By Mark Elezaj
Los Angeles – In what could possibly be considered the fight of the year, Errol Spence Jr and Shawn Porter left it all in the ring, silenced any doubters and left the fans in awe. But it the end, it was Spence that got the split decision victory in what was an action-packed world title fight Saturday night at the Staples Center.
The fight delivered everything a fight fan could ask for. You had two of the top fighters in one of boxing’s deepest and best division face off. You had two warriors give it their all and in the end, you had Spence add the WBC welterweight title to his collection.
Porter came out after a slow start in the first round, and applied constant pressure on Spence, making Spence work hard in the pocket, while trying to fight him off. Porter also troubled Spence with his jab, inside angles, lateral movements and quick footwork.
Porter was the aggressor for the majority of the fight, and Spence needed to figure out a way to stop him.
Porter also stood there and took Spence’s best punches, while countering and coming back with his own shots to the head and body.
The fight turned into a slugfest in the third round. Both fighters stood toe to toe, exchanging punches in bunches. From that point on, it was just a rough and tough fight with neither man backing down.
In the forth, Porter caught Spence with a left hook that snuck around his guard, followed by another huge left hook that landed during their exchange.
Porter caught Spence with a straight right early in the fifth. While trying to push the action, Spence was able to land a straight left late in the fifth round. Now sensing that he had Porter on the defensive side, he began to come forward.
Another close round, more great action.
In the sixth, Spence would be the aggressor, pushing Porter up against the ropes while landing huge body shots. But Porter was able to spin away from the onslaught, countering Spence while pushing him into the ropes.
The fight maintained a constant back and forth from both fighters with neither man backing down.
But it was Spence who landed a huge left hook that knocked Porter down in the 11th round. Porter, who beat the count, got up and screamed “Lets Go” went after Spence.
In the final round, both men were going for the knockout. Both fighters traded shots until the final bell sounded.
Spence won the fight via split decision 116-111 on two of the judges scorecards, while one judge had it 115-112 for Porter.
The Fighting Voice had it 114-112 for Spence.
“It feels good to win. This is a lifetime dream. It shows hard work pays off,” Spence said of unifying belts. “Thanks, Shawn Porter, my whole team and all my Texas people for coming out. Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter. I didn’t get off what I wanted to. He’s a true champion. He made it tough.”
“All my punches have bad intentions. Boxing Mikey Garcia, I wanted to show people I could do it with that style,” Spence said. “Porter was throwing a lot. I wanted to show I was the bigger and stronger welterweight.”
According to CompuBox statistics, Spence landed 221 of 745 punches, and Porter landed 172 of 744, the most landed on Spence in his career.
Porter was ok with the final decision and proud of his effort. After the fight, he spoke highly about Spence.
“He’s a strong kid. We both came in to do the job,” Porter said. “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.
“I’ve said this before: I’ve had a lot of experience in the boxing ring,” Porter said. “Did you enjoy that fight?”
After the fight, Danny Garcia, a former welterweight and junior welterweight champion, was in the ring, challenging Spence to a title fight next.
When asked if he accepted the challenge from Garcia, he replied, “I’ve told my team, you line them up, I’ll knock them down.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~