Story by: Rahmon Ford
Today’s prediction focuses on the unification matchup between IBF World welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr and WBC World welterweight champion Shawn Porter.
|Tale of The Tape||Errol Spence Jr||Shawn Porter|
|Current Status||IBF World welterweight champion||WBC World welterweight champion|
|Professional Record||25-0-0, 21 KOs||30-2-1, 17 KOs|
|Height||5 ft. 10 in.||5 ft. 7 in.|
|Reach||72 in.||69.5 in.|
On Saturday, September 28, 2019, a FOX Sports PPV event from Staples Center in Los Angeles presents a highly anticipated welterweight unification between undefeated IBF champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs), and WBC champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs).
The 29 year old Spence Jr, of Desoto, Texas (by way of Long Island) hasn’t lost since his professional debut in 2012. Prior to his fight with Mikey Garcia, Spence Jr stopped 11 opponents in a row.
He has wins over Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, and Chris Algieri. His win over Kell Brook in 2017 resulted in him capturing the IBF title. He’s defended the title three times, going 3-0, with two stoppages.
When asked about his upcoming fight with Porter, Spence Jr responded:
“He (Porter) didn’t want to fight me. I wanted him. I have no choice but to come out on top. I’m the guy that’s going to make the fight on pay-per-view. I’m the guy that’s going to make the most money. So I feel like he didn’t have a choice but to fight me. It just had to happen. “I want to be the best. I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and he is in my way. I feel like by the end of next year, you’ll find out who is really the best welterweight in the division.
“I’m used to fighting and sparring aggressive guys that come forward. He’s not a fighter that just likes to come forward, but he likes to use his angles and use his legs. I’m expecting a Shawn Porter that is going to try to get on the inside for the fight.
“This is a fight that I have been asking for, for a long time. If you follow me on social media, you can see that since I was 14-0, I have been calling out the big name fighters and they decided not to fight me. All to keep me out. You all wanted to fight each other. Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, even Shawn Porter. I had to get in the ring and ask for this fight, saying I will fight you anytime, anyplace. Now it’s finally happening.
“I guarantee you, I will become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, but I have to get through Shawn Porter first and become unified. This is going to be a tough fight. Shawn is a dog and he has amazing heart. I am not going to say he has all the skills in the world, but he does have talent. He’s a guy that’s going to come to fight and give it his all. But I believe I do have the skills and talent and the dog and the heart to not only make this an easy fight but I can stop him and that’s what I am looking to do.
“You saw a different fight when I fought Mikey Garcia. Everybody said I didn’t have the boxing IQ or the boxing intellect to keep up with Mikey Garcia, or to box him on the outside and to show that I was sharp. I am not just a guy who will just maul you and run through you and beat you up. In this fight I will get back to my old self and you’ll see a guy who is going to push the pace, look for the fight and try to go for the stoppage or the knockout to score an impressive one-sided victory.
“Everybody tune in to the fight. It’s going to be a great fight, action packed fight and it can be the Fight of the Year.
“I feel like there’s no way he’s going to be fighting me on the outside. So he’s going to be a guy that’s going to try to come forward and try to set the pace and rough me up. He’s going to try to show me things that have never been brought out of me, that I’m going to have to prove.”
Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), a native of Akron, now training in Las Vegas, Nevada, came from a sterling amateur background having gone 276-14, mostly as a middleweight.
Porter first won the IBF title by defeating champion Devon Alexander in 2013. He recently won the vacant WBC title with a decision over Danny Garcia.
Porter has fought Alexander, Garcia, Brook, Keith Thurman Jr, Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner, Adrian Granados, and Andre Berto. His only two losses are highly disputed (as well as his draw). If asked, I’m sure Porter believes he hasn’t lost as a professional.
Here is what Shawn had to say:
“When I fought Keith Thurman in 2016, he was considered to be the most dangerous guy in the division. I wanted to take that away from him. I wanted to take that title away from him. So yes, in a lot of ways, I’ve been down this road before. I think I’m more prepared this time around.
“When you talk about the new monster in the division as Errol Spence Jr., I’m not foreign to taking on those challenges, or being prepared for this kind of challenge. I’m not foreign to understanding what a fighter can do and what skills he possesses. I’m willing and able to come out on top of the challenge. That’s why he was selected. Once he got a belt, I needed to get a belt. There’s nothing but excitement around this.
“My natural mentality is to be more aggressive. But, we have a guy right here in Errol Spence Jr. that likes to be aggressive too and dictate the pace and be the general of the ring. I like to do the same thing. So our skills are really going to be a big part of this fight. “By the beginning of next year, we will know who is the best. It’s not just going to be who is the most aggressive in our fight that will determine who is going to win, but also who has the most skill and who is the most talented fighter. If there is any fight that can prove I’m the biggest dog in the welterweight division, it will be this one versus Errol Spence Jr.
“This guy right here calls himself ‘The Truth’, so I felt it was fitting that today I tell the truth. The truth is that you guys are in for a treat. The truth is that this going to be a fantastic fight. The truth is that this dude has skill, he has power and speed. He has everything, but the truth is, I have all those things as well.
“The truth is I don’t think you all have seen him in the ring with someone like him before. You all have not seen him in the ring before with someone who possesses all of those things. The speed, the quickness, the power, the intelligence, the mental fortitude, the dog, the fight. The truth is that I have all of those things. The truth is that it takes all of those things to beat the guy called ‘The Truth.’ The truth is, I am prepared to do those things to beat this guy and give him his first loss and finally become the unified champion in the welterweight division, which we don’t have right now.
