The clash between Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (26-0, 21KOs) and “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17KOs) delivered a unification bout for the ages. Both welterweights stepped in the ring as champions (Spence Jr., the IBF titleholder and Porter, the WBC titleholder), but only one fighter would leave with both belts.
As the welterweight division is flush with talent, there are so many match-ups that boxing fans want to see out that division – this fight being one of them. Spence came in as the favorite was expected by many to have a dominant performance; possibly stopping Shawn Porter, as Spence alluded to in many of the pre-fight press conferences and media takes. However, Porter was all in on no letting that happen as he brought the fight to Spence Jr. from the opening bell.
The first round, saw Porter, 31, as the clear aggressor. He was leaning and stepping forward while throwing his jab, trying to get past the longer reach of Spence so Porter could work the inside. He was in Spence’s face throwing punches in bunches from awkward angles and not giving Spence much space to find his range and fight. It was clear that Porter had adopted a “junkyard dog” mentality and was going to dictate the pace of the fight from start to finish.
As such, Spence, 29, had most of his trouble in the early rounds as he needed some time to adjust to the rough and rugged style of boxing that Porter was hellbent on using. Round-by-round Spence started having more and more success as he realize he would need to fight fire with fire and adapt to Porter. Spence began digging into Porter’s body and turning Porter around to land his well placed and accurate power shots. There were many times, where the fighters were in the clinch, and Spence was able to land the more effective blows as they worked their ways out.
In the middle rounds, onlookers witnessed Spence becoming the aggressor and walking Porter down. It was as if Spence had completely brought into the fact that this fight was going to be fought on the inside and at a torrid pace. One had to start wondering after the sixth round, if both fighters could maintain such a pace. From a proven stamina perspective, Porter definitely had the advantage given that more of his most recent fights have gone the distance.
“I’ve been on Shawn Porter for a long time. I know how he comes to fight. He doesn’t quit,” Spence said. “He’s like a pitbull, going to keep coming making it awkward. I wanted to put his will to the test. I out-willed the stronger guy.”
True to form, the fight was mostly defined by Porter’s aggressiveness and incredibly high punch output versus Spence’s accuracy and more effective shots. Both men landed some ferocious blows that had everyone questioning how neither was getting dropped, hurt, or even KO’d. Until the eleventh round, that is. Spence had been walking Porter down for a majority of the ninth, tenth and eleventh rounds, looking to land on the inside and break down Porter’s body. Midway through the eleventh, Spence was able to land a clean flush check hook that staggered Porter, causing his glove to hit the canvas and was scored a knockdown for Spence.
From there on out, it was Spence who had the strong finish even though Porter still didn’t make it easy. It was Spence who landed the power shots to the head and to the body consistently. Spence outlanded Porter by a margin of 221 to 172, according to CompuBox.
“All my punches had bad intentions tonight,” Spence said. “I boxed against Mikey Garcia but I wanted to show I could sit down and punch with one of the roughest fighters in the welterweight division and that’s what I did. All credit to Shawn for showing tremendous heart.”
Spence was declared the winner after getting a split decision victory from the judges.
“He’s a strong kid,” Porter said. “We both came in here to do the job. He got the split decision. I take nothing away from him I knew it was going to be a dog fight. I think he knew it was going to be a dog fight. He was victorious and I congratulate him and his team.”
After the fight Spence stated that he wants to fight the ageless Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39KOs), who is 40 years old and the current WBA Welterweight Titleholder. However, it was Danny “Swift” Garcia (35-2, 21KOs) who got in the ring and called Spence out. It seems that Spence vs Garcia will be the next fight for both fighters.
As for Porter, we don’t know what to expect. Some thought that he won and nobody can deny the wonderful performance. So a rematch would be perfect but if not, then he should hopefully have another title shot in the near future.