Caleb Plant was taken to hospital in Las Vegas after being knocked out in the 11th round of his battle with Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez on Saturday night.
Alvarez was made to work for his 57th career victory before the brutal finish came late on, with the awkward Plant causing him some difficulty throughout the contest.
Slowly but surely the Mexican, now an undisputed champion at 168lbs, broke down his less-experienced foe with systematic attacks to the body, meaning it was only a matter of time until he went upstairs and closed the show.
Plant jabbed and weaved and perhaps should have been better rewarded on the judges' scorecards, which were 96-94, 98-92 and 97-93 in Alvarez's favour at the time of the stoppage.
Yet in the end those scores were surplus to requirements, as Canelo, turning up the pressure, looped in a ferocious left hook in the 11th to turn Plant's legs to jelly and send him on the road to victory.
The 29-year-old IBF champion dropped to the deck and was shaky when returning to his feet, before a second barrage of punishment put him down to the point of no return.
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Canelo almost clicked his fingers and decided Plant, who failed to land many meaningful blows despite his slick work, had taken him far enough at the MGM Grand Arena and needed to be taken out.
It was a typically ruthless night's work from the Guadalajara fighter, reaffirming his status as boxing's No.1 attraction and perhaps its greatest pound-for-pound fighter, too.
According to a PBC spokesperson, via ESPN, Plant was taken to the University Medical Center for observation after the crushing defeat in Sin City.
He was not present to conduct a post-fight interview or press conference as a result, however there was a moment of respect between him and Alvarez in the ring after the bout despite their war of words and fists beforehand.
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“My respect for Caleb Plant. He’s a terrific fighter with a lot of ability," Alvarez said.
“We’re men at the end. He wanted to still fight me, he wanted to still continue. And there’s no shame, we had a great fight today.
“But of course, we came out on top.”
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