Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford Series: Part 2 – Pandemic Problems and Options for Terence Crawford
By: Kirk Jackson
The top pound-for-pound fighter of the sport is facing a predicament. Current WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (36-0, 27 KO’s) is itching for a fight, but is experiencing difficulty securing a legit opponent.
Although Crawford is highly regarded by his fighting peers, analysts and other observers of the sport, his standing has not prevented an onslaught of recent criticisms from these very same outlets, in spite of his accomplishments.
Major world titles:
- WBO lightweight champion (135 lbs.)
- WBA (Super) light welterweight champion (140 lbs.)
- WBC light welterweight champion (140 lbs.)
- IBF light welterweight champion (140 lbs.)
- WBO light welterweight champion (140 lbs.)
- WBO welterweight champion (147 lbs.)
The Ring magazine titles:
- The Ring lightweight champion (135 lbs.)
- The Ring light welterweight champion (140 lbs.)
- Undisputed light welterweight champion (IBF, WBA, WBC, WBO)
- Fighter of the Year by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2014
World Champions Defeated (8): Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Ray Beltran, Viktor Postol, Jeff Horn, Julius Indongo and Amir Khan.
Crawford, along with virtually every other fighter is plagued with problems presented from this pandemic.
But what also ails the Nebraska native, is his lack of high quality opposition as of late. In addition to this pandemic, in which limits the options for Crawford, the hand from Father Time is creeping in, imminently set to attack what’s left of the 32-year-old Crawford’s prime years.
How much longer can Crawford hold on to any bits of his prime and as a top performer? This is a concern expressed by current Top Rank/ESPN commentator and unofficial Top Rank Promoter, Timothy Bradley.
“‘Bud’ Crawford is not a young whippersnapper anymore,” Bradley said. “He’s in his 30s. He’s not young. Activity is important for him. But I know Bud Crawford personally. I know he works extremely hard, he’s constantly staying in shape. So, I think he’ll be okay.”
“One thing that we know is that you can’t buy back time,” Bradley continued. “You can’t buy back time. These are your prime years. Boxing is short. It’s a short lived sport, believe it or not. You have a short window to make your money and get out of the game before the game damages you.”
With this pandemic and worldwide shut down in effect, another questions begs as to how will this affect Crawford, as far as securing that elusive, career defining bout?
Legendary Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, has a list of opponents he’s considering for Crawford’s next fight set to take place in November. Fans and boxing pundits speculate those potential opponents may be Shawn Porter, Manny Pacquiao, Kell Brook, Keith Thurman or Yordenis Ugas.
However, the legacy defining fight fans are clamoring for, is a bout featuring current unified IBF and WBC welterweight champion, “The Truth” Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KO’s).
The highly anticipated collision course can potentially go down as one of the most memorable fights in welterweight history. This match-up may stake its stand in time like Thomas Hearns vs. Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao and other historic match-ups.
That’s if Spence fully recovered from injuries suffered from his horrific car accident last year and he and “Bud” can overcome other obstacles prior to their proposed, eventual clash.
Regarding Spence’s return and recovery, for obvious reasons Crawford will be a highly interested observer as he returns later this year.
“Errol has stated that he’s fine; he’s training, and nothing is really wrong with him,” Crawford told ESPN. “He’s preparing himself for Danny Garcia. So after this fight, we’re all going to get a glimpse of how he’s going to react coming off of that magnitude. And being that he’s taking on a tough opponent in Danny Garcia because Danny is by far no walk in the park for anybody. So we’re all going to get our answers from fight night with him, and Danny share the ring together.”
But what is the best option for Crawford in the immediate future? Pacquiao is at the top of everyone’s wish list, but that is a fight having eluded Crawford the past five years. And with the pandemic having a negative impact worldwide on the economy, securing these highly desirable match-ups are increasingly difficult.
If the plan is for Crawford to face Spence next year, the go-to move, may be pitting the WBO welterweight champion against common opponents to help stir up interest, further hype the fight while enhancing viewership and appeal to the observing audience.
