Tag Archives: porter

The Show Goes On for Errol Spence and Shawn Porter


By: Kirk Jackson

It was expected to be part-two of Errol “The Truth” Spence’s (26-0, 21 KO’s) coming out party. Last Saturday, the newly unified WBC and IBF welterweight champion scored a split-decision victory over former two-time welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KO’s).

In what is considered by many observers as a fight for the ages and early candidate for Fight of the Year, Spence wasn’t the “Show Stopper” he wanted to be last weekend, but he put together a complete performance, capturing victory and seizing another world title in the process. Because of course, the show must go on.

“I felt like I won,” Spence said in a post-fight interview. “Like I said, it was a tough fight. And then when I got the knockdown, where I initially went in to try to score the knockout – like I said, if I get him hurt, I’m gonna try to jump on him. But like I said, he has a lot of heart. And he always comes to fight. He’s a true warrior and, you know, he came back swinging. So, you know, I didn’t expect nothing less than for him just to stand his ground and try to fight back after I hurt him and scored the knockdown.”

“Shawn and their camp questioned, you know, that I never been tested before, I’ve never been hit with a great shot before, I never been uncomfortable before. And I think it showed a lot that, you know, I’m a real dog and I do have a lot of grit, and I do have a lot of ability to, you know, withstand a shot, take a shot, and give a couple back.”

Porter’s immeasurable level of unpredictability and awkwardness played to his advantage for stretches during the fight. These same traits also paid dividends against Yordenis Ugas and Danny Garcia, in subsequent fights leading up to Spence.

“You know, he throw punches from different angles,” Spence said. “He real awkward. And I already knew he was gonna be tough, but you know, he was a lot tougher than I thought.”

Although it was Porter’s changeability and strategic tactics that essentially enabled this instant classic match-up to unfold, Spence maintains his measure of attack was all according to plan.

“I don’t think I played into Shawn game plan,” Spence said, “because I said throughout this whole, you know, tour and throughout training camp that, you know, I was gonna try to get the knockout. And that’s what I tried to do, but, you know, Shawn’s tough, he’s a real competitor and have a ton of heart. So, even if I did hurt him, you know, he’ll come back with shots. You know, so I tried to do it, but it just didn’t happen.”

For Porter’s part, although he fell short of the ultimate goal, he has nothing to be ashamed of and his stock rose in spite of defeat. Porter routinely lives up to his moniker “Showtime” and people need to place respect on his name. The show on goes on.

“Listen, I’m gonna be myself, and myself says when I don’t win, I can’t hang my head when I don’t win,” Porter said post-fight.

“I can’t make excuses. This was a fantastic fight tonight. I definitely have to take a look back. I felt comfortable a majority of the rounds, really. The one round I didn’t feel comfortable in obviously was the 11th round, where my hand touched the canvas. But other than that, I felt very comfortable through this fight.

“I tried to stay poised and, you know, stay within whatever my corner was asking me to do, make the necessary adjustments, so on and so forth. So, for me to say that was a robbery, you’re not gonna hear me say it. Sorry. My dad can say it. Barry can say. Everybody else can say it. But that ain’t gonna come from me.”

Progressing forward from this fight, albeit this was a match-up for the ages, warranting a rematch, even only if for pure entertainment sake, there was clarity for who truly won the fight.

Spence threw more punches, landed more punches – comparatively round by round and cumulatively when all the punches were tallied. Spence landed punches with greater accuracy, landed the more eye-catching shots, establishing distance from Porter in the championship rounds and scoring a knockdown in the process.

Revisiting the fight, some observers may negatively critique last week’s performance, or have something bad to say about Porter and or Spence. They’re well within their right to speak their opinions.

However, these opinions and narratives may be off-base.

According to former WBC and WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s), he defeated Porter more decisively.

Comparing Spence and Thurman’s performances against Porter, Spence won via split decision, two judges ruled in his favor 116-111, while the other judge favored Porter 115-112. For Thurman vs. Porter dating back to June of 2016, all three judges scored the fight 115-113 for Thurman. Although unanimous, the margin of point’s victory was not as great (7-6 in favor of Spence comparatively).

From a statistical stand point according to CompuBox punch statistics, Thurman landed 235 of 539 punches (44 percent) and Porter landed 236 of 662 (36 percent). Spence vs. Porter’s punch stat numbers were already posted.

Comparing the numbers, although Thurman was more accurate with his punch selection and slightly landed more punches than Spence. While Spence, through more punches and negated Porter’s offensive attack at a higher measure of efficiency, limiting Porter to a lower punch percentage and less punches landed, in spite of the greater amount of punches thrown for Porter against Spence.

Some of the detractors of Porter and Spence include the contingent fan base of Terence Crawford, who believe the multi-divisional champion, is the best welterweight and pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Crawford, six-time world champion, across three weight classes, undefeated, skillful, with a mean-streak inside the ring, is highly regarded as one of the best and rightfully so.

Continuing with the narrative of Spence was exposed against Porter, is a disservice to both Spence and Porter.

Unification fights should be closely contested as it is a battle between two champions, fighting for supremacy over their division.

Skimming through his resume, in recent years, Porter essentially faced the who’s who of welterweights; Kell Brook, Paulie Malignaggi, Adrien Broner, Thurman, Andre Berto, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas and Spence.

Question, who ever looked good fighting Shawn Porter? Even in defeat, Porter always gives maximum effort and his opponents leave the encounter with some form of indication they were in a harsh battle.

Porter made it a dogfight, a rugged scrap, attempting to bully Spence all while performing with a measure of tact and at a high-level.

Utilizing feints, footwork by shifting his feet, providing different angles by placing his body in different positions to give Spence dissimilar looks, throwing a looping-awkward left hook to finish some of his combinations and placing Spence in the position of having to acquiesce to rough house fighting in certain spots and kept Spence off balance. Spence had to keep resetting.

And as a casual viewer or hardcore fan, shouldn’t we expect highly competitive fights? Shouldn’t we respect the level of toughness and aptitude displayed from both combatants?

For Spence’s part in attempts to deal with Porter’s controlled madness, he obliged and displayed willingness to engage in high-level warfare. The fight went as predicted in the pre-fight breakdown.

Again, for the detractors of Porter and Spence, the fights are not fought or won on paper. We never know how the fight will unfold until the two combatants step in the ring.

As the show goes on, boxing fans and experts alike may speculate how Crawford vs. Porter, or how Crawford vs. Spence will turn out, if it happens. But we do not know.

Adding to the credence of how fights are not won on paper, as an example, Manny Pacquiao is regarded as one of the legends of the sport and he struggled against Jeff Horn.

Whether as an observer you agreed with the decision in favor of Horn or not, Pacquiao still struggled against the rugged Australian.

Based off recent performances against Broner and Thurman, it’s difficult to suggest Pacquiao was washed up when he fought Horn.

Crawford handled Horn relatively easily, stopping Horn via TKO across nine rounds. Although he would be favored against, it does not necessarily mean Crawford would defeat Thurman.

It’s the age-old adage, styles make fights. As referenced earlier, it’s difficult to look good against Porter.

Another perspective to view Spence’s performance against Porter, is he displayed versatility to fight a different type of fight and to still found the path to victory.

Leading up to the fight against Mikey Garcia, many boxing experts assumed Garcia’s intelligence and alleged greater range of skills would enable success against Spence. So Spence set out to prove a point, to outbox the four-division champion.

Against Porter, the collective narrative was Porter’s success depended on his ability to make the fight a war, because many believed the 2012 Olympian was untested. Not tested, in spite of traveling to England, to face and defeat the IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook in his home turf.

“All my punches have bad intentions,” said Spence, post-fight of his pay-per-view event against Porter.

“By boxing Mikey Garcia, I wanted to show people I could do it with that style. Porter was throwing a lot. I wanted to show I was the bigger and stronger welterweight.”

At this point in time, in spite of the critics, Spence appears to be the top guy in a loaded division. The newly unified welterweight champ refers to himself as the “Big fish.”

The “Big fish” is slated to return January of 2020. With Crawford fighting towards the end of the year against presumably Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1, 17 KO’s), we can rule Crawford out of the mix at least for early 2020.

