The Welterweight division of boxing is arguably the most competitive weight class in boxing. On Saturday, September 28, 2019, the Staples Center played host to IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) as he took on his toughest test to date in WBC champion, Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs).
The winner would undoubtedly separate himself from the pack and possibly lay claim to the top spot in the 147-pound division. Neither fighter wasted any time holding back and hands were let go.
Porter failed to maul Spence in the opening round, but made up for it in the second. The traditional Porter we all know showed up and put Spence on the defensive.
Spence found openings through the aggression and countered Porter with calculated power shots, but found himself on the wrong end of overhand rights as well. The middle rounds progressed and it had become a dog fight in L.A.
It’s raining hands at Staples! 🥊
Spence made every effort to tame Porter but his relentlessness was something the IBF champion was not accustomed to.
The ninth round was a hellacious round with both men landing big clean shots on one another. There’s no doubt, Spence took more punishment tonight than ever before in a pro bout.
An accidental headbutt caused a small cut by Spence’s left eye in the 10th and the 11th, but Spence found a home for a perfectly placed left hook that dropped the WBC champ.
The 12th and final round commenced and Porter felt the sense of urgency and pressed forward and landed big bombs in the round. Spence returned fire and neither fighter quit, throwing until the final bell and the fight went the distance.
We had a split decision and a new unified champion in Errol Spence Jr. Final scorecards read 116-111 (twice) and 115-111 respectively.
“This feels good,” said the unified champion. “This was a lifelong dream and it shows that hard work pays off. Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter. I didn’t look like I wanted, but that’s credit to Shawn.”
Shawn Porter lost no fans with his performance and has solidified why he’s one of the top guys in the division.
“He’s a strong kid,” said Porter. “We both came in to do the job. I think I had a little more than what he expected, but he handled it. Congratulations to him and his team. We’re proud of what we did. The dog in Spence came out tonight and all credit in the world to him.”
After the fight, former champion Danny Garcia made his way to the ring to make a case to be next in line for Spence.
Time will tell but the Texas native now has more options than ever before but the fight that the world needs and deserves is against Terrence Crawford.