By Tré Berry III | 09/26/2019
In a couple of days, we await one of the most anticipated fights for this year in a contest that promises ❗nothing but Combat.” A title unification match between IBF Welterweight Champion 🇺🇸Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (25-0-0, 21KO) and WBC Welterweight Champion 🇺🇸“Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17KO), two Titlists who will meet at the 🏟️Staples Center as the main attraction of FOX-PBC’s Pay-Per-View card, as these two boxers look to gain better footing atop the Welterweight division. These two are built for war, and I expect nothing less than from them entering into this contest.
For years, even before Spence got his hands on the IBF red belt, he was highly touted by the hardcore pundits as being one of the 💡brightest young prospects in boxing, and the reason why was because Errol had an uncanny feel for the sport well beyond his years in terms of reading opponents, situations, distance, timing and in assessing tendencies from opponents.
What was rare is that he also possessed a great deal of fundamentals to his craft from day-1 that you would typically only see from long time veterans who have had a lengthy-stake in the sport, whether it be at the amateur level, or at the professional level. He possesses a wide 💰bag of tricks, and has a deadpan personality that makes it impossible to take him off his game, or to get in his head for the sole purpose of controlling his actions.
Shawn Porter has made a hell of a career for himself, transferring his focus over from 🏈football, to boxing, and in a few ways, has incorporated football into his inherit style when he steps in the boxing ring, both from a physical standpoint, and in the style of footwork that he utilizes to establish ring generalship, pressure, and picking at his opponents openings, ultimately taking what you give to him, and even in some cases, taking what isn’t there by bulling you and pushing through your defense to land the shots he wants to land. Porter is one that wears his heart on his sleeve, and he looks to test you as an opponent, to see what you are made of as a man.
THE BREAKDOWN🤔 Errol Spence is adept when it comes to most aspects of boxing. He has a solid boxing IQ, with a stiff jab from the southpaw position. He has a 🔨sledgehammer of a right hand that he hides real well behind the jab, and can fire it either straight, or sweep it around your guard depending on the positioning of your hands. That’s what he resorted to a lot when he was picking apart 🇺🇸Mikey Garcia back on March 16th when Mikey started shelling up defensively from the middle of the fight on.
Errol, P4P with the exception of 👑🇯🇵Naoya Inoue in the lower weights…is the most notorious body-puncher in all of boxing, as he is ruthless in digging the right hook to the body, and firing the uppercut to the chest at close range that is prone to taking all the starch out of the fighters he faces, and in some cases, taking the fighter out of the fight completely. Spence is someone who physically never cheats the sport, and always arrives to the ring in tip-top shape, and is built for wars of attrition, as well as playing the chess match in fights geared more towards the boxer.
If there is anything about Spence that he has a couple of drawbacks in, is that he is prone to 🏹bow-and-arrow with his jab, where he moves his parry hand back as he fully commits to the momentum of the jab, leaving a small opening for a catch-and-shoot counter. That however, is a weakness that will only play a part in a different match-up against a higher caliber opponent (Crawford?), and will not play a major role in this fight with Porter, nonetheless, it’s something I will continue to keep a close eye on.
He also seems to have strange judgmental lapses at times in sizing up opponents or certain talking points that is an indicator that over-confidence may be a thing in Spence’s world, and as good as he is, that can open the window towards situations occurring, that should never happen in the first place. He does have a quality 🗣️Head-Trainer Derrick James who keeps him in check between rounds, but that is a tidbit that may surface at some point.
Shawn Porter is one who can get low and do some real good work, both to the body, and to the head, with roundhouse shots upstairs. The one straight punch he has though is what I call the pressure jab, which he picked up from 🇺🇸“Sugar” Shane Mosley to use as a means to land early to get the attention of the opponent, then using it more to work yourself into range instead of landing it later on. He has a high motor, and will look to work between the shots of Errol. There are a few notable areas in which Porter will struggle on Saturday. Despite the type of physical and mental gifts he has, as well as the skills he is in possession of, he doesn’t have any advantages over Spence, in any area that you can zero in on.
Porter is one of the strongest Welterweights of recent memory, who started his career at Super-Middleweight (a strange trajectory going 📉downward). With that being said, Errol is equally as strong, and is a fighter who could carry his strength up to 168 without compromise in that area, plus he is equally as mean as Porter, with the same rate of aggression, albeit applied in vastly different ways.
Porter has a lot of 🐕dog in him, yet Errol has the same type of resolve, so I don’t see any ways that Porter can effectively pressure or bully the better overall boxer in Spence. Spence also has the height and reach advantages to go with a superior jab, hook and cross. Despite what their base styles would indicate, Errol hits harder, and can fill in the pressure guy role as well as the more versatile of the two fighters.
Porter hits hard enough to matter in working his opponent, but his power is a little overrated, as he isn’t prone to putting his opponent down or out with a single blow, and with only 52% of his opponents that he put away via knockout. Porter does get low, which causes problems with stand-up boxers, similar to how Joshua/Ruiz, and Forrest/Mayorga matched up in their contests, but the big difference between Spence from 🇺🇸Vernon Forrest and 🥇🇬🇧Anthony Joshua is that those fighters were stiff in the hips, and didn’t bend their legs, which made it difficult to ward off their opponents from exploiting angles and in not allowing their stagnation to be exploited.
As a taller fighter, you’re supposed to bend down with the legs when the shorter fighter is pressuring you, so that you shrink the target, then you can fully extend back to normal height once you get back to your desired range, and that’s something that Errol does with the best of them, while also having the athleticism and where-with-all to take away your angles with foot pivoting and mirroring the moves of his opponent.
HISTORICAL FIGHT COMPARISON📌 We could take a look back to September 6th, 1997, where 🇲🇽Erik Morales had an encounter with grizzled veteran & Super-Bantamweight Champion 🇲🇽Daniel Zaragoza, for what was Morales first opportunity at a world title, and what ended up being Zaragoza’s final fight. To point out initially, Erik would represent Spence in this case, and Porter would take on the role of Zaragoza.
What I need to point out is that yes, Spence is left handed, while Morales is right handed, and Porter is right handed, while Zaragoza was a southpaw…..but the same principles of different stances apply to this equation. I see this fight going in a similar fashion as Zaragoza tried to impose his will early, while Morales decided to trade with Zaragoza to get his respect, then slowed him down in the later rounds to where Morales superior craft took over the second half of the fight.
🥁|| PREDICTION – This will be one of the more physically grueling fights in recent memory and a daunting assignment for Spence, but much like how it mapped out in the Morales/Zaragoza fight, I am going with Errol Spence via 11th round TKO. I see Porter doing his part to make it a rough fight throughout 5 rounds, then Spence will start to separate himself with his skills in mid-range. Porter may win 2-3 of those rounds, so I also predict my score up to the stoppage will be “✏️97-93, or 98-92 for Spence”…but all in all, I expect to see Spence leave the Staples Center as the unified WBC/IBF Welterweight Champion of the world.