While they work on and hopefully sort out the political warfare, the show must go on. Whether that equates to Spence vs. Danny Garcia (who boldly issued the challenge) or a rematch with Porter (who is deserving of a rematch), will be sorted out sooner than later.

More Columns

Spence Unifies Welterweight Titles, Edges Porter by a Slim Margin


By Robert Aaron Contreras

On Saturday, Errol Spence (26-0, 21 KO) unified the WBC and IBF welterweight titles by the skin of his teeth, escaping a sustained, inspired attack from Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KO) by split-decision, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Spence was pushed like never before, and grateful for a knockdown in the eleventh round that got the job done, earning two scores of 116-111 to overrule a 115-112 for Porter.

“It’s a lifelong dream of mine. It shows handwork pays off,” Spence said in ring after the fight. “Porter is a tough, awkward fighter. He’s a true champion—rough and rugged. He was strong. But I feel like I’m the bigger, better fighter.”

Porter, while typically the rolling, barreling bruiser, buzzed about the ring to open the first round. He relied on supreme athleticism to negate Spence’s initial attack. But in Round 2, Porter attempted again to circle away from Spence but walked directly into a right hook from the young, undefeated puncher. Then a spearing left cross to Porter’s face convinced him to return to his swarming ways.

In the third inning, Spence was momentarily backed into the ropes, taking blows to the chest. The two traded body punches as the contest erupted into a mauling, frenetic pace. Spence did his best to create space, extending a right hand at Porter’s line of sight, and hurling sweeping left hands across Porter’s face.

The two met in the center of the ring for Round 4. Chopping blows bashed Spence’s face. Then back-to-back right hands from Porter caught the young champ’s attention. Spence landed a big left hand of his own. But Porter’s regained momentum with bungalows upstairs, relishing in the increasingly chippy affair.

Spence, 29, managed to outland the 31-year-old Porter in the fifth round, his jab as pretty as ever. With the nature of the fight still in Porter’s favor, Spence tried opening the sixth period jamming Porter up along the ropes, and uncurling body punches. The attack seemed brutal enough. But Porter also got his own, spinning the young star around and giving it right back.

In Round 7, Spence returned to his jab. The center of the ring was his. Porter zipping around the ring, avoiding serious damage, fighting in spurts. The action moved to the ropes for the final minute, with wrestling making up the interludes between brawling tactics coming in both directions.

The eighth round saw Spence under fire like never before: Porter careening toward him with punches. Spence may have been able to up his punch total—ahead 135 to Porter’s 95, at this point–but again it was Porter forcing the young champion to wrap up, and meet him in the trenches, in Porter’s wheelhouse.

The contest (and two world titles) seemed to be Porter’s to lose by the championship rounds.

Porter’s rough antics were unabating in the tenth. Still, Spence’s power-punching made him a formidable foe in sloppy exchanges. Porter seemed not to mind eating direct punches from the division’s hardest hitter. Soon he would regret that.

In the penultimate round, the crowd showed Porter their appreciation: chanting his name in unison. A minute later, though, they would be met with a louder crash from an uppercut that seared into Porter’s chin, flooring him for the only knockdown of the fight.

Clinches aplenty in the 12th stanza, Spence banged Porter’s body. Porter returned the favor. But with more mauling than punching, it was hard, just like the entirety of their epic meeting, to separate the two.

In the end, the ringside panel did, opting for Spence by narrow margins.

The punch stats also revealed a slight edge for Spence, landing 221 of 745 total punches (30 percent) of which 184 were power punches. Porter connected on 172 of 744 (23 percent) total shots, piling 142 power punches of his own.

Spence has now triumphed in consecutive pay-per-view shows. The belts are his, and after squeezing by his biggest test to date, perhaps unlimited possibility.

David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KO) def. Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KO) by eighth-round TKO

Aged just 22, Benavidez became a two-time super middleweight champion, regaining the WBC strap from Dirrell after pounding the defending beltholder into the corner for a stoppage victory in Round 8.

Dirrell, 34, was determined to touch every inch of the canvas, and nearly did by the end of the first two rounds. The problem was Benavidez was stalking him every step of the way.

In Round 3, Dirrell elected to move away from his pawing jab and overextended himself throwing an overhand right. Benavidez, though, avoided the blow and returned a slashing right hand. The round was his from there. Fighting in reverse, Dirrell offered up body jabs but the shots only prompted laughs from Benavidez, who found success chaining together right and left hands.

Dirrell’s feet stopped moving for a moment in the fourth period and was decisively outjabbed by his challenger’s long arms.

Benavidez took his corner’s advice in the fifth round and began digging left hooks to Dirrell’s body. He continued to cut off the ring, continually pumping out 1-2s. When Benavidez found his prey in the corner, he did what he does best, flurrying rights and lefts up and down Dirrell.

In the sixth stanza, a nasty gash opened up above Dirrell’s right eye. The ringside physician was consulted and by the end of the fight would be called upon two more times. By the third visit, in the eighth period, Dirrell’s face was a crimson mess. Yet nobody opted to wave things off. So Benavidez took care of it himself.

In the fateful eighth round, Benavidez goading Dirrell to meet him head on. There was some urgency from Dirrell, who transitioned to southpaw. But his best punches strayed low—and was repeatedly warned.

Benavidez initiated his pursuit, plowing forward. Dirrell tried obstructing his forward momentum with stiff jabs but left himself in range for looping punches from his youthful opponent. Eventually Dirrell was cornered again.

There, Benavidez left Dirrell have it in violent brushstrokes: putting a straight right upstairs and following it upon with body blows before charging more shots to Dirrell’s head. Dirrell circled out and away for safety but refuse didn’t last long.

More pressure and fists drove him back to the ropes: the mounting damage too much for Dirrell’s corner to stomach. They got up on the edge of the canvas and frantically implored the ref to halt the abuse.

In the post-fight interview, Benavidez was proud to be back on top, but having had to reclaim the title, more humble than anything.

“This is probably the hardest fight I’ve ever been in,” Benavidez said. “I’m honored to win it this way. I want to thank Anthony. I have a lot of respect for him.”

Rest of the Main Card

The 24-year-old upstart Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KO) got off to an early lead, and with a late 12th round knockdown secured (another makeshift) WBA super lightweight crown to outpoint the storied Olympian Batyr Akhmedov (7-1, 6 KO) over the championship distance.

Josesito Lopez (36-8, 19 KO) ended John Molina Jr’s (30-8, 24 KO) night in Round 8. An apathetic effort from referee Ray Corona put Molina through extended abuse after a knockdown just 30 seconds into the fight. Lopez is now back in the win column after a losing effort last time out against Keith Thurman. Since 2016, he has won four of his previous five bouts.

More Headlines

The Best Welterweight in The World Will Soon Be Crowned


By: Hans Themistode

The Welterweight division is in a great place. It’s been a long time since so many amazing fighters have resided in the division at one time.

All-time great fighters who have fought in this division such as Oscar De La Hoya, Sugar Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather and Shane Mosley have all at one point or another been considered the best in their weight class.

Who amongst this new group of fighters can successfully lay claim to that notion?

Danny Garcia is a two weight world champion and undoubtedly one of the best Welterweights out there. His two losses however, came at the hands of both Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter, so that would seemingly knock him out of the race for the best in the division. How about the aforementioned Keith Thurman? He does own wins over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter but his most recent loss to Manny Pacquiao coupled with his lack of activity has cast doubts.

Manny Pacquiao is a viable name to mention as the best in the division. At 40 years of age, he picked up two huge wins this year. Back in January at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Pacquiao easily outpointed the much younger Adrien Broner. He would return to the same venue just a few months later in July against Keith Thurman, where he dropped and outpointed him in a close matchup. Still, even with those impressive wins under his belt, he would have a hard time dealing with the two men who are facing off in a unification contest this Saturday night.

IBF champ Errol Spence Jr and WBC belt holder Shawn Porter will collide at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles California.

This contest isn’t just to decide who will become a unified champion in the division but it will also allow the winner to hold a strong claim as the best Welterweight in the world.

Holding two belts simultaneously will be one heck of a feather in the cap of either one of these fighters. Throughout the entire career of Porter he has done nothing but fight the best. The same goes for Spence as well. Both are extremely skilled and ready to put their talents on full display. Who could argue against the winner being considered the best? Almost no one. The keyword is almost.

