Errol Spence Jr (26-0 21 KO’s) retains his WBC Welterweight title and wins the IBF Welterweight title from Shawn Porter (30-3-1 17kos) via a split decision at the Staples Center in Los Angeles broadcast on PBC on Fox PPV & Sky Sports.
A lot of boxing fans backtrack on what they said after a fight takes place, I’m thinking about the Golovkin fans that said he’d just walk through Canelo or the Kovalev fans that said he was going to utterly dominate Yarde, and once in a while, or maybe more than that, I do end up on the same page as some of these fans, but the difference being that I can put my hands up and say that I was wrong.
What makes it all the more frustrating was that apart from the Ugas fight I’ve never seen an opponent make Porter go to a plan B. For instance, against Brook and Thurman he was beaten but he never really had to completely change up his gameplan. I just though if Ugas could do it, then Spence who holds similar dimensions and better inside fighting could do it too, and for that I was just wrong.
From the outset you could tell this was going to look a lot more like Thurman Porter than Porter Ugas, with the majority of the action taking place on the inside as Porter moved in. I was a little surprised at the lack of success Spence found with his jab, partly due to Porter’s great head movement and I suspect partly because fighting on the inside is Spence’s wheelhouse anyway.
The irony was that coming up to this fight there wasn’t too much buzz, with 95% of boxing fans seeing it go one way, and as a result people weren’t exactly clamoring to see the fight and arguing about predictions.
At this point I’ll say that normally when I have to write these articles I score them round by round and make small notes for each round to just give me an idea about the flow of the fight, but from round two I gave up on the notes and just enjoyed the fight. I’ll say now that I scored it 114-113 Spence the difference being that knockdown in the 11th, but the impression I got was that I was leaning towards Porter in more of the close rounds so I wouldn’t say you could give the fight to Porter easily, to me Spence was the deserved winner, with the difference being that in some of the exchanges he was just a little bit more sound in his technique catching Porter coming in, with the knockdown being a prime example as Porter was caught square.
That’s kind of it with the positives, the positives being the fight, but this is boxing so the rule is is that if there has been a great fight it has to be ruined by a load of boxing politics. I’ll be a bit crude here and say that I don’t think we’re going to get the Crawford fight anytime soon. All this talk of being the “A side” against Crawford and how he wanted to fight Pacquiao and if not Danny Garcia is hardly good news. I mean, who is clamoring to see Spence Garcia, what a nothing fight, I’d rather see Spence Brook 2 to be honest, even at 147 or even a rematch of this.
Spence has Al Haymon in his ear, and Fox and PBC seemed determined to not even mention Crawford’s name which is just sad. I think the Pacquiao fight if it does happen is a cool fight, but if that doesn’t happen we may see a load of Keith Thurman former fighters take on Spence in completely nothing fights over the next 12 months.
That is why I respect Porter as a fighter so much, not only his style which I am a bit of a sucker for, but the fact that he a professional, always in shape, and fights the best. Who else has fought as good opposition as Brook, Spence, Broner and Thurman over the past 5 years, maybe Pacquiao but it is close, and for that I have complete respect. On a side note, who is in charge of Porter’s strength and conditioning? To fight in that style for the full 12, I mean damn he has probably the best engine in boxing at the minute.
To wrap this up, because I have noticed I’ve gone on a bit of a tangent here, I’ll say this. People are now going to say that Spence was always overrated, I’ve seen these comments already, but having a close fight against a top opponent doesn’t make you a hype job overnight, despite what people say. That’s not the issue I have with Spence, what it is is that like many Haymon fighters, Tank, Wilder, and Charlos they are unwilling, or more likely unable, to fight top fighters who aren’t in their stable, and for a fighter who calls himself “The Truth” there is more than a little bit of irony in that.
On the undercard Anthony Dirrell (33-2-1 24kos) loses his WBC Super-Middleweight title to David Benavidez (22-0 19kos) via a 9th round TKO.