By: Sean Crose
The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York hosted the WBC welterweight title bout between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia on Saturday before Showtime cameras. The belt, which was open due to mutli titlist Keith Thurman’s abdication, offered the opportunity for two of the biggest names in the perennially competitive welterweight division to prove who was the better man in the ring.
First on the Showtime card was a 10 round heavyweight contest between the undefeated 17-0 Adam Kownacki and former titlist Charles Martin, 25-1-1. The hard hitting Brooklyn native, by way of Poland, banged away at Martin early on in the first, with Martin offering little in the way of resistance. The second round showcased more of the same. Kownacki’s pace slowed bit in the third, but by the middle of the fourth, he had his man hurt. The bout essentially remained the same throughout the middle rounds. Martin simply didn’t look to be in the fight.
Photo Credit: Showtime TWitter Account
Stepping things up a but, Martin carried the seventh with activity. He also landed effectively in the eighth, taking his second round in a row. The ninth round was a very close affair, with both men throwing and landing hard. The fight had developed a neck and neck feel, but the early rounds might have cost Martin the fight. Regardless of outcome, the final round was absolutely explosive, with each man firing away and giving it his all. Kowacki ended up walking out of the ring with a UD victory.
Next up was a welterweight throwdown between Yordenis Ugas, 22-3, and the 34-3-2 Cesar Barrioneuevo in a scheduled 12 round elimination battle. The first was fast paced, but the discipline and sharp body work of Ugas told the tale. Barrioneuevo looked outclassed in the second and third as Ugas continued to work the body. The Cuban’s foundation and body work were showing him to be a level above his Argentine counterpart. As the fight headed into the middle rounds, it was essentially more of the same Ugas was simply proving to be the more skilled of the two fighters.
Photo Credit: Showtime Twitter Account
By the eighth, Ugas was ready to ended. The first half of the round saw the Cuban throw furiously at Barrioneuevo, though the game Barrioneuevo survived the onslaught. The fight more or less leveled out after that. Fans at the Barclays Center booed, but there was no denying the disciplined contender was carrying the fight away. Ugas simply dominated from beginning to end, but was not powerful enough to put his game opponent away (which may have had as much to do with Barrionuevo’s chin than it did Ugas’ blows). After the final bell, an obvious UD decision went Ugas’ way.
It was time for the main event. Garcia stepped into the ring with a record of 34-1, while Porter boasted a 28-2-1 resume. The first was a tight affair that Porter may have edged slightly. The second round was razor sharp, yet Garcia looked to perhaps have landed the sharper punches. Garcia landed a beautiful right early in the third, then landed a nice left a few seconds later. Garcia was also avoiding Porter’s right hook effectively. Porter came alive in the fourth, ripping into Garcia’s body. Garcia came back strong in the fifth, landing effectively to the body in his own right.
Photo Credit:Showtime Twitter Account
The sixth saw Porter upping the action. The Ohio native then began to really take it to his man in the seventh. Garcia was very game, though – and very dangerous. Garcia looked better in the eight and ninth, though Porter’s attack was fierce. The tenth was an all out war with each man throwing and landing hard. Things remained close in the eleventh, with Porter going strong to the body, but Garcia having moments of his own. Things ended close, though Garcia looked to have taken the twelfth with cleaner shots.
It was a close bout that could have went either way, but the judges ruled it for Porter with scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.