There is a forgotten man in the division. One that doesn’t get much attention or hype.

WBO champion Terence Crawford is arguably the best fighter in the world. At the current moment he is currently signed with Bob Arum and Top Rank so he isn’t afforded the opportunity to face the best fighters out there. When he does step into the ring, he provides nothing but fireworks. His greatness is undeniable and his skill set is almost unmatched.

Currently, he is scheduled to return to the ring sometime in December. His opponent is unknown, but don’t expect him to face a noticeable name. It is hard to deny the talent of Crawford but it is even harder to deny that the winner between Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr will rightly be considered the best Welterweight in the world. With two titles wrapped around their waist, it would be hard to argue otherwise.

Terence Crawford, Manny Pacquiao and the rest of the great Welterweights in the division have plenty of time to make their case as the best, but they need to act fast. The number one Welterweight in the world will be crowned this Saturday night.

More Columns

The Show Stopper? Keys to victory for Shawn Porter and Errol Spence


By: Kirk Jackson

Fight time has arrived and one of the highly anticipated, action-packed bouts, will ensue this weekend at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Although super middle champions Anthony Dirrell and David Benavidez will attempt to steal the show Saturday night, along with other notable fighters and former champions such as Robert Guerrero, Amon Rashidi, Mario Barrios, Batyr Akhmedov, Joey Spence and many other, the spotlight will definitely be on the main event.

The main event this weekend features a welterweight unification match, featuring the World Boxing Council (WBC) welterweight champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KO’s) versus the International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (25-0, 19 KO’s).

Spence, operating out of the southpaw stance, possessing power, accuracy, precision and known to deliver devastating punches – particularly towards the body, is listed as the slight favorite.

He describes his style as a passive aggressive fighter; meaning he applies pressure, while remaining defensively responsible behind his high-guard, counter-jabs effectively and maintains proper distance to avoid most offensive assaults.

Spence’s high guard defensive posture is not quite like the same style of Hall of Fame fighter and fellow southpaw Ronald “Winky” Wright, but highly effective thus far in his own right.

The native Texan more so possesses similar traits of ruggedness, grit and maliciousness like Hall of Famer “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler.

While not quite the switch-hitter like Hagler, Spence has a lethal right jab, technical skill, versatility as a fight and mean intentions behind his punches.

And if Spence is shadowing the path of Hagler, Porter is a necessary piece to his puzzle.

Porter of course, wants no part of that. The Ohio native aims to play spoiler and wants to carve out his own path of history.

“I respect and admire his dominance. Both of us are supposed to be great that night, punch-for-punch. I’m going to open his eyes,” Porter told BoxingScene.com.

“My energy and presence in the ring on Saturday is going to be one that’s going to be remembered for a long time. There is nothing that’s going to happen to stop me from being successful.”

Some observers view Porter as a micro-sized Mike Tyson, tenacious with his attack, relentless as he lunges to attack the body, head, limbs and at times, the opponent may reel from incidental head-butts and questionable elbows. Essentially, Porter throws everything, including the kitchen sink.

An athletic specimen, equipped with the football pedigree he brings to the ring, Porter is a tough fighter to deal with. By contrast, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll get a chance to interact with outside the ring.

“Errol and I are likeable and respectable guys, but we give it all in the ring. Fights like this are going to help the sport of boxing,” said Porter. “Spence is a tactical fighter. I know they’ll have a good game plan but I’m confident in my abilities and in my corner.”

Same can be said about Spence. Laid back, calm and composed outside the ring and while he maintains a great level of composure, he has a killer instinct necessary to reach the top level.

In the last press conference leading up to their showdown Saturday night, some of Spence’s killer instinct came out in the form of verbal assault.

“Nobody complain about my fights. You wild. You fight like a football player. You an in-shape street fighter. You an in-shape street fighter. That’s what you are. You fight like you drowning. You fight like you drowning, and you don’t know how to swim.”

Porter, for all his naysayers, is never short when it comes to heart and effort. Porter also has skills not always recognizable to the common eye, but skills and traits that enabled him to be effective up to this point in his career.

There are many variables that can make this potential fight of the year candidate difficult to predict.

Keys for Shawn Porter:

Movement and Angles – Porter must use his football acumen to his advantage, and keep Spence on the move and searching for spots to attack. The importance of feints and angles is imperative for Porter to have success. He must keep Spence off balanced and it’s important for Porter to continue to make Spence reset.

Keep a basic game plan – While it is good to have multiple plans on hand, in case one option isn’t working, having too many weapons may cause ineffectiveness. Attempting multiple plans may nullify the effectiveness of what Porter does well because he is spreading himself too thin, trying to implement various styles and tactics.

Consistency: Porter is a consistent fighter as far as effort, but the consistency to stick to a game plan, even if it does not work early on, may pay dividends later. Subtle adjustments to the plan may be applied to effectively create the openings, but consistency and belief in the plan can be beneficial for Porter.

Use your head – Porter has to uses his head figuratively and literally. Figuratively with applying the right game plan; which may be making this a dogfight, an ultimate scrap, attempting to bully Spence against the ropes and batter his ribcage,, as he is not accustomed to that from what we’ve witnessed thus far across his professional career. Porter can literally use his head to displace Spence in the trenches, maybe even accidentally land a head-butt ala Evander Holyfield or Bernard Hopkins.

On a serious note, head-butts unfortunately, are a part of the sport. Occurrences tend to happen more naturally between the orthodox fighter (Porter) and a southpaw (Spence) due to the positioning of their feet.

Keys for Errol Spence:

The Almighty Jab – The jab is the best punch from Spence and legendary George Foreman refers to the jab as the most important punch in boxing. The jab will serve multiple purposes for Spence; it will function as a range finder, will help set-up his offense as the initiating weapon, it will enable Spence to measure distance and establish proper range for his defense and if the jab is consistently launched towards Porter’s head, body and limbs, it will give “Showtime” something to think about.

Strong Base/Footwork – Spence should maintain his ground and use his solid base to his advantage when facing Porter. Some of Porter’s past opponents freeze up or wilt from Porter’s daunting attack when he lunges forward with aggression.

It’s crucial for Spence to not get swallowed and smothered from the pressure. He cannot allow himself to drown against the ropes and must fight effectively in the trenches when the opportunities occur. Also, to prevent Porter’s effectiveness, Spence must cut the ring off when he is in pursuit of Porter. Shawn displayed the ability in his last couple of fights he can move and box when needed be; Spence should aim to cut the ring off if Porter attempts to move and fight off his back foot.

Keep it Clean – The former Olympian is a highly technical fighter. Leading up to this fight and even leading up to his previous bout against Mikey Garcia, Spence emphasized the importance of skills and technique, stating he has an abundance of both. He is clearly regarded as the more technical fighter between the two, and he has to maintain space to operate and to get off his punches – preferably in bunches. Keep away from head clashes, accidental head butts, roughhousing and unpredictable skirmishes.

Calm and Composed – It’s inevitable a firefight at some point will occur because the fighters have styles that will ultimately mix and lead up to that at some point. Spence will be well served to keep his composure if ever displaced off balance or positioned against the ropes. Remain unruffled and fight his fight – pick spots to get his shots off, create the separation and seize the opportunities when the openings are available as Porter tends to leave many openings.

This fight should go down as one to remember; hopefully for all of the great things boxing has to offer. It’s more than likely there will be plenty of action and no shortage of heart and effort from both fighters.

The stage is set for this historic unification bout, the stars will be out and all that’s left is for the story to unfold as Saturday night looms near. Who will set their mark and be the show stopper?

More Columns

Trainers Derrick James and Kenny Porter Get into Altercation


By: Hans Themistode

The dislike between WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) and IBF titlist Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) has stretched to their respective trainers as Kenny Porter, the father and trainer of Shawn Porter and Derrick James, who has been the trainer of Spence for several years had to be separated.

The altercation reportedly steamed from comments that James made about the way Porter treats his son.

“His father treats him like trash,” said James about how Kenny has been treating Shawn.

Kenny would go on to approach James about the situation and the two had to be separated. Following the dispute, James did not hold back when speaking about his rival trainer.

