By: Hans Themistode
As Manny Pacquiao and Keith Thurman battled to a fight of the year level bout on Saturday July 20th, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Another Welterweight bout was announced, one that excited the boxing public.
IBF champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) and WBC title holder Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) will lock horns on September 28th, at the Staple Center in Los Angeles, California.
It was the worse kept secret in boxing as this bout was expected to be announced for quite some time.
Spence, will of course come in as the favorite. He is after all undefeated in his young career and has looked every bit the part of a dangerous great fighter in the prime of his career. His level of opposition, although very good, has never quite been able to push him to his limits.
His first step up bout against former champion Chris Algieri back in 2016, was an easy one as Spence ultimately stopped him in the fifth round.
Former champion, Kell Brook, the one-time IBF Welterweight champion was expected to give Spence all he could handle, and did when they matched up in 2017. After eleven close rounds of back and forth action, it was Spence who reigned supreme. Dropping Brooks twice and stopping him. Although he won by stoppage, that bout proved to be the most difficult for Spence.
“The fight against Kell Brook I would say was my toughest fight,” said Spence during a recent conference. “Just fighting in front of so many hostile fans and taking on a great fighter like Kell Brook, I would have to say that was my toughest fight.”
It may have been a tough fight for Spence, but it was yet another case of another great fighter, failing to do anything of significance against Spence. How about his January of 2017 contest against Lamont Peterson? Despite the aforementioned Peterson being a former two division champion, he had very little to offer Spence on fight night and he was subsequently stopped after eight punishing rounds.
In his most recent contest, Spence was surprisingly challenged to a fight against the undefeated four division champion Mikey Garcia. Although he was moving up two weight divisions, many believed that Garcia had a chance, they were wrong. Spence thoroughly dominated the contest as Garcia failed to win a single round.
To this point in the career of Spence it’s been easy. Not in terms of his level of opposition but more so in their abilities to fight fire with fire. Come September 28th, the will of Spence will be tested like never before.
“I have the heart, grit and desire to defeat Errol Spence Jr on September 28th,” said Porter. “You all will see that I am the biggest dog in this division.”
There comes a point in every great fighters career where he must dig deep to pull out the victory. As of yet, Spence has not had to do that. The skillset that Spence has is unquestioned, his heart on the other hand will be put to the test.