Spence, Porter Trade Verbal Jabs In Lead Up To Showdown
By: Sean Crose
“I think that Errol is feeling himself,” Shawn Porter said while in studio on the Fox show Inside PBC Boxing. “When you’re dominant,” he added, “when you’re the guy who is a champion right now, I get that that can happen…but its time to calm down, baby.”
Porter of course is set to face welterweight powerhouse titlist Errol Spence Jr. this Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Their match will highlight a card that airs live on Fox Pay Per View. Both Porter’s WBC world title and Spence’s IBF world title will be up for grabs. Although Porter, 30-2-1, has arguably faced stronger competition throughout the course of his career, the 25-0 Spence is walking in as a considerable favorite. Not that Porter seems to mind.
“I’m not surprised I’m the underdog,” he said on air. “This is where I come from. I’m blue collar baby, and you know exactly what that means. We have to work for everything we get.” It was a solid point, considering the fact it’s former Olympian Spence who has been lauded as the future of the sport of boxing.
“Again, he’s 25-0. He’s young. Everyone looks at him like he’s being avoided and things like that,” said Porter of Spence, “so when it comes to this, I think the betting odds are looking at it statistically more so than what could really happen in the fight.” Spence, who was on the show via satellite, made it clear he feels Porter, who engages in a rough, grinding style, fights dirty. “Everybody knows that he’s dirty,” the Texas native said of Porter. “Whatever it takes to win.”
When asked how he would deal with Porter’s aggressive style, Spence was laid back, as is his fashion. “I’m sure Ray Leonard never fought a style like Tommy Hearns,” he stated impressively, “before he fought Tommy Hearns. Tommy Hearns never fought a style like Ray Leonard before he fought him. Hagler never fought a style like Tommy Hearns before they fought each other…it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about making adjustments inside the ring. It’s all about adapting.”
“I think,” said Porter, “that a lot of guys have allowed Errol Spence to get his way. I know that I’m prepared to do everything it takes to make that not the case…no matter what, no matter when, I’m going to be right there and do whatever it takes to get the job done.” Spence made it clear he feels the same way Porter does heading into this weekend’s bout. “I’m ready,” he said, “for anything he brings to the table. Period.” Although there was no outright animosity between the two men during the broadcast, neither had the desire to hold back.
Asked how he expects the fight to end, Spence couldn’t be more clear. “I’m knocking him out,” he said. “Cold.”