Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21 KOs) and Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) will meet in a highly anticipated welterweight dust-up and unification bout on September 28th at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
While there is no doubt Spence and Porter are considered the best in their division, there is a divergence of opinion on how competitive this bout will be.
The stakes cannot be any higher as Spence hopes to continue his march toward pound-for-pound supremacy against the tenacious and always dangerous Porter.
Tale of the Tape
Spence will be making the fourth defense of the IBF welterweight title that he’s held since wresting it from Kell Brook in his hometown of Sheffield, England in May 2017. He defended twice in 2018, knocking out former world champion Lamont Peterson in seven rounds and then stopping mandatory challenger Carlos Campo in a homecoming bout in Frisco, Texas.
He headlined his first PPV card in March 2019 and basically shutout previously unbeaten and four-division world champion Mikey Garcia. It was a truly impressive display of all-around skill and ring IQ but some critics questioned his choice of the brave yet undersized Mexican-American who moved up two weight classes to meet him.
A closer look at the Texas native reveals that he is a hard-volume puncher, an all-round boxer and defensive master. Spence is not flashy but there is no denying his talent or efficiency in breaking opponents down through constant pressure and capitalizing upon their mistakes.
Brook gave Spence the sternest test of his career where he was down on the scorecards after the first five rounds and had to fight back from adversity. It was the only time that he was tagged cleanly with hard punches by another welterweight as big as himself.
However, Spence took over the second half of the fight with accurate hard shots of his own gradually wearing Brook down before stopping him due to a damaged eye. Porter is a smallish welterweight at just 5’7” but is a handful for most opponents given his speed, athleticism and occasional roughhouse tactics.
He originally held the IBF strap now worn by Spence from 2013 to 2014. In that period, Porter defeated Devon Alexander to win the title, defended successfully against Paul Malignaggi before losing to Brook by close decision.
However, the ever tenacious Las Vegans transplant rebounded strongly by knocking out Erick Bone and then outclassing Adrien Broner before dropping another close decision to Keith Thurman. Porter would get another title shot against Danny Garcia in 2018 for Thurman’s vacated WBC belt and defeat him by unanimous decision thus becoming a two-time world champion.
Porter made a successful first defense of the title against Cuban Yordenis Ugas in March, which failed to impress and left some questioning the split decision that he was awarded. Despite the controversy surrounding his last outing, Porter always comes prepared to fight and can never be counted out of any bout because of his indomitable will to win.
Shawn certainly has the edge here in terms of experience and has faced stronger competition hands-down. They both have a common foe in Kell Brook but we can’t use that information to determine the outcome here. This is going to be a hotly-contested fight at least in the first half.
Spence will certainly have his moments and so will Porter. Porter must close the distance and get to Spence’s body early and often to build a lead. However, Spence is an excellent inside fighter too with underrated body punching ability. I don’t think Shawn will be able to bully his way on the inside given Errol’s size and superior strength so mixing up the attack will be essential.
I see Spence taking over in the second half of this fight and landing his patented left hand along with uppercuts to catch Shawn as he is coming in. It would not surprise me to see Spence drop Porter late in the championship rounds. However, I don’t see a knockout as both men have predicted. Errol has excellent power but Shawn is rugged and very durable having never come close to being stopped in over 30 fights. Porter will try but he will not be able to keep pace with the high yet economic work-rate of Spence.
Verdict: Spence by 12-round unanimous decision