“He just says a lot of things that aren’t true. He said in the Kell Brook fight that Errol was looking at him for advice. Do you know how asinine that sounds? Well the same instruction that you claim that you gave Errol then why didn’t you tell your son the same thing to beat Kell Brook then? Errol fights nothing like wild man Shawn Porter.”

The WBC champion, who has been known to fight on pure will and aggression as opposed to solely skill, has been called out before in the past for his inability to box. James believes that the critics are spot on in their analysis.

“I believe in boxing technique and skill. It’s hard to watch him fight anybody. He does a lot of things but he doesn’t know when to do it. Kenny doesn’t even know what he’s talking about. That shows you the level of intellect that the father has which is his teacher.”

Further bashing his rival trainer, James took it a step further as he was critical of the ability of Shawn up until this point in his career

“I think that he’s gotten to a point to where he’s not getting any better,” said James of Shawn Porter. “He’s in a horrible situation, with somebody that doesn’t respect him. He forgets the way this thing works. The trainer works for the fighter, right? The manager works for the fighter. So, what happens is regardless of whatever you think about the father thinks he is, you don’t have to let your employee talk to you like that. You understand? We have a order, where we are. So, if he wanna get treated like a real man, somebody gonna respect him, come over here. That’s where he need to come – hands down. He wanna be treated like a real person – not yelled at, not belittled, not demeaned – he can come over here, with us.”

With the fight coming up in just merely a few short hours, James has some immediate questions about the future of Shawn Porter.

“He’s gotta do something,” James said. “Because after this knockout, what is he gonna do? I’m asking you what is he gonna do? Where is his relevance at? You wonder why they go to every fight. They wanna be relevant. They wanna be relevant. They wanna be relevant. After this fight, what do you do? He gets treated like trash by his father so if he wants to get treated like a real fighter, then he can come over here.”

Clearly things have crossed into personal territory between the two trainers. What was first viewed as a contest between just the fighters, have quickly shifted into a battle of the trainers as well. The question of not only who is the better fighter between Spence and Shawn, but also who is a better trainer, will soon be answered.

More Headlines

Shawn Porter’s Keys To Victory Against Errol Spence Jr


By: Hans Themistode

The Welterweight division is fully stacked from top to bottom. It might be the best division in all of boxing. No one outside of Manny Pacquiao has fought tougher opposition than WBC champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs). Fights against Devon Alexander, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia prove that notion correct.

Even with big fights against some of the best names that the division has to offer, it seems as though those experiences will pale in comparison to what he has in front of him on Saturday night.

In front of a packed house in the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California, Porter will be taking on IBF champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs).

Many have already written Porter off. Do that if you want but Porter has shown to be a world class fighter in the past and he will do so again this Saturday night. It’s going to be the most difficult fight of his career there is no question about that. Spence has a ton of advantages over Porter, but if he follows these keys to victory, he’ll walk away as a unified champion.

Box On The Outside

Porter has a pressure style. One that relies on him to push the pace and be extremely physical. That physicality won’t work against Spence who is much bigger and stronger. It also will be a predictable game plan.

Spence, along with the rest of the boxing world fully expects Porter to just rush right in. He should switch things up and try boxing on the outside. Say what you want about Porter’s ability to box but he is actually is a very good boxer when he decides to be. He needs to put his boxing acumen on full display come Saturday night.

Keep A High Work-rate

There has been times where Spence has thrown countless punches in a round. Porter is already at a disadvantage in my many categories but one thing that he can’t afford to let happen is allowing Spence to outwork him.

Porter should have a high work-rate in every single round. When Spence throws one punch, Porter should throw two. If Spence throws 40 punches in one round then Porter needs to throw 80. Being the busier fighter could go a long way towards swaying the judges.

Stay Off The Ropes

If Porter manages to trap Spence against the ropes then by all means, go to work. If it’s the other way around, he can’t waste anytime there, he should get out of there as soon as possible. Laying back on the ropes would be a bad decision for Porter. When Spence gets his opponents on the ropes it’s usually goodnight. Porter just can’t afford to be in that position. He’ll be a sitting duck all night long if that’s the case.

More Columns

Fox Sports PPV Preview: Spence vs. Porter, Dirrell vs. Benavidez


By: William Holmes

On Saturday Night the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California will be the host site for a pay per view offering by Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.

The main event of the evening will be a highly anticipated welterweight title fight between Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter. The co-main event of the evening will be between Anthony Dirrell and David Bennavidez for Dirrell’s WBC Super Middleweight Title.

The undercard is also stocked, and it is headlined by a WBA Junior Welterweight Title Fight between Mario Barrios and Bartyr Akhmedov. Other fighters on the undercard include Josesito Lopez, John Molina Jr., Robert Guerrero, and Joey Spencer.


Photo Credit: Premier Boxing Champions Twitter Account

The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the evening.

Anthony Dirrell (33-1) vs. David Benavidez (21-0); WBC Super Middleweight Title

The co-main event is a title fight between a thirty four year old Anthony Dirrell and a twenty two year old David Benavidez. It’s an intriguing fight in that one fighter appears to be on an upward trajectory in his career while the other fighter may be near his downslide.

Dirrell will have a slight ½ inch height advantage on Benavidez but will be giving up two and a half inches in reach. Dirrell has twenty four stoppages on his resume while Benavidez has eighteen stoppage wins, but Benavidez has less fights than Dirrell.

Both boxers haven’t been very active. Dirrell fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017. Benavidez fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and three times in 2017.

Dirrell does have an edge in amateur experience. He was a PAL champ as an amateur and came in third place in the US Olympic trials. Benavidez only had fifteen fights as an amateur.

Benavidez has beaten the likes of J’Leon Love, Ronald Gavril, Rogelio Medina, Denis Douglin, and Francy Ntet. Dirrell has to be given the edge in defeated opponents as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Avni Yildirim, Abraham Han, Denis Douglin, Caleb Truax, Marco Antonio Rubio, and Sakio Bika. His lone loss was to Badou Jack.

This is an intriguing fight, but Benavidez looked spectacular in his win against J’Leon Love and he has a significant reach and age advantage. Dirrell’s experience may carry him through the day, but Benavidez has to be considered a slight favorite.

Errol Spence Jr. (25-0) vs. Shawn Porter (30-2-1); IBF/WBC Welterweight Titles

Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. is considered by many to be the best welterweight fighter in the world.

But he will be facing the toughest test of his career on Saturday; a hard charging, relentless, in his prime champion by the name of Shawn Porter.

Both Spence and Porter are still in the middle of their athletic prime, with Spence being twenty nine years old and Porter being thirty one years old. Spence will have about a two and a half inch height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.

Spence also appears to have an edge in power. He has stopped twenty one of his opponents while Porter has only stopped seventeen. Spence fought once in 2019, twice in 2018, and once in 2017. Porter has fought once in 2019, once in 2018, and twice in 2017.

Spence has never tasted defeat as a professional. He thoroughly outclassed Mikey Garcia in his pay per view headlining debut. He has also defeated the likes of Carlos Ocampo, Lamont Peterson, Kell Brook, Leonard Bundu, Chris Algieri, Chris Van Heerden, Phil Lo Greco, Samuel Vargas, and Ronald Cruz.

Porter has two losses on his record, but they were close losses to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook. He has defeated the likes of Yordenis Ugas, Danny Garcia, Andre Berto, Adrien Broner, Paul Malignaggi, Devon Alexander, Phil Lo Greco, and Alfonso Gomez.

Spence had a decorated amateur career. He was a former US National Champ and a National Golden Gloves Champion as an amateur. He also competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Porter also had a decorated amateur career, but not on the level of Spence. He was a US National Silver Medalist in the amateurs and a Golden Gloves Gold Medalist.

If Porter can keep the fight tight he can rough Spence up on the inside. However, Spence’s reach, height, and speed advantage will come into play and Spence will likely be able to keep Porter at bay.

Porter will have his moments, but this writer expects Spence to win rather convincingly on Saturday.

More Headlines

Errol Spence Jr’s Keys To Victory Against Shawn Porter


By: Hans Themistode

Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) has begged for big fights for years but to no avail. Fast forward several years later and he is getting his wish. His first ring appearance of the year resulted in him winning a wide decision over four division champion Mikey Garcia. It was a big fight for Spence. Well, as far as the name goes. The contest on the other hand wasn’t very competitive. That won’t be the case in his next bout.

