Porter takes home a unanimous decision over Garcia
The narrative from Shawn and Kenny Porter was that Garcia could not handle the pressure or his underrated boxing ability. On the opposing side, the Garcia camp felt they would be able to “tame the bull.”
In a pre-fight interview, Porter mentioned he would elect to box at times. This is how he started the bout; fighting off his back-foot behind the jab. This ultimately led to Garcia having many opportunities to counter since he was given time use his superior IQ before attacking.
Although his jab was effective, Porter leaves himself vulnerable to a counter when he throws straight shots from the outside. He will take too big of a step forward and does not bring his hands home after launching. Garcia noted this and landed repeated counter right hooks in the early rounds.
The Middle Rounds
As the fight moved into the middle rounds, fans were treated to the version of Porter that guided him to the IBF title in 2013. He mauled the former WBC champion which gave him no time to think.
During the “mauling” periods, Garica showed great work to the body. However, he does not put combinations together fast enough nor does he have the footwork to elude any further pressure after throwing punches. In essence, Garcia was playing the matador to the bull without moving which proved to be dangerous game as Porter took the majority of those rounds.
The Championship Rounds
Moving into the championship rounds, Garcia realized movement was the key to stifling the relentless pressure of his opponent. As he moved, more opportunities to counter were available. Porter being so relentless in his attack caused him to careless mentally. This led to him running into countless counter left hooks.
On the inside, the Philadelphia fighter continued to work the body but did not stay in the pocket as long as he did in the middle rounds. The question at this point of the fight was “did Garcia finally figure out how to play matador to the bull?”
As the final round approached, this fight was “up in the air.” Whoever wanted it more would indeed take home the prestigious green belt.
The story of the round: as Porter looked to overwhelm his opponent, Garcia looked to wear him down to the body and counter him as he attacked recklessly.
After the twelfth round, the judges unanimously believed Porter’s aggression and ability to incorporate boxing and brawling into his style was enough to take the fight. The official scorecards were 116-112, 115-113 (x2).
Amongst the plethora of stars who attended this fight were Keith Thurman and Errol Spence. The WBC previously named Thurman the mandatory for the winner of this fight but a unification fight is what Porter and Spence seem to want.
Errol Spence entered the ring after the decision was made and stated he would absolutely want to unify against Porter next.
However as previously reported by 3kings, based on WBC rules, the new champion must make two consecutive mandatory defenses. Unifications typically trump mandatories but it will be interesting to see how the fighters play this one.
By: EJ Williams