to trade that for the hard right and big left he lands. The crowd roars as the damage intensifies – a hard right to the head and another right. Plant backing. The jab ensures a safe distance. Alvarez hunting him down, eating a Plant left and moving forward with his arms down.

59-55 Alvarez

Round 7

The pair exchange lefts. Alvarez’s head movement is crisp. He moves inside, unafraid of Plant’s power to launch three hard blows. Plant cannot do the same. Alvarez covering, urging Plant on, plotting. A head-butt occurs. Action resumes. Alvarez lands a hard left to the head, a hammer right to the body and a harder-still left to the head.

69-64 Alvarez

Round 8

Alvarez whips lefts at the head. His revised odds to win now favor him at -3000. Alvarez surges forward and lands a power combination. The crowd roars his name. Plant left-handed body shot. Alvarez lands a right inside.

79-73 Alvarez

Round 9

They jostle for the first 30 seconds. Plant’s speed allows him to open the action with some scoring shots. A hard Alvarez right follows. Plant scores a combination. He needs rounds badly. Alvarez lands a hard right on Plant’s jaw near Canelo’s corner. Canelo attacks the body. Plant responds well with a left to the jaw.

Alvarez 89-82

Round 10

Alvarez corners Plant again, chasing a finishing blow. Plant gets the better of an exchange. Alvarez presses Plant to the ropes. A hard hook to the head by Alvarez. Canelo continues to batter the body. Alvarez lands a head shot. Two more scoring shots by Alvarez and Plant’s willingness to box so actively is wilting.

99-91 Alvarez

Round 11

The action intensifies as Plant must know he needs a KO to win. He’s open now for punishment and Alvarez delivers with a vicious combination that knocks down Plant. Plant rises, but receives a brutal combination assault that ends the fight by knockout.

Alvarez by 11th-round knockout.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant live round-by-round fight analysis



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