It’s a plan committed in years past, when fighters were in the process of mutual courtship. For years, Floyd Mayweather verbally jabbed at Manny Pacquiao for fighting his leftovers; Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton and Shane Mosley. In turn, Mayweather fought some of Pacquiao’s dance partners; Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto.
In the past, many other rivals shared dance partners en route to their eventual showdown. This added another layer of intrigue, as fans and analysts alike dissected and compared performances against common foes and it served as build-up for the fight.
“Bud” can follow that same blueprint, by facing Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia or even Shawn Porter. Spence had fight of the year caliber fights with Brook and Porter respectively.
“That’s a good fight,” Crawford told ESPN regarding a fight with Porter. “If that’s a fight that Porter wants to pursue, we can talk about it, and so be it. I don’t duck no fighter. I never turned down no fighter, so I won’t stop now. My whole thing was I’m looking for the titles, and I’m trying to become undisputed. Me and Shawn are good friends.”
What ultimately determines what will occur is the decision from Arum.
“The first choice, obviously, is for Crawford to fight Manny Pacquiao but that depends on money from a site abroad,” Arum said in an interview with Boxing Scene.
“I talked to Manny about the fight but a lot of these places overseas are reluctant now to do anything this year because of the pandemic. Next year? Different story. But this year it’s a big problem and I have no control over it, so it seems unlikely it would be Pacquiao this year and I want to get Crawford a fight this year.”
Without a crowd in attendance, or a notable adversary willing to participate under less than ideal circumstances, Crawford may be stuck in limbo waiting for the Spence fight – if that even materializes.
“My contract states I’m not taking any pay cuts. If we have to fight for the minimum, so be it,” Crawford told ESPN. “With the fans unable to come see the fight, I don’t know how that’ll fare against any top welterweight in the division. When you look at the whole landscape of the whole thing, it’s going to come down to money. And if you can’t provide the proper money for each fighter, then how is that going to make the fight happen?
“But as far as a pay cut, it depends on who we’re fighting. Manny Pacquiao is a fight that we’re still currently looking forward to getting. Like I said, the pandemic has messed up a lot of things as far as money.”
As Crawford alluded to, the pandemic has tampered with sports and life as we know it. But progressing forward, the plan is to overcome these hurdles and eventually things will get back on track.
Can Keith Thurman Handle The Truth?
By: Kirk Jackson
Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-1, 22 KO’s) aims to not only get back on the winning track, but also targets to stake claim as top dog in this current wave of a welterweights in what is considered one of boxing’s historic divisions.
As of late, Thurman is keeping busy, barking threats at the top guy in the division.
“I’m ready to get back in with all this competition,” Thurman told boxing publication, Pep Talk UK.
“My mind mentally would love a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. I think it’s a worthy rematch and a deserved rematch. It’s an epic fight… It’s whatever doors will open. If I have to fight a Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia. I’d be surprised if Errol Spence hops on the table right away, but there are so many opportunities.”
That quote featured five names, all five fighters great in their own way. But there is one fighter among the bunch that sticks out as a thorn in Thurman’s side.
Enter “The Truth” Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KO’s). The undefeated, unified IBF and WBC welterweight champion, is noted for telling foes to “Keep that same energy,” essentially stating to hold on to the same stance held before and after the action that transpires.
Spence also happens to be one of the main names linked to Thurman over the past several years.
Following the actions of Thurman, or career trajectory as far as fight selection, and the lack of the fight transpiring between him and Spence over the past several years, there may be an understanding level of skepticism, upon hearing recent proclamations from the former welterweight champion.
“Errol [Spence] going to have to give me my respect one way or another. If he doesn’t want to see me at 147, he’s going to have to leave the division.”
After all this time, does anyone believe Thurman is in an immediate rush to face Spence? With lucrative opportunities and legacy defining fights awaiting Spence in the welterweight division, why would Spence leave this weight class? What leverage does Thurman hold, to force Spence out of the division?
Is Thurman serious, or is he clout chasing?
This is the fight game and business ideally must match the needs of each respective team before opposing sides can come to an agreement, but business and politics aside, Thurman never appeared in a hurry, to face what many fans and experts considered to be Thurman’s toughest challenger.
