LAS VEGAS – David Benavidez wanted nothing more than to knock out Caleb Plant in their grudge match Saturday night.

The unbeaten WBC interim super middleweight champion admitted after decisively defeating Plant that he is “a little disappointed” that their fight lasted all 12 rounds. Benavidez also pointed out that he might’ve been able to stop Plant had veteran referee Kenny Bayless prevented Plant from excessively holding him, particularly during the second half of their 168-pound championship bout at MGM Grand Garden Arena.

“I don’t wanna throw Kenny Bayless under the bus,” Benavidez said during his post-fight press conference, “but you know, he didn’t call Caleb Plant out in any of the clinches he was doing the whole fight. You know, I think if Kenny Bayless woulda said something about the clinches, you know, maybe it would’ve stopped Caleb from trying to clinch and I woulda clipped him.

“But I was hurting him a lotta times, you know, busted his eye open, hurt him to the body and, you know, I can still get better. I can still get better. But I am satisfied with this performance. I’m not gonna say I’m not. I am very satisfied.”

Benavidez beat Plant comfortably on the scorecards of judges Steve Weisfeld (117-111) and Dave Moretti (116-112). Weisfeld scored nine rounds for Benavidez, whereas Moretti credited Benavidez for winning eight rounds.

Judge Tim Cheatham had it closer, 115-113 for Phoenix’s Benavidez (27-0, 23 KOs), who won seven rounds on his card.

Plant (22-2, 13 KOs), of Ashland City, Tennessee, got off to a strong start. His smooth movement, defense and counterpunches helped him build a lead on all three scorecards through five rounds.

Cheatham scored each of the first five rounds for Plant, who was in front 50-45 on his card entering the sixth round. The former IBF super middleweight champ was ahead by slimmer margins according to Moretti (49-46) and Weisfeld (48-47) through five rounds.

The 26-year-old Benavidez won each of the final seven rounds on all three scorecards. Benavidez’s pressure wore Plant down during the second half of their Showtime Pay-Per-View main event and Plant often held, which Benavidez believes helped his rival survive until the final bell.

“Yeah, I mean, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get the stoppage,” Benavidez said, “but you know, you guys seen how his face looked. You know, he was really bloody. And I was really imposing my will. I really beat him up really good and, like I said, I’m not really satisfied because I didn’t get the knockout. But this is a great way to get a victory, you know, it’s a dominating performance. It was a great performance. There’s a lotta things I can tweak in my game to make sure I get the stoppage next time.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.