The last time Premier Boxing Champions hosted a mega-fight at the Staples Center in DTLA, Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury left the crowd with their jaws on the floor as he rose from the dead “Undertaker” style after being brutally knocked down by WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder. Now this Saturday, Sep. 28, PBC returns with another stacked pay-per-view card between undefeated IBF Errol “The Truth” Spence and WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter as the main event for a welterweight unification showdown.
Both welterweight champions are coming off victories in March, with Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) edging out a split-decision against Cuban contender Yordenis Ugas at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Ca. while Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) completely dominated four-division world champion Mikey Garcia to score a comfortable unanimous decision in front of his home state crowd in Arlington, TX. Even in their victories, however, both champions are still targets of heavy criticism following their last bouts.
The majority of boxing fans and analysts had Ugas ahead on the scorecards against Porter and believe he should’ve become the new WBC welterweight champion last March. Porter, who usually utilizes effective non-stop pressure and aggressiveness to overwhelm his opponents appeared to have opted out for a different style in his first title defense against Ugas. Though Porter has a much more decorated resume than the Texan southpaw, with his lackluster performance being so fresh in the mind of fans, it is no surprise he comes in as the underdog this Saturday.
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“Being in the underdog position is literally where I come from,” Porter said at their last press conference. “Northeast Ohio is always an underdog. Everybody works where I come from. We always do the best we can.”
Though Mikey Garcia is highly thought-of in the boxing community and his SNAC preparation videos hyped everyone up to buy the pay-per-view clash, Spence constantly gets questioned as to why he was unable to KO or even hurt the much-smaller Mexican champion. Though Spence claims he was never trying to hurt Garcia in the first place and instead took the opportunity to display his tactical ability, most boxing fans have a hard time believing he wouldn’t want a highlight-reel KO in his home state of Texas. However, in this fight, Spence has been immensely vocal about wanting to be the first to make Porter taste the canvas.
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“I just have to do what I’ve been doing,” said Spence. “I don’t care about the rounds as long as it doesn’t go 12. I’m going to win and do it in dominating fashion. It’s important to me to get the knockout. It’s a goal of mine to stop him and I hope to get it done. If can’t get it done, then I’m just going to be comfortable with the victory. But you know I’m looking for the stoppage.”
Fans and analyst who enjoy using the triangle theory are using mutual opponent Kell “Special K” Brook as a means to come up with a calculated prediction for the unification fight between the current champions. While the triangle theory could be useful to come up with some decent conclusions, boxing proves every now and again that styles make fights regardless of previous performances and mutual opponents. Porter faced a then-undefeated Brook in 2014 for his second IBF Welterweight Title defense and lost by majority decision with two judges ruling the bout for the U.K. welter and one scoring it a draw. While Porter used his usual come-forward aggressiveness, Brook was always one step ahead with effective counter punches to neutralize the Ohio native.
Spence reassured the boxing world he was a force to be reckoned with in 2017 when he traveled to Brook’s backyard in Yorkshire, U.K. and knocked him out in the 11th round to obtain the same IBF welterweight title Brook had taken from Porter. Before the knockout, Spence was ahead on all three judges’ scorecords.
It’s natural that because of these performances, Spence is given the edge as a favorite against Porter, who is often reffered to as the weakest champion of the division. However, one could also argue Porter faced a much more dangerous Brook than the one Spence made quit three years later, who was coming off taking massive punishment in his middleweight bout againt the “Boogeyman” Gennady Golovkin.
Prior to his fight with Garcia, Spence was coming off an 11-knockout streak with an impressive 84 percent KO ratio. Porter in the other hand, only has a 51 percent KO ratio with his last knockout victory being in April 2017 against Andre Berto. Though Spence classifed him as a “dirty” fighter, Porter always comes to fight and gives his opponents a competive match regardless of the outcome.
Perhaps Porter’s most impressive perfomance was against Philly’s Danny “Swift” Garcia for the vacant WBC Welterweight Title last year. Most expected Porter to clinch Garcia for the majority of their bout, but instead, Porter delivered a spectacular performance excecuting every direction or adjustment his dad and trainer Kenny Porter had for him in between rounds. In order for Porter to come out victorious Saturday night, he must continue his effective pressure, while also staying focused and not fall victim of Spence’s body shots and counters at close range, which could be fatal. Having the longer reach and height, Spence counts with the advantage to jab Porter as he tries to come in and follow up with a hook to the head or body of Porter. Porter could also use his southpaw stance to make the night more difficult for Porter.
My prediction: As with every fight, there’s a reason why a fighter is particularly the favorite. While Porter has faced more experienced opposition in more fights, Spence has looked special in his climb to the top of the welterweight division. I am picking Spence to win, however, I don’t know if it will be the blowout everyone is expecting. Porter has proven to be a tough-chinned durable fighter in every war he’s engaged in, and I don’t think this one will be the exception. Spence will capitalize on his reach advantage to land the better, crisper punches to make his way to a comfortable unanimous decision victory to become unified welterweight champion.
However, just like Gennady Golovkin said, “Guys, this is boxing.” So if Porter is planning to swing for the fences and pressure Spence against the ropes, he can very much become prone to getting stopped or at least hurt and dropped if Spence could time his punches. For all we know, Porter’s over-aggressive style is tailored-made for a harder-hitting Spence.
Should Porter score a definitive victory, it would tilt the welterweight division upsidedown and give the hardcore Terence Crawford ultimate bragging rights to claim he was “exposed.” All I want at the end of the day is an outstanding fight which makes the pay-per-view worth the price.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.