Well that was until Thurman faced Pacquiao, in what was a highly competitive, razor thin decision in favor of the senator from the Philippines.
And speaking of Pac-Man, it can be argued for the past several years, Spence has been chasing around Thurman, Spence portraying Pac-Man and Thurman portraying one of those ghosts chased around, once Pac-Man absorbs an energizer.
Thurman like other fellow fighters, athletes and everyone generally speaking, is plagued with issues from this pandemic. But even aside from that particular problem, Thurman’s lack of activity, is apparent over the past stretch of years.
Dating back to July of 2015, Thurman has only competed five times.
Injuries have also tampered with Thurman’s reign as world champion. Questions aimed at his durability and physical health, dedication and focus to the sport, have come into question in recent years. According to his own testimony, he was injured in most of his recent fights. The mental aspect of recovery and rehabilitation is a war in itself.
“It’s hard for someone to show me an opportunity and watch me say no,” said Thurman. “I could maybe take a tune-up. But I like great fights and significant challenges. Whoever, I fight, I know there’s going to be a following. I want to make it worth my while. Those training camps are not easy. I want my opponent to be worthy of all the pain and suffering that is involved in the whole event for it to be really worthwhile.”
With inquiries relating to his history of injuries, along with data to support certain claims, some observers are wondering if he will return to the form that earned him decision wins over Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia. The same form, that enabled Thurman to hold multiple welterweight titles at one time.
It’s fairly reasonable for someone to question Thurman’s true intentions regarding his desire to face Spence.
The truth is, Thurman is a talented fighter. Thurman is intelligent, has a gift of gab and is as entertaining with his words, as he is with his punches. That is a rare, complimentary combination.
But the truth may also be, Thurman is no longer the top guy across his division and at this moment in time, not even in the conversation. Words and accomplishments from yesteryear can only carry you so far. This is a what have you done for me lately kind of business.
Although boasting close wins over Porter and Garcia, they may be positioned with greater opportunities comparatively to Thurman. Due to their level of activity, success, public perception, durability and fortune of good health, they are positioned to take fights against Mikey Garcia, Errol Spence, or even Terence Crawford.
Due to inactivity and uncertainty, some may argued Thurman has faltered below to the second tier of elite welterweight. That talented group of fighters featuring Jessie Vargas, Yordenas Ugas, Sergey Lipnets, Adrien Broner, among a few others.
An additional problem for the former champion, is another wave of welterweights may be on the way soon. Josh Taylor, Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez may move up within the next year or so adding more muscle to the division. The young guns Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz are also waiting in the wing.
With this infusion of talent and additional depth added to the weight class, “One Time” may be on limited time.
As far as securing a showdown with “The Truth,” tables have turned indeed and it is Thurman allegedly giving chase to the opportunity that lies in wait with Spence.
“Everyone is gunning for him, and if he wants to stay champion, he’s going to have to answer to everybody or follow after his predecessor and dodge everybody and pick who he chooses,” Thurman said. “He’s faced some of my competition, but he’s never faced me. I did that with Errol when he fought Shawn Porter. I got a lot of people that think the way I beat Porter was better.”
Only difference is, Spence verbally expresses the interest to face his challengers and so far, is backing up his talk.
The predecessor Thurman is referring to, in Floyd Mayweather, defeated 24 world champions, won 11 world titles, five weight classes, etc.
Albeit Thurman never got his shot, Mayweather obviously faced his fair share of top-level competition. And for argument sake, Mayweather beat a younger version of the same fighter who handed Thurman his first professional defeat.
The truth is, given Thurman’s high intellect, there’s more than what meets the eye with his recent proclamations.
All roads through welterweight must eventually go through Errol Spence. Time will tell if Keith “One Time” Thurman can handle the truth.