This Saturday night at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles, California, Spence will be looking to unify his IBF title when he takes on fellow champion, WBC belt holder Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs). It’s hard to find anyone who isn’t picking Spence to win the fight as most people see Porter as having virtually no chance. This just isn’t the case. In fact, this could easily be the hardest fight of Spence’s young career.

If the IBF champ isn’t careful, things could very well go wrong for him on fight night. It won’t be an easy nights work but Spence can pull off the victory with these keys to victory.

Bully The Bully

Shawn Porter isn’t a very big fighter as he stands at just 5 feet 7 inches, but when he gets in the ring he fights more like a big man. Porter uses a very rough and physical style to throw off his opponents. His work rate and non stop motor can give problems to anyone. He has successfully bullied plenty of his opponents in the ring. Spence is fully expecting the pressure from Porter but what he needs to do is accept and embrace it. Backing up from Porter will play right into his hands.

When Porter charges in, Spence should do the same. Show Porter that he is in fact the smaller man. Porter won’t get discouraged by simply hitting him with counter shots. Spence needs to make him feel the size difference between the two.

Kill The Body

Spence isn’t your typical head hunting fighter, he loves going to the body. With a fighter like Porter who will bring a ridiculous amount of energy, Spence needs to slow him down with his work to the body. It doesn’t matter how energetic you are, if you get hit down there enough times it will slow you down. Porter is very quick on his feet and brings relentless pressure so a well timed attack downstairs will be important.

Don’t Force The Knockout

The IBF champ has been adamant about knocking Porter out. No one is denying the power that Spence possesses but Porter has arguably the best chin in the entire division. It seems very unlikely that this will be a short night.

Winging shots from the outside in the attempt to get a quick knockout could lead to Spence tiring himself out. He needs to be patient and pick his shots. If the knockout presents itself then by all means go for it, but if not, rack up the points on the judges scorecards.

More Columns

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.”

More Headlines

Shawn Porter Should Avoid Making it an Ugly Fight Against Spence


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.

More Columns

No Rematch Clause for Spence vs. Porter?


By: Shane Willoughby

There doesn’t appear to be a rematch clause for the winner of Errol Spence vs Shawn Porter. Both fighters have expressed what their plans are after the fight but they haven’t mentioned a rematch, which normally is a sign of there being no rematch clause.

It isn’t unusual for a fight of this magnitude – to champions unifying the belt to not have a rematch clause. But what it does reveal is both fighters are extremely confident in themselves.

During the prolonged negotiations with Wilder and Anthony Joshua, AJ ensured there was a rematch clause if he lost. In fact, there was a rematch clause if he lost against Joseph Parker.

Now you look at it that it was actually very good business, but a sign of insecurity. Earlier this year we saw Canelo Alvarez take on Danny Jacobs. Although both fighters had belts only Canelo had a rematch clause. Which meant when Jacobs lost, which he did he wasn’t able to fight for his belt again.

With Spence and Porter, they may not have the profile of an AJ or Canelo to dictate terms and agreements but they appear much more secure within themselves.

Especially Spence, who is being built as the next biggest star in America. This is now his 2nd Pay-per-view in a row and Al Haymon is investing a great amount in him. But a loss at this stage in his career can really put a hold on his progression.

Now, many fight fans see Spence as a clear favourite but Porter is a dangerous fighter who can trouble any welterweight. It just seems a bit careless not to have a rematch clause in place, especially for Spence.

All it takes is a clash of heads or robbery on the scorecards and Al Haymon’s gravy train is on hold. Although both fighters are signed to PBC, Shawn Porter is far from a megastar in the sport, and it’s clear to see that most of Haymon’s investments are in building Spence to replace Mayweather.

Without a rematch clause it just spells disaster. Haymon has done fantastic at freezing Terence Crawford out of the welterweight picture, keeping his fighters away from the WBO champion but if Porter beats Spence all of that would have been for nothing.

In an ideal world for PBC, Spence goes and beats Porter and Pacquiao and goes to the negotiating table with 3 belts against Crawfords 1. But if he loses to Porter the future of PBC at welterweight rests on ‘Showtimes’ shoulders. It’s hard to see Porter voluntarily giving Spence the rematch, given how long it took him to sign for this fight.

More Columns

Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter Media Conference Call Transcript


Ray Flores

Thank you very much, operator. We greatly appreciate the media joining us from around the world. We continue the countdown for the big night of boxing coming your way on Saturday, September 28. That is a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. This is a stacked card from top to bottom.

It is a loaded event and our main event, which we are joined by the main event participants, is hotly anticipated welterweight title unification matchup, the IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. and the WBC champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter, get closer to their battle for welterweight supremacy.

The four-fight Pay-Per-View card starts at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. It is preceded by FS1 PBC prelims that come your way at 7:30 p.m. Et/4:30 p.m. PT. Tickets for the event are going quickly and they are promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions. They’re available right now at AXS.com or if you live in the Los Angeles area, at the STAPLES Center box office.

Now a man that has been very busy promoting big events all over the world, the President of TGB Promotions, a man who knows boxing better than anybody, here is Mr. Tom Brown.

Tom Brown

Well thank you, Ray, and thanks everyone for joining us today. Both Errol and Shawn are having great training camps. There’s tremendous excitement about this fight and both fighters are in incredible shape. It’s really a sensational matchup and one of the best fights that can be made in boxing’s hottest division, the welterweights, with two world champions, unifying the title.

Errol Spence Jr. is one of the most talked about fighters in the sport. Many consider him to not only to be the best welterweight in the division but the best fighter in the world. But he’s going to get all he can handle from Shawn Porter, who has always faced the best of the best in his illustrious career. This is really the type of fight that elevates the sport of boxing. So it’s going to be a tremendous night of boxing, a big night on Saturday September 28. We have a great card and I hope everyone joins us. Thank you very much.

R. Flores

Thank you very much, Tom. And as Tom pointed out, both Shawn Porter and Errol Spence, Jr. are in impeccable shape. Now this man I’m getting ready to introduce, one of the champions, captured his title last September with a victory over Danny Garcia, also holds wins over the likes of Andre Berto, also Adrien Broner and Devon Alexander, while taking on the best in the division throughout his career, most recently coming off a title defense victory against Yordenis Ugas live on FOX in March. He is originally from Akron, Ohio but now living and training in Las Vegas alongside his father, Kenny Porter.

He is a two-time welterweight champion of the world. I know he’s very happy on this Tuesday, especially with his Cleveland Browns picking up a very impressive victory over the New York Jets yesterday. His record 30 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, 17 win by way of knockouts. Please welcome the always entertaining and charismatic “Showtime” Shawn Porter.

Shawn Porter

What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having me on. We’re about two weeks away and I couldn’t be any more excited than I am right now. So I’m even excited to do these interviews right now with you guys, so let’s go, let’s do it.

Q

Where does that mentality come from you where there really does seem to be a genuine willingness to just look down the list and fight the best guys available that you and your team can make a match against, Spence being the next one?

S. Porter

It’s how I grew up. It’s how my dad raised me and it’s where I come from. We were never allowed to shy away from any challenge and that’s the way I’ve lived my life. So when it comes to taking on Errol Spence, to me it’s like taking on any other fighter. It’s not like taking on, as everyone has coined him, the boogeyman or the best welterweight in the world. To me I’m taking on another great, exciting fighter and I’m going to beat that great, exciting fighter.

Q

So it is Spence specifically that you wanted to fight or was it Spence was a guy that had one of the other world titles?

S. Porter

I think it’s Spence specifically. I think it’s specifically Spence because of not only him having a belt but who is and what he’s done in the sport so far. Being undefeated and, again, being coined as the boogeyman of the division I’m like, “Yo, I need that. I need to beat that guy. I need to fight that guy.” And so that’s where the hunger really comes from for me.

Q

So then what was it can you say that put that in your mind or had your dad put that in your mind? Did you ever talk about that?

S. Porter

Again, it’s how I was raised. I can tell you story after story that would confirm that that was how I was raised. But I was ten years old playing football against guys who were 12 and 13 years old and it doesn’t sound that big but back then when you’re ten going up against preteens it’s a big deal.

