Two of the best welterweights in Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter will collide for the vacant WBC title at Barclays Center in New York City on Saturday, September 8.
Danny Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) enters this critical contest as a former champion in two different weight classes, having held the unified WBA, WBC Ring magazine and lineal light welterweight titles beforehand.
Shawn Porter (28-2, 17 KOs) is one of the toughest competitors in the business and a difficult assignment for most opponents. Porter’s physical smothering style helped him win his first title back in 2013 as well as topple fighters that are more talented over the years.
Both men are hopeful for another crack at welterweight titlist Keith Thurman. Thurman has been sidelined by a myriad of injuries since his points win over Garcia 17 months ago. “One Time” also bested Porter by close decision in 2016.
Unable to make a mandatory defense against Porter, Thurman relinquished one of his titles. The WBC then ordered Porter to face Garcia to fill the vacancy.
As previously mentioned, Garcia and Porter are two of the brightest stars in boxing’s deepest division. However, neither has quite had that signature fight to catapult them to the head of the pack. Ring Magazine ranks Porter at No. 4 and Garcia at No. 6 behind Thurman, Errol Spence Jr. and newcomer Terence Crawford.
Despite past setbacks, the fighters are quite content with facing one another in this crossroads affair.
Talk of a Garcia-Porter showdown have circulated for several years and the anticipation was apparent at their July 30 opening press conference in New York.
“This is a great opportunity to get the fight I wanted for my career. I’m thriving right now, and you’ll see it all on fight night.” – Porter
The winner of the bout will go on to bigger things
The winner of this high stacks matchup can look forward to an almost infinite number of possibilities beginning with a coveted rematch against Thurman.
So who wins in this potential barnburner between two seemingly even-matched foes? Both fighters are sufficiently battle-tested and proven champions in their own right but only one will prevail.
Boxing betting odds have Danny Garcia, as the favourite with Shawn Porter as a live underdog but this is a pick ‘em fight.
Garcia has faster hands, more raw power and is the better overall boxer. Porter is naturally bigger, a stronger inside fighter and more athletic.
Garcia has a sturdy chin and has never been knocked down while Porter has tasted the canvas once, courtesy of a sweeping left to the face by Adrien Broner that knocked him flat on his back in the final round of their 2015 grudge match.
Danny hits like a mule as recent knockout victim Brandon Rios discovered when a perfectly timed right hand counter, which abruptly ended their mostly competitive fight back in February, clocked him. Porter, who shamelessly crashed the post-fight interview, could suffer a similar fate if he gets careless.
Some pundits have suggested that Garcia will not be able to withstand Porter’s swarming pressure and that the usually composed Philadelphian will be thrown off his game. Of course this works in Porter’s favor since he is more of a brawler.
The margin of error is much slimmer for Shawn because he cannot match Danny in pure boxing skills or footwork. He can be out-boxed as evidenced by his 2014 decision loss to Sheffield’s Kell Brook, which cost him the IBF title. Garcia will need to replicate Brook’s brilliant performance using a measured attack to pick his spots and find openings in Porter’s defense.
I believe Shawn Porter will stick to his usual strategy by trying to be the busier fighter and throwing a larger volume of punches. I see Garcia timing these attacks, and eventually, landing that freakish left hand that either drops Porter or alters his entire strategy.
There will be fireworks come September 8 but it will be Danny Garcia making a powerful statement that he truly belongs at the top of the division.
My Prediction: Danny Garcia by majority decision in a duel that lives up to its pre-fight hype.