by: Sean Crose
Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia will meet in a highly anticipated showdown Saturday night for the WBC welterweight title that was vacated by Keith Thurman. The bout will be the featured attraction on a Showtime card that will begin airing live at 9 PM Eastern Standard Time from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York. Both Porter, 28-2-1, and Garcia, 34-1, have lost close bouts to Thurman. What’s more, this is a match which is essentially seen as an even matchup…as well as a step towards a clearer picture of the welterweight pecking order.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
With Thurman still holding the WBA crown, rising star Errol Spence in possession of the IBF title, and Top Rank promoted Terence Crawford owning the WBO strap, the post Mayweather era has been a bit chaotic for the welterweight division. The infrequent ring appearances of many PBC (Premiere Boxing Champions) fighters like Thurman, Spence, Garcia, and Porter, coupled with promotional and network issues between PBC and Top Rank, have made the discovery of a true welterweight king very hard to arrive at. Still, simply knowing who among the top fighters in the division can best who offers at least some sense of clarity. Stylistically, Saturday’s match between the extremely aggressive Porter and the disciplined, sharp punching Garcia, might also make for intriguing viewing.
This weekend’s card will also feature a WBC weltwerweight title elimination bout between the 22-3 Yordenis Ugas and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrionuevo. Originally from Cuba and now living in Miami, Ugas has been on a hot winning streak since dropping two bouts in 2014. As for Barrionuevo, this will be the Argentine’s first bout on American soil, where he’s hoping to make a good impression on a road to bigger things. On top of the two welterweight battles, Showtime will also be broadcasting a heavyweight scrap from Brooklyn on Saturday night.
The 25-1-1 Charles Martin was briefly in possession of the IBF heavyweight title until he was trounced by Anthony Joshua in 2016. He’ll be on a two fight win streak when he faces the 17-0 Adam Kownacki on Saturday. Kownacki, originally of Poland, will be something of the hometown fighter, as he now resides in Brooklyn and has had numerous fights in the New York area. Having won all 17 of his bouts by knockout, he’s looking to leave his mark on the live television audience. With all but two of his own wins having been by knockout, however, Martin clearly wants re-establish himself as a top heavyweight.
Boxing guru Al Haymon’s PBC has recently signed a three-year extension with Showtime, which means top PBC bouts will be aired on Showtime for some time to come.