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Canelo Alvarez punches Caleb Plant against the ropes during their championship bout. Photo: TNS

UFC 268: Dana White watched Canelo Alvarez boxing match during Zhang Weili vs Rose Namajunas fight

  • UFC president cashed a huge US$100,000 bet on Mexican superstar beating Caleb Plant by knockout
  • Pictures from spectators at Madison Square Garden show White watching Canelo’s latest victory on a cageside TV screen while Namajunas battled Zhang

UFC president Dana White had money riding on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his boxing match against Caleb Plant in Las Vegas, and made sure not to miss the action – despite being cageside for his own event in New York.

The Canelo-Plant bout went down at the same time as Saturday night’s UFC 268 card at Madison Square Garden, overlapping with the strawweight title fight between champion Rose Namajunas and challenger Zhang Weili.

White was sitting cageside for the highly-anticipated rematch – which Namajunas took by split decision after a five-round thriller – but had the Canelo-Plant fight playing on a monitor in front of him.

The UFC boss was caught watching the boxing match during his own event but laughed the situation off when asked about it after the event.

He also revealed the reason he made sure to tune in: he had a huge US$100,000 bet on Canelo winning by knockout, which cashed when the Mexican superstar deflated Plant with a vicious assault in round 11.

“I like Canelo,” White said wryly at the UFC 268 post-fight press conference. “I watched the fight. I bet on Canelo, that’s why I watched the fight. I bet US$100,000 on him to win by knockout.”

Any of White’s sceptics were quickly silenced when he produced his bet slip, which revealed his winnings of US$46,000.

By defeating Plant (21-1), Canelo (57-1-2) defended the WBA, WBC and WBO super-middleweight titles, and swiped Plant’s IBF super-middleweight belt. He’s now the division’s unified champion, and just about irrefutable as boxing’s top pound-for-pound fighter.

American champ Namajunas (11-4) is now riding back-to-back wins over Chinese star Zhang (21-3) having won their first fight by first-round knockout at UFC 261 in April.

While White was clearly distracted during Namajunas and Zhang’s fight, he was impressed by what he saw nonetheless. “Awesome fight, those two put on a hell of a performance,” he said.