“The truth is, I believe in myself. The truth is, I will be ready September 28 at STAPLES Center. The truth is, I am extremely excited that it will be at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. I have never fought there before. You guys asked me where I wanted to go, I say Las Vegas or Brooklyn because I have been there before. I even said Dallas because it was a great promotion when he did it against Mikey Garcia. But the truth is, I would love to fight in STAPLES and I can’t wait to get there.
“The truth is you all are going to have to wait until September 28 to see what goes down. But I am telling you the truth right now, I will leave that ring as the unified champion.
“He knows I’m a dog and have plenty of heart. I have heart to give and he knows I’m bringing all of it. He’s saying there’s going to be a man down, but I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on being prepared. I know he thinks in some ways he can make it an easy fight, but trust me, me and my team are looking at the exact same thing. No surprises on September 28 when I knock him out, it’s been said.”
Let’s look at some strengths and weaknesses.
For Spence Jr, it starts with his ring IQ. He can change styles as he showed against Garcia. Spence Jr is an outstanding body puncher and it sets him up for knockouts. Spence Jr is versatile- he fights very well on the inside and can use his range to fight behind the jab from distance. He also has great patience.
Spence Jr is a technician who breaks opponents down. His jab is very effective. He also has great size, as he is a very big welterweight. Spence Jr has great accuracy with his punches. Lastly, his power is exceptional as he’s stopped 21 of his 25 foes.
For Porter, he is a great pressure fighter who throws punches in combinations. He is a very good inside fighter and uses good footwork to get inside. Shawn has fantastic stamina and maintains punch output in the late rounds. He continuously works when inside and rarely lets an opponent off the hook during a given round. Shawn has very good power when he lands solidly on an opponent.
Errol Spence Jr’s footwork is a bit slow and he likes to plant to land hard punches. A fighter with good footwork can use this to his advantage. Errol often leaves himself open for counter punches when he punches in combinations. Spence Jr isn’t the best defensive fighter, as he can be hit when opponents go on the offensive. He doesn’t use enough head movement. Errol’s resume is much weaker than Porter’s and nobody on it has a style like Shawn’s.
Porter does well to get inside, but when he does, he often smothers his punches. Porter at times abandons his jab, which brings key offensive moments to a halt in fights. Porter accuracy is terrible, and he also falls off balance and gets sloppy, which could cost him. Shawn’s awkward style causes him to work harder than necessary.
3 Keys to Victory for Each and Prediction
Keys to Victory:
- For Spence Jr to win, he should use his jab to control a hard charging Porter from coming in. Porter rushes in and Spence Jr has a Jermall Charlo-like jab that can drop an opponent and seriously hurt him. His jab can set the table against Porter and by shooting it or either probing it against an incoming attack, it will serve “E.J.” well.
- In this fight, I think Spence Jr will serve well fighting off his back foot. Instead of charging Porter by moving forward or getting into a brawl and getting busted open with a Porter head butt, Spence can sit back and see what’s coming in and execute. I think he’ll do better using this method by moving Shawn where he wants in order to set up his own offense. Porter gives strange angles sometimes. As Porter moves in, Spence can throw his own punches with either hand at just as odd angles.
- Throw the uppercut and body shots and use your extra weight inside. Although Adrien Broner dropped Porter with a hook, the uppercut was and will be there for Spence Jr to land. Also, Shawn Porter is extremely active. Body shots will take the wheels away from him on the second half of the fight. Lastly, on fight night Errol Spence Jr will be a super middleweight. He needs to use that size at times to walk Porter down when Porter slows up, but more importantly to be Porter at his own game- on the inside. Wear him down with your size and lean on him and tie him up.
- For Porter to win, he has to get inside and work the body. Spence Jr likes to party and doesn’t have the best habits outside of the ring. That, combined with his efforts making weight, will catch up to him one day if he stays at 147. Could this be the fight? Porter needs to test him to find out. Make it as rough on the inside as possible, but continue to work the body while doing so.
- Spence Jr will be there to be hit at times and so will Porter. I like Porter’s lead right hand when coming in. He hides it well and it scores. He usually doesn’t throw it as a knockout blow, but it gets the opponent’s as well as the judges’ attention. With that in mind, Shawn needs to punch in combinations and try to move Spence Jr to the ropes so he can get off. Once on the ropes, Shawn needs to not smother his punches by stepping back and firing away, while avoiding the uppercut.
- Lastly, Shawn needs to fight like the Porter who fought Broner (his usual self), mixed with the Porter who fought Ugas (in spots), mixed with the Porter who fought Garcia. I don’t think one style works more than all three combined for Porter’s fight plan.
What gives a fighter the best chance to win, but also gives him the best chance to lose? Although there is a good chance for Porter, I believe Spence Jr is a better boxer. Porter’s best chance is to rush Spence Jr early and try to score something big. The problem is Porter more than likely will come in square, giving Spence Jr a bigger target to hit. If he does that, then Porter may get wild and walk into something.
I get the feeling Porter is going to walk into a few shots and may get dropped a couple times. I just don’t see how he won’t get picked off at some point in this fight. On the other side, I also expect him to get up and come back at Spence Jr and bank a couple rounds as the crowd senses a swing. No fight is easy against Porter, so I expect him to lick his wounds and keep coming.
Spence Jr will then change things up and his accuracy will take over as he busts Porter up. Porter, sensing he needs to close strong, will revert back to his normal style (Broner fight) and Spence will nail him coming in.
The fight will go 12 but Spence will win a clear decision. Something like 116-111 or so. If things go my way, I’ll score the fight live from Staples Center.
I think this fight will be competitive and rough at times, but the style matchup favors Spence Jr. I have nothing but respect for Porter, but he’ll have to fight the fight of his life to win.
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