Terence Crawford On Errol Spence Jr: “We Both Agree The Fight Will Happen”
By: Sean Crose
Undefeated WBO welterweight champion Terence “Bud” Crawford has made it more than clear he wants a piece of WBA, IBF and WBC welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. “New year. New day. New goals.” Crawford tweeted on January 3’d. “New belts? #2020 #quitduckinme.” It was obvious who the message was for. What’s more, the words were accompanied by an image of the Nebraska native standing next to a heavy bag. The 36-0 fighter continued calling out Spence on Sunday. “I’m tell all y’all now,” he tweeted, “and I mean what I say when that day come when I knock him all I want all y’all to keep that same energy because he gone cry in the car he wasn’t built for this shit I got over here just watch me show the world.”
Yet Crawford wasn’t done.
“And stop using the fucking promoters, managers and advisors for that weak ass excuse,” he continued. “Y’all doing they work for us y’all dumb mf if you really want a fight you tell them i don’t give two fucks that’s who I want to fight. let yo nuts drop you say you yo own boss @ErrolSpenceJr.” Spence, 26-0, made it a point to reply. After claiming that he only hears Crawford gripe on social media, the native of of DeSoto, Texas tweeted: “Fight not going get made on here.” Crawford responded: “You right ima call you right now pick yo phone up.” A short time later, Crawford tweeted that “@ErrolSpenceJr is a cool dude on some real shit we both agree the fight will happen.”
Both Spence and Crawford are ranked among the top fighters in the sport. Yet there’s no real sign that two men are going to fight anytime soon, something that rankles followers of the sweet science. What’s more, no one is particularly buying the excuse that promotional and network loyalties are keeping the men from fighting. The fact that heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, represented by the same interests as Spence and Crawford respectively, will be fighting for the second time this February proves that high end hybrid bouts can be made.
The welterweight division has been held in extremely high regard since the days of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, and Roberto Duran. In that bygone era, however, top fighters would face off in a timely manner. Leonard, for instance, battled Duran twice in 1980, then met Hearns in 1981. No one could imagine should a thing happening today. Which, of course, is something that’s worth noting. Both Crawford and Spence are very good fighters. It’s also ridiculous to argue that one is afraid of the other. Unfortunately, red tape is keeping the world from knowing who the best man of the two truly is. Here’s hoping Crawford is right, and that – sooner rather than later – “the fight will happen” after Spence fully recovers from a horrendous October car crash and is ready to face top level opposition again.
Spence: “All I Got To Do Is Thank God That I’m Here”
By: Sean Crose
“I feel like Brian Kenny works for the D.A.” welterweight multi-titlist Errol Spence Jr kiddingly tweeted early Sunday morning after being interviewed by Kenny live on Fox hours earlier. Spence, who survived an absolutely horrific car crash last October, made his first public appearance Saturday when he spoke with the veteran broadcaster as part of the terrific Tony Harrison – Jermell Charlo card. “I’m feeling good,” the 26-0 WBC and IBF welterweight champion said, “and I’ve spent a lot of time with my family, my friends, and my little girl. I’ve been enjoying the time with them while I’ve been out from boxing.”
Spence was intoxicated while racing through Dallas in his sport’s car during the early morning hours of October 10th. Video caught footage of his Ferrari flipping, kicking up debris, and ending up a complete wreck. The fact that Spence survived, much less appeared as good as he did on Saturday, is a wonder in and of itself. Still, the 29 year of landed in legal trouble due to the incident. Local affiliate WFAA reported some time after the crash that John Creuzo, a Dallas County District Attorney, had “filed an affidavit accusing Errol Spence Jr. of driving while intoxicated before the boxer’s October crash.”
Still, Spence on Saturday appeared grateful for the simple fact that he had survived the incident. “it was a miracle from God,” the DeSoto native told Kenny. “It really protected me during the accident because anybody else probably would have been killed. It was just a blessing from God that I was able to make it safe and that I was able to return back to boxing.” Spence indicated that he was already back in the gym, prepping for his ring return. “I already started training last week,” he claimed, “and I was feeling good. I hit the mitts and everything and I got in and ran and stuff too.”
