LOS ANGELES, Calif., September 28, 2019 – Here’s the truth: who wouldn’t love to see a rematch between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter?
Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. of Dallas (26-0. 21 KOs) and “Showtime” Shawn Porter of Cleveland (30-3-1, 17 KOs) went the distance, delivering an epic firefight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as a thrilled crowd of 16,702 watched – most for Spence, some for Porter, and all for the action they witnessed.
At the conclusion of 12 hard rounds some didn’t see coming, Errol Spence Jr. wins by majority decision. Scores were 116-111 on two cards for Spence Jr., and 115-112 for Porter on the third. Spence Jr. is now the unified WBC and IBF Welterweight World Champion.
“It feels good to win,” said Spence Jr. “This is a lifetime dream. It shows hard work pays off. Thanks to Shawn Porter for giving me the fight, my whole team and all my Texas people for coming out.”
The rough and tumble version of Shawn Porter came out to play. It was without a doubt roughest fight Errol Spence Jr. had ever been in as a professional. Spence Jr. was willing to indulge it – and Porter made sure he gave him no choice. But give Spence Jr. credit for rising to the challenge and meeting it.
“He throws punches from different angles, he’s real awkward. I knew he was going to be tough, but he was tougher than I thought. I’m a naturally aggressive fighter, in the Mikey Garcia fight I showed that, moving forward and stepping forward. Shawn is like that, he tries to make you uncomfortable in the ring. I felt like I did very fine fighting on the inside.”
“I think we came in with a good game plan,” said Porter. “The fight played out 90 percent the way we wanted it to. I think muy skills are a little bit better than he thought they were, right?” as Porter turned to Spence Jr. at the post-fight news conference. Spence Jr. laughed “Oh yeah, yeah for sure. The fight’s over now, I can be a gentleman.”
Porter presents toughest challenge of Spence Jr.’s career
Porter delivered more sheer effort than in his previous fights combined. The smaller challenger came right in at his bigger opponent, showing no fear. He came right at Spence Jr. from the opening bell. He went to the body well, and give Spence Jr. credit for taking the shots well, or at least well enough.
Spence Jr. couldn’t have been shocked. Earlier in the week, he’d called Porter an “in-shape street fighter.” But he didn’t seem completely equipped to deal with it in the early rounds. Perhaps Spence Jr. thought Porter might gas himself out. But Porter proved to be in phenomenal condition.
The pair traded rounds back and forth during the first half of the fight. Spence Jr. was landing more punches, but Porter was making more of an impact, especially in comparison to Spence Jr.’s previous opponents. In the fourth round, Porter landed 26 punches, the most in any single round by any opponent against Spence Jr.
In the sixth round, Spence Jr. started figuring out how to get to Porter, working to the body and starting to box more than brawl, something he needed to make stick. The fight remained incredibly close, with the pair trading hard shots with the potential to end the fight at any point of any round.
Spence’s bad intentions showed
“I wanted to show I was the bigger and stronger welterweight,” said Spence Jr. ““All my punches have bad intentions.”
The seventh was a comeback round for Porter, his best of the fight. Anyone thinking he would have gassed himself out at this point would have been wrong. Spence Jr. looked shaken up at times, swiftly calculating how he could change things.
But Spence Jr. didn’t let himself get rattled. Spence Jr. began to see Porter’s awkward shots coming, and it let him be more assertive and accurate. He also started having more success blocking shots.
Porter continued to throw from different angles, but he wasn’t landing as flush as he did earlier in the fight. Still, on many cards Porter had a slim lead.
In the final third of the fight, both men found themselves in deep water. At the end of ten rounds the crowd rose to its feet in appreciation. As veteran trainer Joe Goossen said, “No one has ever done this to Spence before.”
In the 11th round, Spence Jr. landed a terrific left hook, and Porter stumbled, touching the canvas with a glove, a legal knockdown. Porter straightened up and took the count with 35 seconds to go. Did he hold? Of course not. It could have been his undoing but he survived to come out for a 12th round many people didn’t think they would see.
The crowd stayed on its feet, too for the 12th round, phones out and held high to help them remember and prove they were there. The final round was as action packed as the preceding 11 rounds. Porter knew he needed the round after the knockdown, and gave it all he had. It fired up Spence Jr., who fought back. For just a moment, the two rested against each other with a moment left. As the fight wound toward the final bell, the crowd rose to its feet one final time in appreciation.
“To say that was a robbery, you’re not going to hear me say it,” said Porter. “My dad can say it, everyone else can say it … And my whole team, we’re all proud. I think the knockdown was the difference. I couldn’t come down to that corner with my head hanging low because of how hard we fought. This is what we came here for.”
Spence Jr says his priority is collecting more belts
While a rematch would be phenomenal, it’s may not be happening right away. Former welterweight champion Danny Garcia stepped into the ring after the fight. “My how the tables have turned,” said Spence Jr. in the ring. “I’ve told my team, you line them up, I’ll knock them down.” But later in the post-fight news conference, Spence Jr. said if he can’t face either WBA World Champion Manny Pacaquiao or WBO World Champion Terence Crawford for a third title, he’d rather move up to super welterweight to face unified super welterweight champion Julian “J-Rock” Williams. We’ll sign up for this.
Give Porter credit for being in phenomenal condition, and for bringing the fight to Spence Jr. in a way no other opponent has managed.He said he’d also like a shot at Pacquiao, but it’s hard to imagine the Fighting Senator willingly signing up for the kind of punishment Porter dealt out Saturday.
As with all great fights, the fans and the sport itself are the winners. In the wake of a phenomenal fight, there are many good options to consider. Saturday’s bout was a throwback. It wasn’t hard to imagine a ring of 50, 70, even 100 years in the past with clouds of cigar smoke rising to the ceiling as the crowd cheered the most basic form of boxing.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities from San Diego, California. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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