A fight that boxing fans and pundits have yearned for finally took place in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday night.
Barclays Center played host to the showdown of two top-tier Welterweights in Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) and Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant WBC title.
Coming into this fight, most viewers saw this as a truly pick ’em fight. Garcia’s swift technique and power, against Porter’s relentless pressure and speed.
Contrary to what many expected, Porter opened the bout boxing from the center of the ring with Garcia. The early action was tactical and calculated from both former world champions with Garcia landing significant shots, only to be followed up by a Porter combination.
Garcia found success picking his punches on Porter when boxing, but it was only a matter of time before the Porter we know (and fighters hate) arrived.
Around the fourth round, Porter adjusted his game plan and applied pressure on Garcia and pressed the action. No clear winner had emerged at the midway point of the fight and the tempo began to escalate. Living up to the expectations of being as even of a fight as could be imagined, each round was up for grabs.
It came down to accuracy vs. activity to see what would prevail in the championship rounds and neither man backed down. Porter continued to throw punches in bunches, while Danny patiently waited and landed stiff hooks to the body and head of Porter. Similar to just about every round of the bout, the 11th and 12th were difficult to call.
In the end, the difficult job came down to the three judges and they chose a winner unanimously. All three judges saw the same man winning the bout with scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 115-113 for the new WBC champion, Shawn Porter.
“I’ve never been one to make predictions, ” said Porter. “But I said I wasn’t going to leave Brooklyn without this belt.”
The newly crowned champion wasted no time picking a future opponent and quickly welcomed IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. who called out Porter in the ring, moments after his win.
“It’s going to happen. It has to,” said Porter. Spence, playing to his audience, promised to unify the titles and take home Porters belt, to which Porter simply replied, “Do I look scared?”
As for Garcia, a look of disappointment painted his face in the center of the ring as the loss was still sinking in.
“I felt I did enough to win the fight but the judges didn’t give it to me,” said Garcia. “He was doing a lot, but he wasn’t being effective.”
With the win, Porter solidifies his position in the Welterweight division and now finds himself on a collision course heading straight to Spence. Assuming Keith Thurman re-enters the picture (he was ringside and received boos each time he graced the big screen) and Terence Crawford continues to turn heads, the division continues to be the most intriguing in the sport.
Header photo by Marilyn Paulino/RBRBoxing