By: Hans Themistode
Current WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) has been told by everyone that his upcoming unification fight against IBF belt holder Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) can be won if he doesn’t try to box with him.
Porter has a style that he has made all his own. Once the bell rings, he’ll come forward full steam ahead and bury his head right into the chest of his opponents. It isn’t aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Nor is it easy for his opponents to deal with, but often times it gets the job done.
Elbows, head butts and rough house tactics are the name of his game, but that isn’t all that Porter can do. The current WBC champion has the ability to box, although he doesn’t use that ability quite as often as he should.
In his last appearance in the ring he took on top contender Yordenis Ugas. The Cuban born fighter, like many of his contemporaries, is a great boxer. When the two matched up this past March, Porter outboxed his man. There were times where he got back to the old Shawn Porter and made it a dog fight but for the most part he was boxing. He looked good too. Landing jabs and one twos all night.
To compare Spence to Ugas would be no comparison at all. The IBF champ is a much more dangerous and overall better fighter, but he has gotten a bit of a reputation. One that might not truly be warranted as of yet.
Before Spence out boxed and out classed one of the very best boxers in the world in Mikey Garcia, he wasn’t known as much of a boxer. Not to say that he isn’t a great technician in the ring, but he seldom showed it. Spence went 11 straight fights and almost five full years without seeing the judges for any of his contest. He was simply mowing down his competition. For his fight against Garcia, he went on the record stating that he wanted to prove that he can out box a great boxer. Mission accomplished.
No one will argue the boxing ability of Spence, but can Porter hang with him in that department or is he better off making it an ugly fight?
The majority out there might believe that Porter’s best chance of winning will indeed come from him making it a sloppy fight, but that just isn’t true.
Take a look at some of the names on Porter’s resume. Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner and even Keith Thurman are all great boxers. Won’t they don’t possesses however, is a physical style to deal with the constant pressure that Porter implements. Spence does.
Don’t be fooled by the division that Spence currently resides in. He is big enough and strong enough to eventually campaign at the Middleweight division. Something the IBF champ himself has said that he will one day call his home.
If Porter listens to the outside noise and simply dives in against Spence, it will be to his detriment. Porter will have a difficult time pushing his man back on Saturday night. He will also have a hard time hitting him with a shot that will hurt him as well. For the first time in his career, Porter will be at a significant size disadvantage. His best bet to victory could actually, in fact be to box on the outside.
During the lead up to their upcoming showdown, Porter has asked Spence one question.
“Can you box Errol?”
Spence might believe so, but Porter thinks otherwise.
It’s time that Porter finds the answer to that question himself. It might just be his best and only path to victory.