By: Hans Themistode
It was the test that everyone wanted to see for Errol Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KOs).
Former WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) was viewed as a great fighter, but one that stood little to no chance against the now unified champion out of Desoto, Texas. Porter has always been a rough and rugged fighter, but he generally lacked the skill and poise to truly challenge Spence.
On Saturday night in front of a packed house in Staples Center, in Los Angeles California, Porter proved that just wasn’t the case.
It’s true that Porter is an over aggressive fighter with a penchant for getting into fire fights. Porter has also been known as a fighter who comes up short during his biggest moments. He failed his first test when he picked up the first loss of his career against Kell Brook back in 2014 by majority decision which resulted in him losing his IBF world title. Two years later he would lose another big fight, this time at the hands of former unified champion Keith Thurman.
For all of his short comings and awkward fighting style, Porter wasn’t given a fair chance by the media or the fans. Too often was the losses of Porter highlighted as opposed to the big wins he managed to pick up over the years. Amongst those wins were names such as Adrien Broner, Andre Berto and perhaps his biggest of them all, Danny Garcia.
Porter was adamant during the build up of this contest that he would prove his doubters wrong. “We’re looking forward to shocking the world on the 28th,” said Porter.
He did exactly that as both he and Spence went to war for 12 rounds this past weekend at the Staples Center. Spence would ultimately prevail but it wasn’t nearly as easy as the first 25 contest of his career had been.
For the first time in the career of Spence, he was in a real fight. The undefeated unified Welterweight champion had long grown accustomed to having his way in the ring. When he landed a flush shot on his opponents, they would fall, but not Porter. He kept coming all night long and forced Spence to dig deep.
It was the sort of fight that everyone wanted to see as it answered a ton of questions.
For Porter, even in defeat he proved that he is amongst the best in the division. No longer will he be underestimated going forward. His ability to take and give huge shots all night long was remarkable. As for Spence, he now holds two belts in the Welterweight division and solidified himself as one of the best fighters in the world and the best in the division. Or did he?
With big names such as Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford still lurking, Spence’s quest to become the best in his weight class is far from over. The easy ride he once had is now over. He has officially reached the elite of the weight class. He will now be pushed like never before. At one point in his career, Spence spent much of his time calling out the top names in the division. Now, they are all in line waiting their turn to knock him off.
Immediately following his unification victory, two weight world champion Danny Garcia stepped into the ring and proclaimed to the world that he wanted next. To the delight of Spence he happily accepted.
“My have the tables turned,” said Spence in regards to Garcia’s challenge. “You line them up and I’m a knock them down”
Spence will have his hands full going forward but he wouldn’t want things any other way. He has officially made his mark as the best Welterweight in the world, but who knows how long that title will last.