So even at that young age, my dad has always challenged me and made sure I not only put out my best but I was going up against the best. And you look up, I’m 31 now and this is 100% familiar territory for me because it’s where I come from.

Q

Did you just embrace fighting all those big names pretty much right off the bat as long as the business was right?

S. Porter

Yes. For me it was always about embracing the name or the opportunity or the fighter, whatever you may want to call it. I think for me coming into the game, the way that I came into the sport and the business being ran the way that it was ran for me, I was always told who I would fight and there was never really ever a fountain of guys to pick from. They were always hey this is who’s next, this is when, this is where, and so that’s how I’ve been bred into this sport.

So when you talk about fighting the mandatory challenger, Yordenis Ugas, and why would you fight him and a lot of different questions were posed to me, in my mind he’s the mandatory, he’s the guy they told me I had to fight. That’s who I’m going to fight. So, again, I think it’s the mindset that I’ve had a very young age from that seems to resonate for me.

Q

Tom, I was wondering if you could speak to that.

T. Brown

Where I really saw it with Shawn the first time was it was our second PBC show on March 13 back in 2015 when Roberto Garcia pulled out. We brought another opponent in. There was never any questioning; he was fighting. We brought Erick Bone in and he was a tough kid. Both Shawn and his father just said whoever you get, we’re here to fight. So that’s where he really showed me that he was a fighter, both he and his father, just what he talked about, the way he was raised back in Ohio.

Q

Could you talk a bit about your time fighting at that much higher weight and some of the fighters you specifically fought there and if that gives you confidence going into this fight with Spence?

S. Porter

I think fighting 165 pounds is no secret that the majority of the guys that I fought as an amateur were a lot bigger than Errol Spence, not just bigger than Errol, they were a lot bigger than Errol Spence and I’m talking about guys like Daniel Jacobs, who fights at 160 pounds, 168 pounds now. I fought against Oleksandr Usyk, who is unified champion over there in the Ukraine, a heavyweight now. I fought him at 165 pounds back in the day when we were about 20 years old and beat him.

I have wins against Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Me and Andrade were one and one in the amateur division. The last time that we fought we were 165 pounds and I beat him to go to a tournament as the amateur. The experience is there. The experience against taller, bigger opponents is there.

For me looking at Errol Spence, I don’t look at him like he’s a bigger guy than me. I don’t think he’s one of the bigger guys in the division. I think that he’s been matched up against guys who have made him look a lot more powerful and bigger and stronger than he is. Trust me when I say he’s met his match in this one.

Q

Can you talk about how you’ve balanced broadcasting and fighting and if you’ve had problems straddling those two professions and your focus going into this fight?

S. Porter

I’m blessed because FOX Studios is just a rock’s throw away from Vegas so I can get there in just an hour. I do my thing. I actually have workouts and routines set around the filming and then on the ride home after we film. So it really has not been a hard thing for me to balance at all, the even more blessed part about it is I know the majority of the guys.

I’ve seen the majority of the fighters for a long, long time, then as amateurs and now I’ve known them as pros. So when it comes to things like being there to talk about these guys even that part of it is not strenuous for me because I know a lot of these guys, I know their styles, I know what they do, what they bring to the fight. So usually for me I’m just kind of shaping up on their statistics more than I am on who they are and who they bring to the ring. So it has not been a hard thing for me to balance and I’ve enjoyed it very, very much to this point.

Q

I know a couple weeks ago you mentioned that you were going to spar with Demetrius Andrade. I just wondered if you had the opportunity to do that and how it went if you did.

S. Porter

We’re still working on getting Andrade to Vegas. We tried to get him in D.C. He had some family conflicts going on and now we’re working on getting him into Vegas in the day or two so that we can get that last little bit of great work in. He’s a tremendous athlete.

We’ve used him time and time again when I fought southpaws and even when I fought orthodox fighters because he gives us such great work and he’s definitely a tough competitor and he makes it fun and enjoyable as well. So we do look forward to having him in Vegas and finishing up time with him in the next couple of days.

Q

Spence has said he’s going to knock you out and there are other people who have said that he’s going to be the first person to do that. Has that surprised your or driven you at all because you’ve always shown such a great chin?

S. Porter

I’m not surprised to hear him say he wants to knock me out. He’s even said I’m going to knock you out. I’m not surprised to hear him say that because I know his mentality. I know who he is as a person. He’s very, very driven and competitive, and I get that. The part about it for me is I think he may be trying to psyche himself out into thinking he can do it.

I think I have a proven chin. I’ve got a record for saying no fighter really wants to prove his chin. We never want to get hit, get hurt, anything like that but I’ve taken some pretty good shots from some top guys out there and I’ve managed to handle that and win and come out on top.

So when it comes to Errol Spence, I don’t look at his power any different than anyone else I’ve been in the ring with and I’m going to go at him like I’ve gone at Keith Thurman, like I’ve gone at Danny Garcia, like I’ve gone at Yordenis Ugas, Devon Alexander and the list goes on from there.

Q

Shawn, he said that you were a dirty fighter obviously in one of those FOX shows. Does that bother you or what was your opinion of that?

S. Porter

No, it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s his perspective. I think there may have been looking at film of me maybe and pulling on some things that he can take advantage of and he may think that my roughness, he’s misconstruing that for dirtiness.

If he can’t handle the roughness then you will find out real soon, and if that’s what’s working for us well then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll be rough, we’ll be hard, we’ll be rugged, we’ll keep the pressure on him and we all know pressure bursts pipes.

Q

Shawn, do you think it’s a psychological advantage for you a little bit that he’s thinking about that and that he’s mentioning this? Do you think that’s in his head a little bit or how do you view that?

S. Porter

At this point, I do. I think that there’s more than just that in his mind when it comes to fighting me. I think he knows that he’s up against a lot. I think that those certain things that he’s trying to be aware of or make the referee aware of, I think that that’s a mistake on his behalf. I think he may be looking at those things and overlooking other things, like my skill and my talent and my speed and my quickness and my boxing ability, So I think that he’s in trouble. I think it’s only a matter of time before the world finds out.

Q

When you look at Errol’s style, how do you see that faring against your style compared to when you fought Ugas? Do you see yourself having an easier or harder time dealing with Errol compared to Ugas?

S. Porter

No comparison. I think styles makes fights. I think you said it yourself. They’re two completely different styles. I think that they both have or in Yordenis’ case had, things that present problems for anyone that are in the ring.

I think for me I think my speed and my quickness against Errol Spence is definitely going to be superior. I think my foot movement is going to be superior and I think that it’s going to open up a lot more opportunities. I think that Yordenis in the ring with me was a little confused. He was expecting me to have a different style than I came to him with and I think that really shook him up. I’m expecting to shake up Errol Spence.

Q

One of the things I remember when we spoke a couple of months ago was that you wanted to have a pay-per-view main event on your resume and now that you got that, especially in a title unification, how does it feel being on this type of unique platform that so few fighters have had the opportunity to headline a pay per view?

S. Porter

It’s been a lot of fun. It definitely has been an eye-opener as well. Someone just sent me a picture telling me that the fights were going to be shown in theaters and I already knew that but to actually see it and have a preview of yourself at a movie theater is pretty cool. I’m at the theaters every other week so I’m going to do the best I can to sell the fight and let people know that they can go watch it at their local theater. I think that’s awesome.

It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to fight week. I hope it gets even more fun and gets more exciting. Fight week is something that I’ve been looking forward to.

Q

Given that the winner will have two of the four world titles, do you see this fight as the winner should be considered the number one welterweight in the world?

S. Porter

I do. I think that myself and Errol Spence, are the number one and number two guys. You call who you want to be number one and number two but the best part about it is one is about to fight two and one is about to get eliminated. I think that after I beat Errol Spence, especially the way I beat Errol Spence, I think that this will see me as the number one guy in the division.

Q

Will you talk to us about what you gained from that sparring with Benavidez?

S. Porter

That’s a big dude right there. That’s a fast dude. He’s competitive and honestly I really did enjoy the whole experience of being in the ring with him and being in the gym with him as well. He’s a dynamite guy. Being in the ring with him, I think at that point challenging ourselves and finding out where we were in camp and I think we found out that the conditioning that I was in at that point was great and we knew that we still had a couple of steps that we could pick up. But being in the ring with a big guy like that we definitely were able to find out that we were exactly where we wanted to be in camp at that point in time.

