Shawn “Showtime” Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs), the former IBF Welterweight titleholder, completely dominated Andre Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) on Saturday night, April 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Porter came on strong in the early rounds as if he was looking to prove something and as the fight went on, he continued his aggressive, smothering approach–scoring an impressive TKO victory in the ninth round. Porter was looking to make a statement and that is exactly what he did.
This was Porter’s first fight in 10 months since losing a close battle to Keith Thurman. With a rematch against Thurman in mind, Porter was relentless in his attack, consistently forcing Berto against the ropes as he unleashed head and body shots.
Every time Berto tried to clinch, Porter pushed him off and continued to fire. In a bloody fight, due to accidental head butts, Porter also showed off his power, knocking Berto down twice in the fight.
At the time of the stoppage, Porter was leading by wide margins on all three scorecards: 78-73, 78-74 and 79-71. The CompuBox stats exemplified his dominance as Porter landed 175 of 448 punches at 39 percent and Berto only landed 81 of 254 at 32 percent
“Shawn is a warrior. I am so proud of him. Berto is a warrior, too, but we were blessed with the victory. We did what we had to do. Shawn was prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. Shawn wanted to send a sign to everyone that he deserves that shot at the title and he is ready for it,” said Kenny Porter, Shawn’s father and trainer.
With this win, Porter earned a mandatory title shot against Thurman. Thurman edged out Porter on the scorecards last June in a very close fight to retain his WBA Welterweight title. Thurman then went on to beat Danny Garcia in a unification fight in March.
Porter has made it very clear he wants another crack at Thurman. “I was just up here wishing he said yes,” said Porter. That’s the fight I want next!”
Thurman expressed that he is ready for a sequel as well. “His team was adamant about the rematch, and now he’s fought his way to earn that. We just need to sit down and talk about it. He’s hungry. You see the way he fights. It could be a great fight again,” said Thurman.
A rematch between Thurman and Porter is currently one of the most desired fights for boxing fans. The first fight between the two was widely labeled as “Fight of the Year” and a rematch would likely be even more intense than the first go around.
After Porter’s dominant performance against Berto, a rematch should be what’s next for Porter and Thurman–the key term is should be. Though Porter is the No. 1 contender, Thurman did express interest in a fight with either Manny Pacquiao or the winner of the May 27 showdown between IBF Welterweight champion Kell Brook and Errol Spence Jr.
In the post-fight press conference, Porter was asked if he thinks Thurman will give him the fight next or if he anticipates having to wait awhile. Porter wearily responded, “I don’t know.”
He went on to express that he wants to give boxing fans what they want and he explained that a fight with Thurman is indeed what he wants next and he will stay ready. It is clear that Porter is set on fighting Thurman next. Though he’s not happy about it, it seems as if he expecting and willing to wait for another shot at Thurman and the titles.
Kenny Porter ended the press conference with the statement, “Give the people what they want.”
But if the fight between Thurman and Porter does not happen next, Porter does have other options. A fight against Danny Garcia would make for a very interesting fight–both men would be looking to prove they deserve a rematch with Thurman. Porter vs. Garcia would be a very tough fight to call.
Porter would have to come into this fight aggressive and not allow Garcia to tie him up. Garcia is very ring savvy and though Porter also has a high ring IQ, he has a more aggressive style of fighting. Garcia would need to come prepared for a war.
As Thurman mentioned the possibility of taking on the winner of Brook vs. Spence Jr., this would be another great fight option for Porter as well. Porter fought Brook back in 2014 and lost via majority decision in a back-and-forth fight.
Regardless of who comes out victorious May 27, Porter vs. Brook or Spence Jr. would also make for a crowd pleasing fight. Fighting the winner of this bout would give Porter a shot at taking back the IBF title.
Regardless of which fights are made next, the Welterweight division is very competitive and it will be interesting to see who proves to be the top 147-pound fighter.
Boise State Alum 🐴💙 Las Vegas 🎲 Staff Writer for Round by Round Boxing. @rbrboxing Snapchat: ShelbiKeyes