In a remarkable career filled with accomplishments Canelo Alvarez topped himself on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Mexican superstar, a four-division titleholder, knocked out Caleb Plant in the 11th round to become the first undisputed super middleweight champion and only the sixth undisputed champ in the four-title era.
In the process, he might’ve climbed higher on the list of all-time greats.
“It means so much in the history of Mexico to be undisputed champion,” he said. “We’re only six. I’m happy to be only one of six in the world.”
It wasn’t easy for Alvarez, who spent the first half of the fight following an elusive Plant around the ring and landing punches only in spurts. Meanwhile, Plant landed his jab fairly consistently and enough power shots to be competitive.
However, Alvarez ultimately closed the distance and began to inflict more and more damage.
By the 10th round, the punishment seemed to be taking the steam out of Plant, who wasn’t throwing as many punches as he had earlier in the fight and whose movement seemed more labored.
Then, in the 11th, Alvarez finally landed a left hook that turned out to be the beginning of the end for brave Tennessean. That punch was followed by a hard right and short left, which sent Plant to the canvas on all fours.
He was able to get up but he was easy prey. Alvarez landed a right hand amid a flurry of punches and Plant (21-1, 12 KOs) went down again. This time it was clear he couldn’t continue, prompting referee Russell Mora to stop the fight as the pro-Alvarez crowd roared its approval.
The official time of the stoppage was 1 minute, 5 seconds of Round 11 of the scheduled 12-round fight.
At that moment, Alvarez (57-2-1, 39 KOs) jumped onto the lowest rope in a corner of the ring and raised his fist to acknowledge the spectators. And then a member of his team put a gold crown on his head to illustrate his accomplishment.
And why not? He and trainer Eddy Reynoso began speaking years ago about one day becoming an undisputed champion, which, again, is rare in the four-belt era. It meant a lot to Alvarez and his team.
He’s king of both the super middleweight division and, in the eyes of most, the king of the sport. The legend of Canelo Alvarez continues to grow.