Alvarez becomes the sixth fighter to simultaneously hold all four separate boxing governing body belts.
With a destructive flurry of power punches in the waning minutes of a tough fight, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez added another achievement to his overflowing list of boxing successes.
The Mexican superstar pound for pound is the undisputed world middleweight champion.
He became the first four-belt world champion at 76 kg (168 lbs) in boxing history on Saturday night, stopping Caleb Plant in eleventh position with two dramatic knockdowns.
Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) added Plant’s IBF title to his WBC, WBA and WBO belts with a consistent tactical performance that culminates in a demonstration of his vaunted power to finish the previously undefeated Plant at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The 31-year-old, generally recognized as the best fighter in the world regardless of weight class, now has complete dominance in a weight class.
He became the sixth man to be a four-belt champion, joining junior welterweight Josh Taylor as the only current undisputed champions in their weight class.
“It wasn’t easy to get to this point,” said Alvarez. “With my team I have gone very far.
“This is for everyone, especially Mexico. There are only six of us. It makes me happy and motivated to be one of the six undisputed fighters in the world. “
After stopping three of his previous four opponents, Alvarez faced a tough matchup with tenacious Plant (21-1), who usually moved backwards and worked behind his jab to stay away from Alvarez’s power.
Alvarez remained persistent and racked up a volume of quality punches and, in the first seconds of round 11, sent Plant crashing to the canvas with a kinky combination followed by an uppercut as Plant tried to dodge away.
Plant got up unsteadily and Alvarez dropped him again with two big right hands, forcing referee Russell Mora to finish him off at 1:05 of the 11th round.
Plant is a sturdy fighter and inspirational athlete who has gone through numerous personal tragedies to earn a shot at the pound-for-pound champion, but the Tennessee native has discovered just how big the gap remains between Alvarez and his contemporaries.
Alvarez landed more than 32 percent of his 361 punches, while Plant only landed 23 percent of his 441 hits, which included 232, more than double Alvarez.
The Mexican fighter excelled at powerful punches, landing 40 percent of 251 power shots while consuming Plant.
Alvarez is the first Mexican fighter to reign undisputed at the top of a division, and every fan hailed in the vehemently pro-Canelo sold-out crowd of 16,586 seemed aware of the result.
The champion, originally from Guadalajara, spoke often before the battle of his determination to accomplish the feat both for himself and for Mexico.
Alvarez extended his most successful active career in boxing with his eighth consecutive victory in just over three years. He hasn’t lost in 16 fights since abandoning a majority decision to Floyd Mayweather in 2013, with only a draw against Gennady Golovkin ruining his record.
Alvarez and Plant had no personal spirits until September, when Alvarez took offense at Plant’s insult at a press conference in Beverly Hills to promote the meeting. Alvarez and Plant briefly discarded, leaving Plant with a cut on the face and a new avenue of motivation.