Throughout his historic Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez never balked at pursuing Caleb Plant.
He shrugged off jabs, kept charging through Plant’s quick-handed blows and maintained an intent to launch a continued power-punching display on his far-lesser-experienced foe.
Finally, by the 11th round, Alvarez’s steady infliction of damage achieved its goal as he hit a weary Plant with a two-punch combination that knocked down the Nashville fighter.
With his unprecedented pursuit at hand, Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) completed his execution with a final three-punch combination, closed by consecutive head shots, that knocked out Plant (21-1).
The victory makes Alvarez the first undisputed super-middleweight champion of the four-belt era, a feat he celebrated by donning a king’s crown and standing on the ropes of his corner with both arms aloft.
A sellout MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd of 16,586 roared its approval.
USA TODAY Sports' round-by-round analysis of the fight:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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The finishing combination was a hard left to Plant's right ear, followed by a vicious right uppercut to the face and a final left uppercut to Plant's right ear. Alvarez then dons a king's crown as boxing's first-ever four-belt super-middleweight champion, standing in his corner with both arms raised to a roaring sellout crowd of 16,586 at MGM Grand.
Alvarez by 11th-round knockout.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canelo Alvarez knocks out Caleb Plant: Round-by-round fight analysis