It was clear Errol Spence had the good looks and cracking punch characteristic of a superstar, so now the welterweight champion is back on pay-per-view to affirm he has the drawing power of one.
In a collaboration between FOX Sports and Premiere Boxing Champions, Spence (25-0, 21 KO) starts his second PPV show against Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KO). The unification match will air on Sept. 28 with the fighting getting underway at 9 p.m. ET.
Spence, 29, is undefeated in his career, and already 1-0 on the year after decisioning Mikey Garcia over 12 rounds in March. The decisive victory was the first time in 11 fights, dating back to the middle of 2014, Spence did not end his opponent’s night early.
Porter, a 31-year-old bruiser, is riding a four-fight winning streak. But more importantly, he will be carrying into the ring a championship belt of his own, the WBC-recognized welterweight title, after upending Danny Garcia for the strap in 2018. In March of this year, Porter defended his crown for the first time against Yordenis Ugas.
Porter had to settle for a split-decision win over Ugas after watching his punch output wan over the latter stages of the fight. He remains a universally-ranked Top 5 welterweight, No. 4 in fact according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
TBRB currently lists Spence at No. 2, trailing only Manny Pacquiao, who turned back the clock two months in a points win over the excellent Keith Thurman.
Spence’s reputation was enough to open as a one-to-five betting favorite and now on the cusp of the weekend is sitting comfortably at -700. Porter, for his bullish ways, is +635 underdog.
In the co-main event, David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KO) has his eyes on regaining the WBC super middleweight title as he meets Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KO).
Still only 22, Benavidez was stripped of the green belt after testing positive for cocaine. The situation could not stop the former champion from taking apart super middleweight gatekeeper J’Leon Love in just two rounds on the undercard of Spence’s homecoming show against Garcia.
Both men makeup a pair of fighting brethren. Benavidez being the younger brother to the less capable but equally a former champion in Jose Benavidez Jr. Dirrell has for years carved out a place for himself at 168 pounds along with his older brother Andre.
In his previous fight, the younger Dirrell (in continued overachievement) not only maintained his stellar record but lifted championship gold. He pulled out a technical decision over the slugger Avni Yildirim when a deep cut above Dirrell’s eye sent the fight to the cards early.
Dirrell, 34, has officially lost just once in his career but the bookies are positive he is due for another one. He is closing in on eight-to-one dog odds, listed as steep as +775. Benavidez of course is the considerable favorite (-1200).
Full Fight Card
- Mario Barrios vs. Batyr Akhmedov, super lightweight title
- Josesito Lopez vs. John Molina Jr., welterweights
- Robert Guerreo vs. Gerald Thomas, welterweights
- Fabian Maidana vs. Ramses Again, super lightweight
- Amon Rashidi vs. Alfonso Olvera, welterweights
- Misael Rodriguez vs. Brandon Maddox, super middleweight
- Fernando Garcia vs. Juan Antonio Lopez, featherweights
- Leon Lawson III vs. Alan Zavala, super welterweights
- Lindolfo Delgado vs. Jesus Anaya, welterweights
- Jose Valenzuela vs. Charles Clark, super featherweights
- Burley Brooks vs. Fabian Valdez, light heavyweights
- Joey Spencer vs. Travis Gambardella, middleweights
- Justin Cardona vs. Archie Weah, super lightweights