Q

Now I see that you predicted — do I have this right — you predicted an eighth round knockout of Spence next week?

S. Porter

Well someone else came on the line and they predicted that knockout. I did say I liked the thought of that prediction but I myself did not make that prediction, no, sir.

But if you’re asking me if I am going to knock him out, if I want to knock him out, heck yes. Do I have what it takes? Heck yes. And I think that we’ve come up with a great game plan and we definitely at some point will be looking at pressuring him and knocking him out.

Q

Is there anybody that you fought that’s maybe a little bit similar to Errol Spence?

S. Porter

If I had to say it would be between Danny Garcia and Kell Brook. I think that Errol Spence has great boxing ability, a great one-two, great basic fundamentals. He’s very, very fundamental structured, a lot like Kell Brook, and I think that that he tries to dictate the pace and do the things that he like to do in the ring, a lot like Danny Garcia. So I think he’s a mixture of those two.

Q

Does it bother you that people say that Errol’s on a whole different level as far as boxing and that you can’t box with him?

S. Porter

I’m from where LeBron James is from, northeast Ohio. He said in northeast Ohio everything is earned, nothing is given. With that being said, I know how it feels to prove people wrong. I know what it feels like to do the impossible and do the things that people don’t expect you to do.

So it doesn’t bother me that people don’t give me credit for my boxing ability or say things like me not being able to box with Errol Spence on the outside, things like that. It just leaves room for me to do what I do where I come from. Where I come from is proving people wrong and doing the impossible and that’s what I’m looking forward on the 28th.

Q

I know you’re always motivated but like is it motivations on another level right now because you want to prove so many different people wrong?

S. Porter

No. The odds, the betting odds, they don’t give me any more energy or drive to do anything different. It’s my understanding that I’m going to see a lot of people who say, “Hey, man, I bet on you, man. Thanks.” And there’s going to be a lot of people out there saying, “Man, I should have bet on you.” That’s always fun to hear and see. So I’m looking forward to that.

Q

Would you agree that the intensity in this fight is based on who’s the best at 147, it’s not personal. It’s more business?

S. Porter

I think it’s both and the reason why I say it’s both is because I think the business part of it is just about showing who’s the best fighter and who has the best style and who’s more determined, all that good stuff. But I think that at the same time we both are challenged to show that we have a great team, great families, all that kind of stuff. So, I think it kind of mixes a little bit. But in terms of there’s nothing personal in terms of me taking shots at him, at Errol or anybody else in the division based on what they do in their personal life. It’s all based around the business and the training and all that kind of stuff.

Q

Do you see the perspective that this is a legacy fight for you?

S. Porter

Yes, I think it’s cool to be in my position. I’m the only one that’s taken on all those guys and still here to continue moving forward. I think if anything if we do want to talk about the betting odds and things like that. I think you take into consideration what I’ve done and who I’ve done it against. And how I’ve performed. I think that if you take into account that I’ve fought Danny Garcia at in his prime basically, Keith Thurman in his prime basically. Just recently Ugas who is a great boxer. I think that if you take in all that into account you might say, man, like, alright I think this fight is going to be a little more competitive and harder to choose the winner than I think it is going to be.

S. Porter

I’m looking forward to the 28th. I’m sure you guys are used to hearing that. But the thing you’re not used to hearing is the world is about to be shocked. Team Porter has done a fantastic job at getting prepared for Errol Spence. We are overlooking anything that he can do in the ring. But we definitely feel like we are the superior athlete, the superior fighter. And we are all looking forward to the 29th and shocking the world on the 28th. Thank you, guys, so much for the interviews. And I’ll see you all soon.

R. Flores

This next fighter just gets it done and at a very high level. As his level of opposition increases, he continues to wipe out his opponents, and he has a very tough test ahead of himself. His record, 25 and 0, 21 wins by way knockout. Please welcome the reigning and defending IBF welterweight champion of the world Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.

Errol Spence Jr.

Hey how it’s going? Happy to be here. Training camp has been really good. I am excited that it’s only two weeks away. It’s going to be a great match up between two great champions. I’m always ready to fight. So, I hope everybody’s coming to the fight. It’s going to be an amazing night and might be the Fight of the Year this year.

Q

Porter seems to be a guy that would be more your equal than maybe your past few opponents. What is your opinion of that?

E. Spence

I see him as a tough opponent. He’s the world champion and he throws a lot of punches. He is very energetic. So that’s why he’s a success. He’s a rough guy and he does whatever it takes to win. So from that aspect and him beating Danny Garcia, I see him as a tough test.

Q

How are you prepared to deal with that element of the physicality he brings that’s not necessarily to the exact letter of the rules?

E. Spence

I’m a guy that I feel like I can ward it off or write it off. Or may do the exact same thing. So I feel like I’ve fought opponents just as physical as Shawn, or just just as strong as him. I feel like that won’t really play a part in this fight.

Q

Were you disappointed you couldn’t get Pacquiao next and sort of settled for Porter?

E. Spence

I was just looking for the next available guy. I wanted a unification fight too. Shawn Porter was the easiest fight to make and the quickest fight to make. So, that’s why I decided with the fight, Shawn Porter.

I wanted the chance to beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao is a bigger name and a bigger fight. So, of course I wanted that fight. But Shawn Porter is the champion too. He has the build. So, I definitely wanted to unify too. I knew that if I wasn’t going to get Pacquiao there was going to be a good chance I was going to fight Shawn Porter.

Q

Mikey Garcia had maybe a little bit of a bigger name, maybe a bigger fan base. I think most people would look at the fight between yourself and Shawn perhaps is the more competitive fight. Where do you stand on that? Which is the bigger fight in your mind?

E. Spence

I’d say Mike Garcia is the bigger name than Shawn Porter. But as a fan friendly fight or as an entertainment fight and tough fight, I would say this fight with Shawn Porter is going to be I feel like way more entertaining than the Mikey Garcia fight. I feel like the Shawn Porter fight is bigger just because it’s a unification fight.

Q

Do you think that it’s been easier this time around just because you have the experience of preparing for a Pay-Per-View event against Mikey Garcia? Or would you say it’s more or less the same?

E. Spence

I think it’s a lot easier. Because the first fight I was traveling to New York doing things and going back to California doing things. So I was basically going in and out of camp. I would say the first time it was harder than the second go around.

Q

Do you believe the winner of this fight should be considered the best welterweight in the world?

E. Spence

Definitely. There’s no way around it. The winner is the unified champion. So, I definitely think the winner should be considered the top welterweight in the world and that makes me even more excited and hungry to win.

Q

This fight you’ve been a lot more vocal that you’re going for a knockout. Usually you’re’ more reluctant to say that. Just wanted to know if that has to do with his style how your styles will mesh, your overall respect for him as a fighter, or just the mindset you’re bringing to this fight?

E. Spence

It’s just my overall mindset and something I want. I feel like the way he fights and the way he comes forward, I think I can exploit that. But I can’t go in there and just force knock out. I’m going to try to work a bit and break him down.

Q

How do you prepare for that physicality that’s going to come with that fight?

E. Spence

Mostly by preparing mentally for it and having sparring partners that bring the heat and bring the pressure. I feel like I’m ready. And I know that Shawn is going to bring it but that’s why we work so hard to be ready for anything he brings at any time.

Q

Are you trying to probably make more of a statement in this fight, ?

E. Spence

Making that statement is something that I really want to do. It’s one of my goals in this fight is to knock him out. I’d be the first person and that would make it a real statement. I’m ready to go in there and deliver. I want it to be a great knockout.

Q

Do you feel beating Porter will give you that respect that you deserve or seek?

E. Spence

About the way I beat Mikey Garcia, because I just didn’t go in there. People thought I was just going to go in there and just bulldoze him. I just boxed and used my mind and made it a boxing match. So I think the people respect me from that standpoint. Where I just didn’t try to use my size to beat him up. But I definitely see how I want to win against Shawn Porter. I think people give me more respect and value my skills and my abilities.

Q

How you want to beat up Shawn Porter.

