Errol Spence vs Shawn Porter: Ground Zero!
On September 28 IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence (25-0, 21KOs) takes on WBC champion Shawn “Showtime” Porter (30-2-1, 17KOs) in a crucial welterweight unification. This is a fight that’s been four years in the making and with everything that’s at stake, this might be the most important fight of 2019 so far!
Spence is on the cusp of super-stardom coming off of a successful PPV event with pound-for-pound ranked fighter Mikey Garcia. His knockout victory over Leonard Bundu, which aired after the Olympics in 2016, is the most watched fight in the past twenty-one years! He also owns wins over Lamont Peterson and Kell Brook who he stopped in Sheffield England to win the IBF title.
Porter has taken on some tough competition since losing his title to Brook in 2014. The Ohio native has racked up wins over Andre Berto, Adrian Broner, Adrian Granados, Danny Garcia, and Yordanis Ugas. He also faced former unified champion Keith Thurman in 2016 in an epic bout culminating into a razor thin defeat.
Keys to Victory for Shawn Porter
The two time champ is truly up against it in this fight, as he has very few advantages. What Porter does bring to the table is plenty of championship experience and a rugged style that can be frustrating to watch as well as trying to contend with.
The WBC champion arguably has the fastest feet in the division and he’ll need to utilize them to keep his opponent off balance. He is a pressure technician in the same mold as former two-division champion Timothy Bradley. He’s able to use his foot-speed to close distance, apply pressure and keep turning his opponents to blunt and stifle their offense.
The two time champ will need use this strategy along with head movement to slip the IBF champion’s vaunted jab. Recently, Porter has tried to box more, mostly with mixed results. In bouts with Ugas, Garcia and Granados he looked ordinary trying to box them as he struggled with accuracy and found himself getting countered and out jabbed.
In this fight, he needs to keep the boxing to a minimum. From the outside Porter needs to focus on getting under or around Spence’s jab and close the distance as much as possible. The uglier the fight the better!
Lastly he needs to be decisive in how he exits the pocket. If he lingers there or doesn’t force a reset he’ll expose himself to Spence’s vaunted body attack. Porter needs to either clinch or turn Spence in the pocket to avoid incoming fire.
Errol Spence’s Keys to Victory
To unify his welterweight title against Porter, Spence needs to simply be himself. It starts with the jab, which if you’ve looked at Porter’s toughest fights that’s the punch he most struggles with. Due to his lack of height and three inch reach disadvantage, Porter will need to close the gap.
Spence has a very educated jab and he’ll need it maintain control over his aggressive opponent. The Texas brawler will also need to incorporate his check-hook, and as southpaw he can utilize this to devastating effect as it’s equally dangerous from the inside or outside foot angle.
He should take a page from the fights Porter had with Thurman, and Broner. Both of them used this punch against him with the latter dropping the WBC champion in the twelfth round. Another fight reference would be Andre Ward vs Chad Dawson. Ward utilized the lead hook beautifully to force the stoppage in that pound-for-pound showdown.
The next punch that’ll be available for Spence is the uppercut. Porter is short and likes to come in low so expect him to exploit this. One subtle technique the IBF champion has is his ability to roll his shoulders back and diffuse clinches as well as creating angles for uppercuts.
Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, and Naoya Inoue are adept at using this technique as well if you’re looking for a reference. He demonstrated this technique quite a bit against Leonard Bundu and Lamont Peterson.
Last Spence needs to frustrate his opponent on the inside with a combination of clinches and short body-shots. Spence will need to consistently use his lead shoulder and forearm to create angles for his vaunted body attack.
This will be a high level fight with a lot of physicality but in the end, Spence should be able to use his physical advantages and superior boxing ability to pull out the win. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that Spence pulls out a late stoppage over a game and focused Porter in a barn burner!
By: Corey Cunningham