SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 6, 2018 – How did we get to Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter’s welterweight fight for the vacant WBC title this Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn? It’s worth a look back.
After “Showtime” Shawn Porter’s strong outing against an outclassed Andre Berto in April 2017, he became the WBC mandatory challenger for top welterweight dog Keith Thurman. , and fans looked forward to a rematch of their entertaining bout won by Thurman.
Thurman had just come off a split decision win in March over Danny “Swift” Garcia, getting a quick start and coasting to this win.
Instead, the fight had to wait due to a combination of Thurman being injured, and taking a long layoff after getting married and pursuing a little leisure time. We’re still waiting. Meanwhile. Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) ended up winning a strong unanimous decision against Adrian Granados in November, a stay busy fight. Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) took nearly a year off before bouncing back with a nine round TKO beatdown of Brandon Rios in February, ended with a single punch.
Thurman decided in April to drop the WBC belt rather than being pressed into action, still rehabilitating from elbow surgery and a recent hand injury. This opened the door to Saturday’s bout. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman said Thurman will be a mandated opponent for the organization’s champion once he heals.
Garcia and Porter are both top ten welterweights, still viable talents in the division and still capable of entertaining fights. But handing them the opportunity to win this belt while Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, and even Manny Pacquiao populate the division is worth of a “What” meme.
No matter, the fight is on and it is a true 50-50 matchup for fans. Both have the tools to turn the fight to their advantage, so it comes down to who dictates the style matchup.
At Thursday’s final news conference, both fighters and their outspoken father/trainers, Angel Garcia and Kenny Porter, expressed complete confidence in their ability to prevail.
Shawn Porter: ‘Whatever it takes to win this fight’
Porter says he wants the win more than Garcia “One way or another, I’m going to win this fight. Whether it’s decision, knockout, I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win this fight … I told you before, there’s nothing that I could have ever wanted in my entire life — I’m 30-years-old — more than this.”
Former IBF champion Porter has adapted his style to fit his blocky frame. No one would ever describe it as elegant, and plenty describe it as dirty. Porter can be all head and forearms at times. He doesn’t deny it, and said he works hard at frustrating his opponents.
“My style comes with a rough and aggressive approach that not many people understand,” said Porter. “The work rate at which I perform is not common. To be able to have the reflexes and willingness to do what I do, that also doesn’t come very often. It takes a lot for me to be as aggressive as I am but also to be so willing offensively and defensively to put myself out there.
“Other people who try to be as aggressive as I am, usually there’s something missing. Usually there’s a quickness offensively or defensively that’s missing, or there’s just something that isn’t clicking the way it has for me. I think because of that it’s misunderstood, that most people would just say ‘he’s aggressive—he fights and that’s it.’ It really is calculated.”
Danny Garcia: ‘I’m the better fighter’
Garcia naturally disagrees . “I just feel like I’m a better fighter, a better all-around fighter,” said Danny Garcia. “I just feel like I’m a better fighter and that’s it.”
“I know I’m a better all-around fighter than Porter is,” he said. “I’m hungry. I just have to fight a smart fight and dictate the pace.” Garcia says the loss to Thurman helped restart his career and re-ignite his love for boxing. Before. He says boxing felt like just a job.
“I know what I have to do. I have to be me,” said Garcia. “Everyone knows I’m a good counter puncher. He knows I’m a good counter puncher. I’m going in there on September 8th and beat the hell out of this guy.”
Keys to the Garcia vs Porter fight
The place to start with Garcia vs Porter are with their common foe, Thurman. Porter found success getting rough with Thurman, but not enough to win thanks to Thurman’s superior footwork and speed. When Porter did get to Thurman, he often made Porter pay for it.
Porter should have more success roughing up Garcia. Garcia wasn’t able to evade Thurman, and although he’s faster than Porter, Garcia won’t be successful evading Porter if Porter is willing to get rough. Garcia has two choices: try to fight behind a strong jab outside, or simply going for broke and doing what he can to land to the body of Porter. Porter is generally well conditioned, so this won’t be easy. Both have plenty of power to work with, but only if the right punches land in the right spot. Accuracy is key here.
The intangible elements are stamina and chin. If it’s a boxing match, Garcia can win. If it’s a brawl, Porter can win. But chances are good the winner will have to take a hard shot or two and stand up to the punishment. We give Porter the edge here.
Keith Thurman’s opinion on the Garcia vs Porter fight
From his St. Petersburg, Florida gym, Thurman has a well-informed opinion to share, having been in the ring with both men.
“I honestly love this fight, and I consider it a tremendous battle and one of the best matchups of the year,” said Thurman. “For me, having fought both of them, I do believe that each of them is capable of hurting the other and getting one another out of there.
“I know most fans are going to lean toward Danny Garcia with his knockout power and the potential for that, but I’m taking Shawn Porter by decision. Shawn’s got a decent punch, even though he focuses on his output more than his one-punch solid blow and has it in his arsenal to hurt Danny Garcia.”
Thurman notes Porter is naturally bigger than Garcia, and more athletic. He also believes Porter is the naturally more confident fighter.
“I think Danny has a small confidence issue. I noticed it in my fight and the Lucas Matthysse fight,” Thurman said. “Danny’s confidence came when Lucas Matthysse was bleeding. Once that happened, he was like, ‘Oh, I can hurt this guy.’ But he didn’t have that emotion at the start of the fight.”
Who are we to argue with Thurman? We’re calling this one for Porter in a unanimous decision win.
Undercard action and fight time information
Saturday’s fight card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, begins with streaming coverage at 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT on Showtime Championship Boxing Countdown. Five-division world champion Amanda Serrano of Puerto Rico (34-1-1. 25 KOs) looks to win a world title in her record sixth weight class for the vacant WBO 140-pound belt against Yamila Esther Reynoso of Argenina (11-4-3, 8 KOs). Serrano, age 29, has far more experience than her 22-year-old opponent and should take her to school.
On Showtime Championship Boxing at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT, Yordenis Ugas of Cuba (22-3, 11 KOs) faces Cesar Barrionueva of Argentina (34-3-2, in a welterweight eliminator contest. It is the first fight in the U.S. and only his second fight outside Argentina for Barrionueva. Ugas has won six straight bouts since two losses to Amir Imam and Emmanual Robles, including wins over Jamal Jamal James and Thomas Dulorme.
Brooklyn brings on the big boys in a heavyweight bout between Brooklyn’s Polish prince Adam Kownacki (17-0, 14 KOs) against former titleholder Charles Martin (25-1-1, 23 KOs) of Carson, California. Martin held the IBF title for about a a minute (OK, three months) before losing in a two round slaughter to Anthony Joshua. Let’s hope they both guys stay in the ring unlike Curtis Harper. A fight we’d like to see if Kownacki wins is a matchup with his Brooklyn brother and friend, Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller.
The evening ends with the title bout, Garcia vs. Porter.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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