Motivation and Education: Shawn Porter looks to upset the odds against Errol Spence Jr.
By Hector Franco | Senior Writer and Editor
Published: September 24, 2019
LOS ANGELES, CA – This weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California fans will be witness to just the 11th Welterweight unification bout in boxing history when IBF Welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 KOs) takes on WBC Welterweight champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOS).
The Welterweight division, along with the Middleweight and Heavyweight divisions has always been one of the most popular in boxing featuring some of the most prominent names in the history of the sport.
Fights like Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns in 1981, Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad in 1999 and the most financially successfully bout in boxing history Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao in 2015 were Welterweight unification matches.
The most recent Welterweight unification bout took place in the first half of 2017 when Keith Thurman faced off against Danny Garcia to unify the WBC and WBA Welterweight titles.
Thurman ended up winning a split decision victory over Garcia to become the WBC/WBA unified Welterweight champion.
While Spence-Porter is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated bouts for the remainder of 2019, the odds behind the fight do not reflect a competitive match.
As of this writing, according to Betting Inside Journal, Spence is as high as a nine to one favorite to defeat Porter.
Spence at this time is rated as one of the top fighters in the world pound-for-pound by most boxing publications.
Along with WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford, Spence is seen as the premier Welterweight at this time.
Much of the admiration and hype behind Spence is based on the visual of his work inside the squared circle. The Desoto, Texas native’s resume is not the most comprehensive at Welterweight, leaving much to be desired at this point.
Spence has wins over former world champions such as Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Lamont Peterson, and Mikey Garcia.
The victory over Brook saw Spence travel to the United Kingdom stopping Brook in the 11th round in his hometown of Sheffield, England to win the IBF Welterweight title.
Spence’s first headlining pay-per-view (PPV) took place this past March at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas when he shut out four-division champion Mikey Garcia who was making his Welterweight debut and moving up from Lightweight.
The Brook and Garcia bouts highlight many of the different facets of Spence’s boxing skills.
In those fights, he showed his ability to box from the outside against Garcia and an ability to apply pressure to stop an opponent against Brook.
Along with Spence’s recent performances, he holds a height and reach advantage over Porter giving more precedence to him being favored.
Despite these odds, Porter appears confident going into a bout with Spence and seems prepared with a game plan for the task in front of him.
“You have not seen anybody throw combinations at Errol Spence,” said Porter in an interview on the Sway in the Morning show on Sirius XM radio. You have not seen anybody go at Errol Spence’s body and continue to go at him. I’m in shape. I swim. I run. High-altitude training. Ice baths. Cold tubs.
"I do whatever it takes to be prepared to go 12 hard rounds. And that’s something that Errol Spence has not done. What hasn’t Errol Spence been able to do? He hasn’t been able to fight hard for 12 rounds. Nobody’s made him fight hard for 12 rounds.”
Porter, in many respects, may feel that his resume and championship pedigree have been downplayed by fans going into the match with Spence.
As an amateur, Porter amassed a 267-14 record facing fighters all across the weight scale including world champions like Juan Francisco Estrada, Daniel Jacobs, Demetrius Andrade, and Oleksandr Usyk.
As a professional, Porter is a two-time Welterweight champion holding victories over former world champions Julio Diaz, Devon Alexander, Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, and Danny Garcia.
Porter’s two losses as a professional came against Kell Brook in 2014 and Keith Thurman in the summer of 2016.
The loss to Thurman was considered one of the best fights of the year and was close enough to warrant a potential rematch.
The loss to Brook was more significant as he faced off against an undefeated Brook fighting for the first time in the United States. Brook utilized a well-timed jab and right hand along with plenty of clinching to nullify many of Porter’s attacks.
While Spence did defeat Brook in his hometown, Brook was coming off of a loss to former Middleweight kingpin Gennadiy Golovkin in a move to Middleweight to challenge for Golovkin’s titles.
Brook was stopped in five rounds against Golovkin and suffered from a damaged eye socket that required surgery.
Afterward, Brook returned to the Welterweight division to face Spence. Since losing to Spence, Brook has fought two fights in the Super-Welterweight division as it had been rumored for years that he had trouble making the Welterweight division’s weight limit of 147 pounds.
The game of boxing is at times viewed by how you looked the last time you stepped in the ring. Despite owning a victory over an opponent that defeated Porter, Spence’s recent performance against Garcia may have added to him being favored.
In Porter’s previous bout he faced Olympic standout and Cuban technician Yordenis Ugas. The Akron, Ohio native was lucky to escape with a controversial split decision victory in a bout that many had Ugas winning.
Even in Porter’s title-winning bout against Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC Welterweight weight title, many fans were expecting the same overly aggressive Porter that they had been used to seeing.
However, against Garcia and Ugas, Porter boxed off his back foot more in an attempt to showcase that he is more than just a crude brawler.
It would seem ill-advised for Porter to attempt to outbox Spence who is seen as the superior technician between the two pugilists.
Porter will have the opportunity to show against Spence that he should not be underestimated or overlooked.
The motivation to win is there for both fighters, as Spence will continue his March toward Welterweight supremacy.
The difference will be in the education and experience that both men have encountered in the ring.
Porter will try to stop Spence’s run to the top of the Welterweight division and springboard his journey as one of the best in the world.
Spence-Porter will be shown live on FOX PPV on Saturday, September 28th at 9 pm ET.
Welterweight Unifications (10) In Boxing History
Jackie Fields (NBA) W DQ 2 Joe Dundee (World) 7-25-29
Sugar Ray Leonard (WBC) KO 14 Thomas Hearns (WBA) 9-16-81
Donald Curry (WBA, IBF) KO 3 Milton McCrory (WBA) 12-6-85
Simon Brown (IBF) KO 10 Maurice Blocker (WBC) 3-18-91
Felix Trinidad (IBF) W 12 Oscar De La Hoya (WBC) 9-18-99
Ricardo Mayorga (WBA) KO 3 Vernon Forrest (WBC) 1-25-03
Cory Spinks (IBF) W 12 Ricardo Mayorga (WBA, WBC) 12-13-03
Floyd Mayweather (WBC, WBA Super) W 12 Marcos Maidana (WBA) 5-3-14
Floyd Mayweather (WBC, WBA Super) W 12 Manny Pacquiao (WBO) 5-2-15
Keith Thurman (WBA) W 12 Danny Garcia (WBC) 3-4-17
*Curry-McCrory, Trinidad-DLH, and Thurman-Garcia were matchups of undefeated fighters.
(Featured Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)