By Jeff Aronow: Teddy Atlas says he’s leaning in IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence’ s direction in picking a winner of his fight against WBC champion ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter on September 28. Atlas lacks confidence in Porter’s ability to beat Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) with the way he’s fought in the past by being super aggressive.
Just walking forward won’t be an effective strategy for Porter against Spence, according to Atlas. Spence has Olympic experience, size, power and extraordinary boxing skills that make him immune to Porter’s primitive pressure fighting style.
Porter’s heart gives him a chance against Spence
What Atlas likes in Porter is his huge heart. Porter’s strong will and determination could carry him through to victory on September 28th, but it won’t be easy. Spence is going to be there all night, landing big shots, and adapting.
Spence vs. Porter welterweight unification fight is the headline fight on Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View on September 28 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California.
Porter’s pressure won’t be enough against Spence
“I like Spence, and I like him as a human being,” said Atlas to Fighthub. “I see a little transition now with Porter. He’s trying to box more now, and he’s getting a little long in the tooth. He’s been around for a while. His father is smart. He’s trying to box more, use his jab, and use his legs rather than just be that force that comes in there with his punches and his head. Not purposefully, but that’s the style he fights. Don’t be surprised if you see cuts in this fight. Who knows? Porter is that junkyard dog. He comes with his power, and he brings that He brings his size, his will and his physical strength.
“The more I talk about him the more I think of [Artur] Beterbiev. He comes. He’s trying to box more, and there’s a need for that in his mind. I don’t know if coming forward or boxing will be enough for Spence, because if he boxes Spence, he’s pretty damn versatile. You’re not out-boxing him. This is a guy that was an Olympian, and this is a guy that is dimensional. This is a guy that is tough, he goes to the body, he’s physical. He’s a big welterweight, but he can be a lot of other things too,” said Atlas about Spence.
Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) has based his entire 11-year pro career on being a pressure fighter who comes forward, and roughs up his opponents. Up until recently, Porter’s brawling, physical style of fighting was his bread & butter. In Porter’s last fight against Yordenis Ugas, he changed his style entirely by boxing on the outside, and moving. That style of fighting was ineffective for Porter against Ugas, who walked Porter down, and battered him for 12 rounds.
Porter has no advantages against Spence says Atlas
“So if he [Porter] brings the boxing game, I don’t see him out-boxing this guy [Spence],” said Atlas. “And if he brings the pressure game, just a guy coming forward, a junkyard dog, using his physical strength, Spence can handle that. He can counter punch, and he’s pretty damn strong too if you haven’t noticed. I like just one guy in this fight, and I like both guys and I’m appreciative of the people they are. But I see one guy, and that’s Spence.
“I don’t see any place where Porter can say, ‘I can win there. I’ll use my jab, and win there.’ He won’t let you do that. ‘I’ll go to the body, and come forward,’ He can do that too, and better with other tricks to go with it.
“I like Spence. Both of these guys like to go downstairs. As I used to say when I broadcast fights ringside, put some water in the basement [throw body shots]. Both of them like to do that. But Spence can do it in a more finesseful way or more cleaner way if that’s fair.
Atlas brings up a good point in talking about Porter, 31, not having any advantages over Spence. Porter has no choice but to use his aggressive, roughhouse style of fighting against Spence. That’s the style that got Porter to this stage in his career. He didn’t get where he is today by being a finesse fighter, and we saw that style didn’t work for him against Ugas.
Porter looked like a fish out of water attempting to box Ugas instead of using his normal pressure style.
Spence can hurt Porter to the body or head
“Spence has the ability to hurt him in the chin and the body,” said Atlas. “Both places to affect him. When you’ve got a guy that is determined and strong, taking air out of that balloon. It’s usually not a bad idea.
“History has shown us that. How many times have we seen guys that are granite up here [the head], and then you bang them down here [body], and it’s a little different. They look fallible. It’s a little different. Again, I see Spence. I like them both. You don’t count out a guy with a heart like Porter has, but I like Spence,” said Atlas.
If Porter gives Spence any kind of space to get leverage on his shots, he’s going to punish him badly. Porter will do well if he mauls Spence in the same way he did against Paulie Malignaggi, Danny Garcia and Andre Berto. Those fighters had no space to get their shots off due to Porter being all over them like glue.
Porter must mix things up to beat Spence
“Welcome to ‘Errol Spence Jr’s Clear Out.’ I’m Errol Spence Jr, and I want to clear out the Welterweight division.”
‘The Truth’ putting the whole Welterweight division on notice 👀. pic.twitter.com/KfLtHzkYsj
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 23, 2019
To get the victory over Spence, Porter will have to constantly change the looks of his attacks, and not let him get comfortable for an instant. If Porter’s Plan-A isn’t working for him, he’s got to be able to switch it up quickly, and give Spence a different look. Porter must confuse Spence by changing frequently to keep him from getting comfortable.