An Instant Classic: LI’s Errol Spence Jr. storms back, beats Shawn Porter via split decision
When it comes to boxing, nothing is better than a calculating slugfest. Forced to change his game earlier in the fight, Errol Spence Jr. ended up taking care of Shawn Porter in a true fight of the year candidate.
Inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, Spence (26-0) defeated Porter (30-3-1) via split decision to unify the IBF and WBC Welterweight World Titles. The judges had the scoring all over the place, scored the contest 116-111, 112-115, 116-111 after twelve epic rounds. Double G Sports scored the bout 114-114 with the edge to Spence following a knockdown in the eleventh.
Although Porter had strong punches through the entire fight, Spence managed to come back, landing a few heavy shots of his own.
“All my punches have bad intentions,” said Spence after the fight. “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.”
The fight started slow, but picked up in the third as both just hit shot after shot against one another. When a fight starts to pick up early it keeps the attention of all fans in attendance. Following that third, nobody could look away from what was going on in the ring.
Porter, who was on a four-fight win streak prior to this bout, was the toughest opponent for Spence in his young career. He was a much different fighter than Mikey Garcia, who Spence ran circles around back in March. According to CompuBox, Spence outlanded Porter 221 to 172, but the shots that Porter landed tested Spence’s ability like no other.
That was especially true in the middle rounds when Porter outclassed Spence. Round eight saw both fighters trade blow after blow and it wasn’t until about round nine when Spence kicked it into high gear. He started going inside, and while Porter was hitting shots to the face, Spence’s body shot combinations were key.
A major problem throughout the bout was Porter missing the “long kiss goodnight” shots, but Spence wasn’t doing himself any favors either. Spence finally got his chance to shine in the eleventh, when he hit Porter with a beautiful left hook that stunned the crowd. That shot may have been the difference on several scorecards.
The twelfth and final round was a true battle, as both looked to get style points. Porter hit inside shots but Spence caught him back with shots to the face. Both fighters had a chance to finish the fight by the ropes, but it was Spence who ended up being creative towards the end. With the win, Spence retained his IBF belt for the fourth straight fight.
Now, Spence finally has a chance to go towards the true money fights in either Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford. The latter has been requesting that fight since his April win over Amir Khan. For some reason, however, Danny Garcia 2-2 in his last four, believes he is next in line for Spence. While not as sexy of a bout, it would be another test for Spence before the big guns.
If Spence does go after Garcia next, does that give Porter an opportunity against the other welterweights? The next few months of matchmaking should be fascinating. Spence, however, doesn’t seem to mind who he faces. With a championship mindset that includes a whole new amount of confidence, he is ready to take on anyone who is in his way
“My how the tables have turned,” Spence stated. “I’ve told my team, you line them up, I’ll knock them down.”
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