Caleb Plant made a loud statement in his comeback fight.
The former 168-pound titleholder, coming off a knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in May, knocked out veteran Anthony Dirrell with a single left hook in the final seconds of Round 9 on the Deontay Wilder-Robert Helenius card Saturday in Brooklyn, New York.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:57 of the round.
The fight had been competitive and relatively uneventful until the stoppage, although Plant seemed to be outworking his 38-year-old opponent for eight-plus rounds.
Caleb Plant puts Anthony Dirrell to sleep pic.twitter.com/2zvCYjE00P
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2022
Then, as time was winding down in Round 9, Plant landed a left to the body, followed by a left to the head that put Dirrell onto his side and out.
Dirrell had trouble getting up from the canvas, an indication of how injured he was. He ultimately regained his senses and was able to walk out of the ring unassisted, although he had nothing to say.
“This win felt good,” Plant said. “You’ve heard about how much he hates me … but my head and my heart is what won me this fight. I was in control the whole time. My coach told me to stay patient and ease in and that’s what we did. Then, boom!
Plant was ranked by all four sanctioning bodies going into the fight, No. 1 by the WBC. On Saturday, he proved against a normally resilient opponent that he is worthy of another title challenge.
“I’m ready for whatever,” he said. “I’m going to spend some time with my family, but then I’m ready for the biggest fights that we can make.”
In other undercard fights,
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