Going into the fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter, many people were looking forward to seeing two of the top fighters in the division go at each other. They got what they wanted and a little bit more.
In a close fight until the end, Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) stayed unbeaten with a decision win over Porter (30-3-1,17 KOs) and became a unified champion adding the WBC title along with the IBF title that he came in with. The scores were split, as Ray Danseco and Steve Weisfeld scored the bout 116-111 for Spence and Larry Hazzard Jr. scored it 115-112 for Porter.
There was great action throughout as Porter came in with a game-plan to put pressure on Spence and not allow him to get his punches off from a distance. On a few occasions Spence was in some trouble, including in the fourth round where Porter landed power shots to the body and the head. However, Spence made adjustments to where he could connect with his left hook. That proved to be his key weapon for the rest of the fight.
As the action stayed close throughout the middle of the bout, the fight was in the balance going into the championship rounds as both guys scored on each other. It wasn’t until there was one minute left in the eleventh round when Spence caught Porter with that left hook to make his glove touch the canvas for the fight to swing in the favor of Spence before the scorecards came out.
Spence was relieved after hearing the decision and winning the WBC and IBF titles. “It feels good to win,” said Spence. “This is a lifelong dream of mine. It shows that hard work pays off.”
After having a shutout victory against Mikey Garcia, Spence wanted to prove that he could bang against one of the toughest fighters in the division.
“By boxing Mikey Garcia, I wanted to show people I could do it with that style. Porter was throwing a lot. I wanted to show I was the bigger and stronger welterweight.”
Porter, who was coming into the fight on a four bout winning streak, wanted to make it tough for Spence and did just that. He wanted to come out with the victory, but acknowledged that the knockdown separated the two fighters.
“I think that knockdown was the difference,” said Porter. “He’s a strong kid. We both came in to do the job. I think I had a little more than what he expected, but he handled it. Congratulations to him and his team. We’re proud of what we did.”
This bout ended up being a Fight of the Year candidate with fans wanting more, but what’s next for each fighter is up in the air. One welterweight contender – Danny Garcia – stepped in the ring after the bout while Spence was being interviewed, and he could be a potential opponent for Spence. Being the confident champion that he is, Spence did not mind that being his next fight.
“I’ve told my team, you line ’em up, I’mma knock ’em down.”
Cover photo by Ryan Hafey of Premier Boxing Champions