Spence, who many rank among the sport’s current pound for pound best fighters, said he’s ready to return to the ring in the spring or summer. He also made it clear he’s not looking for any easy touches upon that return. “I don’t want a tune-up fight,” he said matter of factly. “I want to fight Pacquiao or Garcia if he wins his fight. I want to fight Danny Garcia. I was supposed to fight him in January, but I had my accident. That’s the guys I’m looking to fight.” A potential fight with either Garcia, who faces Ivan Redkach in January, or Pacquiao, who impressively bested WBA welterweight champ Keith Thurman last summer, is music to fan’s ears.
“No restrictions at all,” Spence told Kenny – who wasn’t afraid to ask about the medical and legal aspects of Spence’s situation. “I’ve been cleared. They did all types of scans on me. They think it’s a miracle. I can’t explain it. All I got to do is thank God that I’m here. I’m healthy, I can touch my kids and kiss them, and I’m here with my mother and my father and I can give the fans what they’ve been wanting.”
Spence Facing DWI Charge
By: Sean Crose
Although Errol Spence Jr had a brilliant year for himself inside the ring in 2019, his life outside the ring has taken some dramatic turns as of late. Numerous outlets have reported that the DeSoto, Texas native has been charged in Dallas with Driving While Intoxicated. Police have also released a mugshot taken of Spence after a horrific October crash, looking like a fighter who just got the worst of it in a bout. “The Dallas County DA’s office filed a DWI charge against welterweight boxing champion and DeSoto resident Errol Spence, Jr. related to his crash in Dallas on October 10.” CBS’ Dallas/Fort Worth Affiliate reported on Friday.
The crash, which was recorded by surveillance cameras, involved Spence racing his Ferrari at a very high speed. The car subsequently goes out of control in the video, crosses lanes, then crashes in horrific fashion. Fortunately for the welterweight titlist, no one was hurt or killed. Better still, it’s been reported that the decorated star will fully recover from his injuries. Local ABC affiliate WFAA reports that: “According to Dallas police, the Ferrari was speeding northbound on Riverfront when it veered left over the median and flipped several times. Spence, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the car.”
WFAA also reported on Thursday that “Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot has filed an affidavit accusing Errol Spence Jr. of driving while intoxicated before the boxer’s October crash.” Although Spence won’t find himself in profound legal trouble because of the incident, it’s doubtful he’ll escape without some form of punishment. The crash occurred less than two weeks after Spence’s very impressive victory over Shawn Porter in Las Vegas on September 28th. Earlier in the year, Spence bested the highly acclaimed Mikey Garcia after the Californian went up in weight to challenge for Spence’s welterweight title.
At the moment it’s unclear if and when Spence will fight again, though it appears that his health won’t be an issue. The welterweight division is red hot right now, with names like Pacquiao, Thurman, Garcia, and even Crawford being possible opponents. Spence has yet to publicly address the incident. At the moment, Spence holds the IBF and WBC welterweight titles. He’s been seen for some time as a possible heir to the throne once held by the former welterweight – and pound for pound – great Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Update: Errol Spence Charged With DWI
by: Sean Crose
“No broken bones,” Errol Spence Jr reported on social media Wednesday (in a now deleted post). “I’m a savage!!” While he’s hardly a savage outside of the ring, the undefeated welterweight titlist is fortunate to have lived through a stunning car crash last week while driving his white Ferrari through Dallas in the wee hours of the morning. Video footage shows the car literally flipping through the air and kicking up dust and debris before finally landing in what is essentially a heap. Miraculously, Spence emerged from accident no worse for wear and is expected to make a complete recovery. The fighter’s troubles, however, involve more than a hospital bill and a totaled Italian sports car.
For news has broken that the Dallas Police Department is charging Spence with driving while intoxicated. The Guardian was told by “a Dallas police spokesperson” that “Mr Spence has been released from the hospital and will need to address those charges.” Although he was said to be driving far faster than he was legally allowed to, the spokesperson told the Guardian that Spence will avoid charges in that regard. “As for getting a speed of the vehicle,” the spokesperson said, “we will not be getting one. It was a single car accident with no other criminal charges.”
