Benavidez Brilliant Boxing Bout?

Boxing Batters Itself Again

How many times will I be saying this? Too many and too frequently. It’s difficult to be a boxing fan at the moment; there, said it again.

At the moment the issues are of course Usyk v Fury, which may go on later in the year when Wembley is not the venue but Saudi Arabia might be, as some have prophesied.

Plus the Conor Benn situation rolls on, the possibility of a fight with Manny Pacquiao or Kell Brook making people who are outraged that Benn won’t release his apparently extensive defence evidence splutter even more, whilst others point at the disparity of ages and rounds boxed. Perhaps Benn is really just boxing himself…

Benavidez v Plant Was Tasty

As Boxing News 24 put it;

‘Going into the fight, Benavidez and Plant shared a strong dislike for each other, and they also shared a common goal. Benavidez was looking to score a victory in order to finally earn a shot at Canelo, while Plant was attempting to post a win in order to qualify for a rematch with the undisputed super-middleweight champion.’

Credit; Boxing Scene

They were closely matched. Both former champs, Benevidez at super middleweight for the WBC and Plant for the IBF. And it was thought that Plant, who gave the great Canelo Alvarez occasional trouble in their recent fight, might have a chance if he could keep out of the way of his opponent’s power and show his durability.

No one really thought Benavidez would lose, but many thought it might be tasty.

The Fight

It was tasty. But a strange taste to begin with, which settled into something expected later.

Plant didn’t dominate the early rounds, but he did seem in control. It was the kind of control that judges don’t often recognise. BloodyElbow encapsulated it;

‘One of the first decisions to note in the fight was that Plant, though aiming to keep the fight long, did open most rounds pushing forward. He had no intent to engage in close, but he wanted to keep Benavidez a little hesitant, and reluctant to really push forward himself.’

Plant wasn’t there to be hit.You can’t hit what you can’t see; Plant had his gameplan and he stuck to it, staying mobile, keeping out of range and shooting occasion single shots, mainly to the body.

It was pretty effective, possibly because Benavidez seemed strangley subdued, perhaps because he was being made to miss a little and he was having to pursue a mobile opponent, but there was little to no jabbing for Benevidez and not as many punches thrown as usual.

Credit; Boxing News 24/7

The Ref

There are many who complained about Kenny Bayless, a ref who certainly allowed the fight to flow.

2 punches below the belt from Plant, not just south of the beltline but precise, right into the meat and two; he wasn’t pulled up about it.

And then there was the holding. Plant stayed away, but when he was in close, he grabbed Benavidez to keep the damage to a minimum. It’s either a muscle memory or a tactic, it’s a part of boxing and it all depends what the ref thinks.

In fairness to Bayless, Benavidez was fighting out of the clinches.And it was perhaps part of Plant’s gameplan, which is something I enjoyed seeing.

The Outcome

Well, Benavidez won. On the scorecards. And he did begin to assert himself in the latter part of the fight. Why? Perhaps he found a way to cut the gap, perhaps Plant tired a little and wasn’t as mobile, perhaps Benavidez just kept walking forward, hoping things would turn round with the pressure and it did.

Whichever it was, Benavidez found Plant more often, he was marked up on his face suddenly and after the fight, he went to the hospital as a precautionary measure. One of the cards was wide, 117-111, but maybe that wasn’t the way. Plant looked good in the early rounds, but his defence didn’t show up too much; enjoyable as his gameplan was, this sometimes doesn’t score.

Credit; Boxing News 24/7

And Benavidez eventually did. As expected. But it was a really good fight, Plant set a problem for his opponent which he eventually solved, but it took 6 or 7 rounds.Plant will get work because he talks a good game and can take it to the ring.

Benavidez will get Canelo, surely, its what he wants and the fans will be calling for it. And Canelo’s team? The Benavidez performance in this fight might have just made it more possible.

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