By Jackie Kallen
I love a fight that is a total 50/50 in my mind before the fighters even touch gloves. I go back and forth about which guy will win and why. The Broner/Porter fight is a hard one to pick. If you pick a fight based on which boxer you like better or who is more popular, you can make a bad decision. So you have to look at both guy’s records and try to handicap the outcome.
In the case of Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter, tomorrow at the MGM Gardens in Las Vegas, we will get the answer soon enough. Both men have lost once. Neither man has been knocked out. Both are young and hungry. Both once held titles. Both have fought, and beaten, Paul Malignaggi. Porter is a half inch taller. Broner is two years younger. Broner has knocked out a few more opponents, but these two guys are mirror images of each other. This is as even a fight as you’ll get.
Adrien Broner, a brash Cincinnati native who loves bling and smack-talking, was on a roll with his career until he ran into a guy named Marcos Rene Maidana in 2013. By the end of that fight, Broner had lost not only the fight but his WBA belt as well. As discouraging as that was, Broner has no shame in his game and he came back five months later to beat Carlos Molina at the MGM. He then beat Emmanuel Taylor and John Molina jr. in the junior welterweight division.
Porter’s demise came in the form of Kell Brook at the Stub Center in Carson, CA last summer. Porter, originally from Akron, now living in Las Vegas, lost his IBF welterweight belt that night. He was more than a little disappointed and vowed to get his title back. He has fought once since then, knocking out Erick Bone in the fifth round back in March. The little known Bone, from Ecuador, could not stand up to Porter’s power.
So here we are, two fighters at a crossroad, both needing this win. Which man wants it more? They agreed to a catch-weight of 144. Will this be a plus for Broner? He is quite comfortable at this weight. Porter, on the other hand, will have to work hard to get to that weight.
The popularity factor won’t matter. Pacquiao was beloved by everyone before his fight with Mayweather and the love didn’t help him once the bell rang and they touched gloves. So the fact that Broner has many detractors won’t help Porter. Only his fists can do that.
It’s not exactly going out on a limb, but I am going with Porter on this one. I think he will out-hustle and out-muscle Broner, assuming that the weight loss doesn’t weaken him too much. I am counting on him being 100% for this fight and taking back what’s his.
Photo: Lucas Noonan/Premier Boxing Champions