E. Spence

I just want it to be a calculated knock out. I don’t want to be going in just over anxious throwing a lot of punches and missing a lot of shots. I want to go for the knock out, be poised and pick my shots. I want to break him down and get a calculated knock out.

Q

What is it about Porter that has you working a little bit harder for this fight?

E. Spence

Porter’s a guy trains hard and of course he has dad in his ear pushing him. So he’s pushed to the limit every chance, every training. So that keeps me focused. Keeps me humbled. Because I know he’s going to come in shape. I know going to throw punches. And I know he’ll do whatever it takes to win. So, that keeps me basically on my toes. Keeping me training a little bit harder.

Q

How might Porter approach you as opposed to how he approached Ugás?

E. Spence

Shawn is the guy who just goes by the game plan. So I think the game plan is the try to beat me from the beginning and try to throw a lot of punches and bring me down. Try to stop me. So, I think that he’s going to be more aggressive than he was against Ugas.

Q

Did you think he won that fight?

E. Spence

I think either guy could of won. I think it was super close where either guy could have won.

Q

Did it surprise you that Shawn approached that fight the way that he did?

E. Spence

Yes, a little bit. I would have thought he would be more aggressive like he did in the later rounds, in the early rounds. But they tried that strategy. He still won at the end of the day. So, that gives him the motivation heading into this fight.

Q

Errol, do you think you have gotten under his skin by calling him a dirty fighter?

E. Spence

No. Because I’m not the first person to call him dirty. I don’t know if he’s a dirty fighter but he has a dirty style. A lot of elbows and things like that. But he’s good for a reason. Whatever works, he’s doing it.

Q

How important is it for you in your fight, Errol, in the beginning of the fight if things get rough and he does some of the things that you’ve mentioned to do that right back to him to let him know that you’re not going to tolerate that type of thing?

E. Spence

It could happen that way. But I’m not really worried about it. I think a lot of times, when he fights stronger, he isn’t dirty like that. Danny Garcia, he wasn’t dirty like that. I think he does that to fighters he can just push around. I’m not really concerned with his dirty tactics.

Q

How do you feel about getting this second pay per view?

E. Spence

Yes, of course. I started at SHOWTIME and I have a lot of love for SHOWTIME. Had my first fight on there. First title fight on there. So it’s a lot of first moments on SHOWTIME. So now FOX has had amazing promotion for all their PBC fights. Really getting bigger than getting slots in between timeouts for the NFL. So it doesn’t get bigger than that.

The promotion’s been great and getting all the commercial slots. We’re all very happy to have a promotion like this. It’s been a great ride.

Q

Can you talk a little bit about what role you play in having your hand on Man Down promotions? You have a couple fighters fighting on this card, if you want to speak on that a little bit.

E. Spence

Yes, I have Man Down Promotions co-promoting. We have a couple fighters fighting on the card. We’ve got Burley Brooks, Amon Rashidi and Fernando Garcia all getting in the ring.

I’m a guy that I don’t want to have a big stable of fighters. I want to have a few. So I can put my attention on just them and get them fights and make sure they’re busy and things like that. So I’m not looking to really find any more fighters than what I have now. So, I can be focused on them.

Q

How will you balance whether it a dog fight or a chess match against Shawn?

E. Spence

It’s just instinct. I feel like I know when to box and when to bang and how to pick and choose my spot and things like that. So it just happens naturally in a fight. I feel like at the first round, I’ll know definitely where it’s going. I’ll figure him out, break him down and tear him apart or I’ll beat him backing up.

E. Spence:

Everybody make sure you’re there. Make sure you order the Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View September 28. It’ll be an amazing event. I can’t wait. I’m in great shape. Shawn Porter, he comes to fight. And like I said, I’m looking for the knock out. So it might be Fight of the Year if he can withstand my punches for all 12 rounds.

More Headlines

Errol Spence: “This Is What I’ve Been Waiting For”


By: Sean Crose

“This is going to be an amazing event,” Errol Spence Jr said during a Tuesday press conference in Las Angeles. “The co-main event could be the main event on any normal (card), but this main event is going to be fire. You know it’s man down when I get in the ring and we’re going to show you just that on September 28.” Spence was promoting his upcoming welterweight title throwdown against Shawn Porter at the Staples Center in Las Angeles on a card that will air live on pay per view.

“Shawn is a warrior who always comes to fight and leaves his heart on the table,” the 25-0 Spence said good naturedly of his 30-2-1 opponent. “He always comes ready, but I’m in shape and ready for him too. We’re both always in exciting fights and that’s what we’re going to give the fans.” Spence, who was last seen in the ring easily besting Mikey Garcia earlier this year, currently holds the IBF welterweight title. Porter was last seen pulling off a unanimous decision win over Yordenis Ugas last March. He currently holds the WBC welterweight title

“This fight demands this kind of excitement and energy that we have here today,” said Porter. “We’re coming to the Staples Center for these fans, because they give us the energy that we need.” The Ohio native made it clear that the match between he and Spence would be nothing about a high end affair. “”People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on,” he said. “He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting. We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and out class each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.”

The welterweight division still remains perhaps the most interesting division in boxing as it settles into the post-Mayweather era. Besides Spence and Porter holding major titles, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford also hold major belts. “This is what I’ve been waiting for,” said Spence of the upcoming fight with Porter. “I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.”

Spence made it clear that he’s not only out for blood on September 28, he’s looking to bring at least some real clarity to the welterweight division. “My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage,” he said. “I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”

The card will also feature the 31-1-1 Anthony Dirrell facing the 21-0 David Benevidez for the WBC super middleweight title, and a WBA super lightweight title fight between the 24-0 Mario Barrios and the 7-0 Batyr Akhmedov. The vacant WBA belt will be handed to the winner of that match.

More Headlines

Spence Will Be Put To The Test Against Porter


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.

More Columns

PBC Boxing Results: Porter and Ramos Pull Out Victories


By: Hans Themistode

WBC champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) managed to keep his title by the skin teeth by winning a split decision over Yordenis Ugas. Scores for the bout read 117-111 for Ugas while the two remaining judges scored in Porter’s favor, 116-112 and 115-113. The contest took place at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California tonight. Porter was defending his title for the first time since winning a close decision over Danny Garcia last September.

The champion is known for his aggressive come forward style. He usually turns his contest into a sloppy affair. In his matchup against Ugas he came into the match with a completely different game plan. Porter spent the majority of the rounds boxing on his back foot and did not come charging in. Ugas pressed the action and tried to put together combinations that would put the champion in a bad position. Ugas found a ton of success throughout varies portions of the contest. It seemed as though his size was affecting the champion to a certain degree as Porter just couldn’t get his man to take a step back. Although Porter tried to implement a new game plan, he did have moments of reverting back to the old Shawn Porter.

Both men stood in the center of the ring in round four and let their hands go until the end of the bell. Credit should be given to Porter as he continually sticked to his game plan and tried to outbox his bigger opponent. In round 11 that plan paid dividends as Porter caught his man walking in with a left, right combination that had him a bit wobbled. It looked as Ugas was a bit off balance when the shot landed but Porter made his presence known in the round. The final round saw Ugas press forward, seemingly trying to emphatically win the round.

When the final bell rung both men felt that they did enough to win. In the end it was Porter’s boxing ability and timely aggression that allowed him to win a close split decision.

The co main event of the night was a good fight in its own right as Abel Ramos (24-3-2, 18 KOs) defeated Francisco Santana (25-7-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision. For Ramos it was his sixth win in a row. He hasn’t tasted defeat since losing a close decision to Jamal James early last year.

Things started off a bit slow as both men were feeling each other out. It was Ramos who was doing really good work and outboxed his opponent for long stretches of the contest. Santana came into the contest off the biggest win of his career when he defeated Felix Diaz. He also had a three inch reach advantage but just couldn’t use it effectively as he was forced to fight off his back foot all night long. For Santana the loss represents his third in his last four. He will now be forced to the back of the line and look to rebuild.

Ramos on the other hand is in great position. With now six straight wins he will undoubtedly get his shot at a title if he continues his hot steak. With Shawn Porter winning a very close decision tonight and looking some what vulnerable, Ramos may have his eyes on his belt.

More Headlines