One of the most highly regarded fighters in the world, Spence is a former Olympian who has bested the likes of Chris Algieri, Kell Brook, Mikey Garcia, and – most recently – Shawn Porter. A fight with former champion Danny Garcia was reportedly next, while major showdowns with fellow welterweight titlists (and top level fighters) Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford appeared to be in the Desoto, Texas natives’ future. Spence has frequently been pointed to as a future A-level star of the sport. No exact details have been given on Spence’s current condition, however, other than the fact that his bones have remained intact and that he’s expected to recover fully. If and when the man will return to the ring is unknown.
Spence’s Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge is reportedly being classified as a Misdemeanor B, which, according to Yahoo Sports “indicates Spence’s BAC wasn’t above 0.15 percent.” As of press time, neither Spence nor anyone from his camp has publicly commented on the charges. Boxing Insider will continue to keep readers up to date on this developing story.
Update: Errol Spence Stable, Full Recovery Expected
By: Sean Crose
Welterweight titlist Errol Spence Junior has miraculously survived a harrowing car accident with no broken bones. According to reports, Spence has facial lacerations, but – remarkably – his bones have been left intact. Video of the accident shows Spence’s Ferrari literally flying through the air in the early hours of Thursday as it barely misses a phone pole in a fury of dust and debris. Spence was immediately rushed to a hospital, leaving the crash scene looking like a war zone, his white sport’s car totaled, pieces strewn across the Dallas street.
Swanson Communications, which represents Spence, has issued a press release which reads: “Errol Spence Jr., IBF/WBC unified welterweight world champion, was involved in a serious, single-car accident in Dallas early Thursday morning and is being treated at a Dallas-area hospital. Spence is awake and responding and his condition is listed as stable. He did not sustain any broken bones or fractures, but has some facial lacerations. He is expected to make a full recovery.”
The release then speaks on behalf of the Spence family. “He (Spence) is currently resting with his family by his side,” it read. “They want to thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes and are extremely grateful to the Dallas first responders who rushed to the scene to attend to Errol after the accident and the doctors who are taking care of him at the hospital.”
Sources have told CBS Fort Worth Affiliate KTVT that Spence will be charged with drunk driving. Spence had been riding quite high before the accident (where he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt). He had recently bested Shawn Porter in a thriller while fights with Danny Garcia, Manny Pacquiao, and Terence Crawford appeared to be on the horizon. It’s far too soon, of course, to know if or when the man will return to the ring.
Errol Spence Jr Hospitalized After Serious Automobile Accident
By: Sean Crose
The undefeated 26-0 WBC and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr is reportedly in intensive care after being involved in a horrendous accident in Dallas early Thursday morning. Police originally said the victim was a “high profile” individual. Reports emerged a short time later that the victim was, in fact, Spence himself. Although he’s expected to live, video footage from the scene presents a ghastly scenario, as a white Ferrari sits demolished on the side of the road, pieces, and even a sneaker, strewn about. Spence was reportedly operating the vehicle near the downtown area of the city when the car went over a meridian and crashed. The impact was reportedly so strong that the ring star was ejected from the vehicle.
Spence, a fighter who has arguably been on his way to being the sport’s first legitimate household name of the post Floyd Mayweather era, was last seen in the ring several weeks ago, where he emerged victorious after a grueling battle with fellow titlist Shawn Porter. Spence has been expected to meet former champion Danny Garcia in the ring next, ahead of potential bouts with fellow world titlists Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford. Spence’s immediate future is, of course, uncertain at the moment due to more pressing matters regarding the fighter’s treatment and recovery.
A native of Desoto, Texas, which is located outside of Dallas, Spence is a former Olympian whose exciting and advanced ring style has earned him accolades throughout the fight world. Besides Porter, Spence has defeated notables such as Mikey Garcia, Kell Brook, and Chris Algieri. Boxing Insider will provide updates on this developing story as they emerge.
CBS Fort Worth Affiliate KTVT has presented horrific video footage of the crash. According to the affiliate, Spence “remains in the intensive care unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center.”
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.
— Terence Crawford (@terencecrawford) September 29, 2019
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.”
Big fish 🦈
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) September 29, 2019
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.
