Pacquiao leads tributes to 'pound-for-pound king' Canelo after Mexican makes history with Plant KO

By Sports Desk November 07, 2021

Manny Pacquiao hailed Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez as the "pound-for-pound king" after the Mexican beat Caleb Plant to become the first undisputed world super middleweight champion.

Canelo knocked out previously unbeaten IBF champion Plant in the 11th round of their blockbuster showdown in Las Vegas on Saturday to cement his place in the record books.

The 31-year-old added Plant's belt to the WBA Super, WBC an WBO titles he already held, a clean sweep that has never before been achieved by a Mexican boxer.

He is just the sixth fighter since the WBO began sanctioning world title bouts in 1988 to hold all four of the belts.

Pacquiao won world titles across eight weight classes during his career and was among those to salute Canelo, who is now 57-1-2 on the back of a largely one-sided contest.

"Congratulations to the pound-for-pound king, Canelo, on making boxing history as the first undisputed super middleweight champion ever," Pacquiao posted on Twitter. 

"Plant put up a great fight but Canelo is just too good. Boxing is in great hands."

Canelo went on the offensive from the off at MGM Grand and wore down Plant before brutally stopping his opponent with one minute and five seconds of the 11th round remaining.

It was Canelo's third stoppage win of 2021 as he further cemented his status as a boxing great.

WBC Interim world lightweight champion Joseph Diaz said: "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." 

Plant more than held his own in the early rounds and was embraced in the ring by Canelo at the end of the fight.

That was in stark contrast to two months ago when the pair were involved in a physical altercation during a media conference to announce the fight.

Canelo revealed at the time the scuffle was down to a comment made by Plant regarding his mother, but he is nevertheless full of respect for his opponent.

"We don't have to take anything away from Caleb Plant. He's a great fighter and he made a great effort tonight," he said at his post-fight news conference.

"But in the end we came out with the win. That's all that matters really. So even though we had that frustration in the first five rounds the second half of the fight was ideal.

"He told me afterwards that he wanted to keep fighting and he also wanted to apologise to me and he didn't mean what he said about my mum. He was truly sorry about that. 

"I told him: 'Look, it's OK. It's water under the bridge.' I told him he was a great man and also that some day I hope he will have a great family as well. 

"I can only wish the best for him. In the fight we have to hurt each other but, in the end, we're all human and we want the best for each other."

Related items

  • 'I will grace the squared circle again' – McGregor pledges boxing return after leg break recovery 'I will grace the squared circle again' – McGregor pledges boxing return after leg break recovery

    Conor McGregor has pledged to return to boxing in the future as he steps up his recovery from a broken leg, but he plans on making a UFC comeback first.

    McGregor has not competed since his TKO loss to Dustin Poirier in UFC last July, when the 33-year-old broke the tibia and fibula bones in his left leg.

    The Irish fighter, who has a 22-6-0 MMA record, was tipped by UFC president Dana White in March to make his return from injury later this year.

    McGregor also made his only appearance in a boxing ring to date back in 2017, losing to Floyd Mayweather Junior by virtue of TKO, but is keen to box again when fit to do so.

    While attending qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix, McGregor insisted boxing fans would see more of him when he reaches full fitness.

    "Boxing is my first love in combat sports. I had such a great time the last time I was out there," he told Sky Sports on Saturday.

    "Obviously, my return will be in the octagon for UFC – that story is from over, in fact it's just being written, it is just the beginning.

    "But, boxing, for sure I will grace the squared circle again in the future.

    "The body is doing good. We are going to up the training bit by bit. I have another CT scan in the coming days, and then I will be clear to kick. Once I can kick and grapple, I will be back in no time.

    "Boxing training is going well, [and] strength training. I am excited to get back."

    Meanwhile, McGregor suggested Anthony Joshua will struggle to regain his belts in his upcoming rematch with Oleksandr Usyk, due to the strength of the heavyweight division.

    Joshua lost his WBA, WBO, and IBF titles to the Ukrainian last September, and a date and venue for the duo's next bout is expected to be fixed in the near future after Usyk began preparing for the match.

    "It didn't go so well the last time. It's a tough ask," he said of Joshua's prospects.

    "AJ is a good guy and I wish him well. Usyk is a great guy as well and I hope for a good bout for both men. The heavyweight division is on fire at the minute. Good things are happening."

  • Canelo set for September trilogy fight with Golovkin before Bivol rematch Canelo set for September trilogy fight with Golovkin before Bivol rematch

    Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez is set to announce a September trilogy fight against Gennadiy Golovkin, meaning his rematch with Dmitry Bivol must wait.

    Alvarez suffered only the second defeat of his professional career against Bivol this month after stepping up to light heavyweight.

    The Mexican has a rematch option, which he intends to activate, but first will face Golovkin for a third time at super middleweight, he told ESPN.

    "We already had that contract [with Golovkin], that agreement, so we have to continue what we started," he said.

    "I think those are the two biggest fights in boxing, the fight with Golovkin and the rematch with Bivol.

    "Unfortunately, we lost [to Bivol], but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try again. The important thing here is perseverance and we're going to do it again.

    "What is certain is that we are going to return in September. And in the coming days, we are going to announce the fight."

    A controversial split draw between Alvarez and Golovkin in September 2017 was followed by a Canelo win a year later. That remains the sole defeat of Golovkin's career.

  • Amir Khan retires at 35 after Kell Brook loss Amir Khan retires at 35 after Kell Brook loss

    Amir Khan has announced his retirement from boxing aged 35, just under three months after losing to long-time rival Kell Brook.

    Former unified light-welterweight world champion Khan was stopped by 36-year-old Brook in the sixth round of their grudge match in Manchester back in February.

    Brook subsequently called a day on his boxing career after the all-British bout, and Khan strongly hinted at retiring in the immediate aftermath of the defeat.

    The unbeaten Albanian Florian Marku was floated as the next potential fight for Khan, but the 35-year-old has decided to hang up his gloves with a professional record of 34-6.

    "It’s time to hang up my gloves. I feel blessed to have had such an amazing career that has spanned over 27 years," Khan posted on Twitter on Friday.

    "I want to say a heartfelt thanks and to the incredible teams I have worked with and to my family, friends and fans for the love and support they have shown me."

    He accompanied the post with pictures from his greatest nights in the ring, with images from victories over Mexican icon Marco Antonio Barrera, Argentina's Marcos Maidana and American Devon Alexander.

    Khan remains one of the youngest world champions in British boxing history, having won the WBA title at the age of 22, while he is Britain's youngest boxing Olympic medalist after claiming lightweight silver in 2004, aged just 17.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.