HIGHLIGHTS AND RESULTS: Caleb Plant brutally beat Anthony Dirrell, over Wilder against Helenius.

Caleb Plant put an exclamation point on his grudge match victory over Anthony Dirrell, and scored a fierce one-punch knockout late in the ninth round tonight in the WBC middleweight title eliminater.

Falling Plant (22-1, 13 KO) was probably the best punch of his entire career, dropping Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KO) with a left hook with the body and then one to the jaw that put Dirrell on and off. The fighting stopped immediately.

Blunt would get some criticism for his post-fight antics, making a “gravedigger” move on a defeated Deryl, not to justify it, but for context, trash talking about Deryl wearing a T-shirt during the week of the fight that he said would be “planting flowers” on his opponent. Again, without justification, it was definitely bad manners at best, just giving context.

Blunt said after the fight that he plans to beat anyone else who could weigh 168 pounds and force his way into a rematch with Canelo Alvarez, who stopped Blunt in their fight in November 2021, and who completely united the super middleweight division.

For 38-year-old Deryl, that might be the end of the streak. He fought in small batches here, wrestled and obstructed a lot, and tried to get to Blunt’s head, but it never worked. He was always the second best fighter in each round, and then he was knocked out. He’s had a very good career, and he can leave now with little left to prove that it can be realistically proven.

Plant highlights vs. Dirrell

Frank Sanchez TKO-9 Carlos Negro

This might not have been Sanchez’s most impressive or dominant win (21-0, 14 KO), but he ended up taking over the fight around the sixth or seventh round, and had a good stop here.

Negron (25-4, 20 ko) stuck hard, but was pitted and fell in the ninth round, smashing his face into the ropes as well. He got up and was trying to fight, but Sanchez shook him well again, and the referee made the right call to step in and stop it.

Sanchez, 30, is taking another side step in his career, really, but he’s up for PBC for a match against someone like Deontay Wilder or Andy Ruiz Jr next year, if they don’t fight each other.

Emmanuel Rodriguez Tech UD-10 Gary Antonio Russell

Rodriguez (21-2, 13 KO) was pretty much going here, hitting Russell (19-1, 12 KO) in the first round, twice in the fourth, and then knocking him down hard at the end of the eighth, which the entire team did The New York State Athletic Commission of Officials assigned to this fight is a mess, but you want to split it.

Realistically, the fighting probably should have been stopped there. Russell was in poor shape, beat the count, but also referee Benji Estevez counted to 10. At that point, there was confusion with the timekeeper and all sorts of other things. Anyway, at nine, Russell and Rodriguez cracked their heads – as they did within 16 seconds of their first fight, no contest in 2021 – and Rodriguez snapped under their right eye, which was rapidly swelling.

Then after the ninth round, or technically two seconds into the tenth round, the fight was sent to the cards. The scores were 99-93, 99-91, and 100-90 as officially announced by Jimmy Lennon Jr. Bad Left Hook got a 90-80 after nine rounds, so adding 10-10 from the two seconds of movement that wasn’t there would be 100-90.

This is described as WBA And the IBF is a bodyweight remover, and those four belts may become vacant by early 2023 or even the end of 2022, so Rodriguez, a former standout, is in an excellent position at 118 pounds. Russell had no answers about Rodriguez’s speed or counter-strikes, and Rodriguez was signing him well throughout the night. There were, as they say, levels for this.

Prelims results

  • Vito Mielnicki Jr UD-10 Limberth Ponce: Mielnicki FOX’s push continues, improving to 13-1 (8 KO) by winning 98-92, 99-91, 99-91 scores over Ponce (19-6, 11 KO). Mielnicki broke a little in the 10th and final round, but other than that it was a chore, and he bled out on the PPV broadcast because the preliminary shows were longer than PBC expected. A very good fight from PBC that featured no comments on Twitter during the entire 10 rounds.
  • Michele Rivera UD-8 Jerry Perez: It wasn’t a bad fight to watch at all, Perez (14-2, 11 KO) tried really hard, but outsmarted Rivera (24-0, 14 KO), who at 24 is close to being like him. He’ll be ready because he’ll really go up at 135. Tank Davis will need opponents, and Rivera is right in the mix, given that he’s a PBC fighter. Rivera received a knockout at the end of the last round. The results were 79-72, 79-72, 80-71. BLH also got an 80-71.
  • Jurgen Hovhannisyan TKO-6 Mike Coffee: The fight stopped after the sixth round, as the referee saw enough. Coffie (13-3, 10 KO) wasn’t taking some obvious terrible blows from TV angles we could see, but he was dominant and didn’t have a path to victory, and no other two rounds deserved that reference. Kofi doesn’t seem to be making any major arguments. Hovhannisyan (4-0, 4 KO) trained Joe Goossen, 24-year-old Armenian giant, standing 6’7″ and weighing about 275 in this fight, has some skill – he can box, there’s hand speed there, there’s a lot to like You’ll never get a great six pack abs, but it’s no joke. For Kofi, I mean, he’s 36, tank to man, looks like a good guy, and he’s stood there and tried, but that’s three straight losses against a competent opposition and he’s The wall was hit.

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