Who Is Next for Errol Spence Jr?
By: Waqas Ali
Errol Spence Jr is on the receiving end of deciding who his next opponent in the ring should be as he claimed the WBC welterweight title to his IBF crown on Sunday night. He defeated ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter in a split decision win.
The bout became a slugfest as the pair traded shots for twelve rounds at the Staples Centre with over 16,000 fans in attendance.
Spence Jr (26-0) started the round much like in most fights by being cautious with his punches and stalking his prey as he approached.
But Porter was no animal to be hunted.
He found ways to make things uncomfortable for Spence Jr by pounding him to the ropes and landing some hooks to the body. Though Spence responded well with clean shots of his own.
In the second round, he landed a good counter left hand on Porter around the 2:24 mark which rose the crowd to their feet.
Porter (30-3-1) came back in the third round with power punches and at the 2:06 mark landed two consecutive right hands that pushed Spence Jr on the edge.
The middle and later rounds were more competitive by flurries of exchanges and power shots from both fighters.
In the eleventh round, just as the two fighters are launching devastating blows to each other, Spence lands a left hook on Porter which forces him to a knee.
A brave Porter did not give up as he stood and traded with the Texas-based fighter.
At the end of the bout, the scores were 116-111 for Spence, 115-112 for Porter, and 116-111 for Spence.
Compubox statics revealed that Spence landed 221 of 745 punches (30%), and Porter landed 172 of 744 (23%). An astonishing 44% of power punches were landed Spence Jr, including 113 body punches.
With regards to the 172 punches, it was the most blows ever landed on the unified champion.
Boxing sources have stated that the fight is tracking at 300,000 buys which in modern-day technology of DAZN and ESPN+ streaming age is excellent numbers.
After the victory, the No.5 P4P fighter by Ring Magazine, had his eyes on all the welterweights in his division, especially veteran legend and current WBA champion Manny Pacquiao.
“I think so,” Spence Jr told FOX Sports when asked if he thought his win over Porter has made him best welterweight on the planet.
“I’m the only unified champion and the next fight I do want is Manny Pacquiao.”
“But if not, we got my man Danny Garcia right here.”
“I told Al [Haymon],’ Line them up. I’mma [sic] knock ‘em down. I’ve been calling Danny out for a long time too. I’ll fight Danny Garcia or anybody else that’s in the top of the welterweight division.”
But who is the next opponent ready to take on Spence Jr?
Former WBA welterweight champion Danny Garcia has been pushed as the forefront candidate, according to boxing sources and the bout is expected to take place on January 25th 2020 on FOX pay-per-view event. No venue has been confirmed as of yet.
He has beaten the likes of Erik Morales (twice), Amir Khan, Zab Judah, Lucas Martin Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Paul Malignaggi, Robert Guerrero and Brandon Rios.
His best style of weaponry is his left hook and is certainly one of those fighters you would not want to exchange shots with.
His weaknesses are that his jab is not utilized effectively to set him up with a flurry and his footwork is not highly compatible with a long-range fighter.
The candidate that most boxing fans have been dreading is Terence Crawford. He is currently ranked at the number two spot on the Ring Magazine P4P list.
His resume of opponents consists of Ricky Burns, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Raymundo Beltran, Viktor Postol, Julius Indongo, Jeff Horn, and Amir Khan.
According to Compubox review, Crawford throws around 48 punches per round and connects with a rate of 35%. That’s five percent higher than the average welterweight.
In the power-punching department, Crawford throws around 22 with a connect rate of 48%. That is 11% higher than the average welterweight.
Crawford opponents landed just 7 punches per round- 10 fewer than the welterweight and just 5 power shots per round.
Manny Pacquiao has also been named as a possibility for Spence.
Despite his age, The Filipino Slugger still that exceptional speed that he possessed in his younger days.
In his recent wins over Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman, Pacquiao at age 40 still that a lot in the tank to bear threat and fear. His footwork compares to Spence’s will be well well-matched.
Pacquiao has been fighting since 1995 and boasts a record of 60 victories, seven losses and two draws.
By level of competition, he’s faced 19 former, current or future world champions. Four of them he’s fought more than once.
Just to name a few: Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Erik Morales (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (four times), Oscar De La Hoya, and Antonio Margarito.
Before the Broner bout, Compubox released a ‘Last Six Bout Stat Overview’ of Pacquiao and showed that the activity level was lacking the superstitious work of the average welterweight.
He threw around 41 and landed about 13. His power accuracy was 39% with nine connecting per round.
One must keep in mind that since the two bouts with Broner & Thurman, Pacquiao’s numbers may have marginally increased following his activity level with the jab and power.
As an overall view, boxing fans would more likely prefer Crawford or Pacquiao to take on Spence Jr. They generate more money and their styles are far more challenging than of Garcia. Crawford has that range and height along with the reach that could seize a deal of opportunity to make this fight a mega bout. Both the casual and hardcore boxing fans would be cheering for one of these men.
Pacquiao would certainly bring styles and stage to the bout, considering the fact that he has generated over 20 million pay-per-view buys and over 1.2 billion dollars in revenue from his 25 PPV bouts. A legend who still has the skill set of a 20-year-old and many boxing fans can vouch that he is no walk in the park for Spence.
Errol Spence Jr is The Best Welterweight in The World, For Now
By: Hans Themistode
It was the test that everyone wanted to see for Errol Spence Jr (26-0, 21 KOs).
Former WBC Welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) was viewed as a great fighter, but one that stood little to no chance against the now unified champion out of Desoto, Texas. Porter has always been a rough and rugged fighter, but he generally lacked the skill and poise to truly challenge Spence.
On Saturday night in front of a packed house in Staples Center, in Los Angeles California, Porter proved that just wasn’t the case.
It’s true that Porter is an over aggressive fighter with a penchant for getting into fire fights. Porter has also been known as a fighter who comes up short during his biggest moments. He failed his first test when he picked up the first loss of his career against Kell Brook back in 2014 by majority decision which resulted in him losing his IBF world title. Two years later he would lose another big fight, this time at the hands of former unified champion Keith Thurman.
For all of his short comings and awkward fighting style, Porter wasn’t given a fair chance by the media or the fans. Too often was the losses of Porter highlighted as opposed to the big wins he managed to pick up over the years. Amongst those wins were names such as Adrien Broner, Andre Berto and perhaps his biggest of them all, Danny Garcia.
Porter was adamant during the build up of this contest that he would prove his doubters wrong. “We’re looking forward to shocking the world on the 28th,” said Porter.
He did exactly that as both he and Spence went to war for 12 rounds this past weekend at the Staples Center. Spence would ultimately prevail but it wasn’t nearly as easy as the first 25 contest of his career had been.
For the first time in the career of Spence, he was in a real fight. The undefeated unified Welterweight champion had long grown accustomed to having his way in the ring. When he landed a flush shot on his opponents, they would fall, but not Porter. He kept coming all night long and forced Spence to dig deep.
It was the sort of fight that everyone wanted to see as it answered a ton of questions.
For Porter, even in defeat he proved that he is amongst the best in the division. No longer will he be underestimated going forward. His ability to take and give huge shots all night long was remarkable. As for Spence, he now holds two belts in the Welterweight division and solidified himself as one of the best fighters in the world and the best in the division. Or did he?
With big names such as Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Terence Crawford still lurking, Spence’s quest to become the best in his weight class is far from over. The easy ride he once had is now over. He has officially reached the elite of the weight class. He will now be pushed like never before. At one point in his career, Spence spent much of his time calling out the top names in the division. Now, they are all in line waiting their turn to knock him off.
Immediately following his unification victory, two weight world champion Danny Garcia stepped into the ring and proclaimed to the world that he wanted next. To the delight of Spence he happily accepted.
“My have the tables turned,” said Spence in regards to Garcia’s challenge. “You line them up and I’m a knock them down”
Spence will have his hands full going forward but he wouldn’t want things any other way. He has officially made his mark as the best Welterweight in the world, but who knows how long that title will last.
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.
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.
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?
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.