By Kenneth Friedman: IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 KOs) has mean intentions towards WBC champ Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) in their unification fight this Saturday night on September 28 on FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Spence is predicting that he’s going to stop the 31-year-old Porter “cold” when he gets inside the ring with him. Spence isn’t kidding around. He sees Porter as food, and he wants to demolish him and send him back home to Las Vegas, Nevada.
Spence needs to take Porter’s scalp to move forward to bigger and better things against WBA Super World 147-lb champion Manny Pacquiao, who is predicting a win for Errol on Saturday.
Pacquiao predicts Spence beats Porter
“I think it’ll be a close fight, but Spence will win,” said Manny Pacquiao. “It’s not going to be a one-sided fight, but it’s going to be a really good fight. So the fans must watch this fight, because it’s going to be a once in a lifetime fight. It’s a really good fight. I have no problems fighting the winner of Spence and Porter. And, I can fight anybody.”
You have to take what Pacquiao says about him potentially fighting the winner of the Spence-Porter bout with a grain of salt, because he already failed to back up his words earlier this year. After Spence’s last fight against Mikey Garcia, Pacquiao agreed to fight him after he won. Unfortunately, Pacquiao failed to back it up by facing Spence.
The Filipino star instead fought Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman for his WBA Super World 147-lb title on July 20. There was nothing wrong with Pacquiao fighting Thurman, because that was a good match. It’s just that Pacquiao had agreed to fight Spence, and then failed to do it.
Porter say Spence is becoming arrogant
“I think Errol is filling himself right now,” said Porter to Inside PBC Boxing. “I can see how that would happen [Spence becoming arrogant], but it’s time to calm down, baby.’
Errol speaks about perception of him being arrogant
“It has nothing to do with me ‘feeling myself.’ I’ve been feeling myself since I turned pro. I’ve been saying I can beat the top guys in the division,” said Spence to PBC Boxing. “It’s not that I’m arrogant just now. It’s now that they’re hearing me because I’m at the top of the mountain. All that arrogant stuff goes out the door. I’ve been training hard, I’m fully focused, and I’m ready to fight.
“So it doesn’t matter if you’re arrogant or not. As long as you’re training hard, and focused and doing everything possible to ensure me to victory. It’ll be a little bit of a let down,” said Spence when asked if he’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t knockout Porter.
Spence seems pretty down to earth as a world champion in comparison to a lot of fighters, who brag a great deal. In the three years that Thurman held world titles, he seemed pretty cocky. Spence is not nearly the braggart that Thurman was when he held the WBA/WBC welterweight titles.
Spence: I want to be the first person to stop Porter
“It’s something that I really want. I want to be the first person to stop Shawn Porter, and he wants to be the first person that stops me too,” said Spence. “I think it’s at the back of both of our minds. I’m not going to go out of my way to look sloppy or try to do something extra to try and get the knockout. If it happens, it happens, but hopefully I get it on Saturday night. Mikey Garcia is more defensively responsible than Shawn Porter,” said Spence when asked about why he couldn’t knockout Mikey Garcia. “So I feel like with Shawn’s style, it’ll definitely enable me to catch him coming in, and knock him out,” said Spence.
This is not going to be easy for Spence to knockout Porter, because he takes a really good shot and he moves well. Spence has the power and the body punching ability to KO Porter, but he’s going to need to put a lot of pressure on him to get the job done. Porter showed a new wrinkle in his game in his last fight against Yordenis Ugas when he moved around the ring to avoid his attacks.
Porter not surprised at being underdog
“I’m not surprised I’m the underdog,” said Porter about the odds-makers having Spence as the favorite. “I’m blue-collar, baby, and you know exactly what that means. We have to work for everything that we get. Up until now, I’ve had to work for everything I’ve gotten.
“So it doesn’t surprise me to be the underdog. He’s 25-0, he’s young, and everybody looks at him like he’s avoided and things like that. So when it comes to this, I think that the betting odds are looking at it statistically more so than what happened in the fight. For me, it’s about me proving everyone wrong now,” said Porter.
It shouldn’t surprise Porter that he’s the underdog in this fight against Spence. Porter’s losses to Thurman and Kell Brook are reason enough for him to be an underdog. Further, Porter’s poor performance in his last fight against Yordenis Ugas makes it impossible for him to be the favorite against Spence. A lot of boxing fans thought Porter deserved a loss against Ugas. If Porter can’t beat a fighter like Ugas, then of course he’s going to be the underdog against Spence. At 31, Porter is starting to show his age. He can’t fight the way he used to with his old brawling style. Age is starting to rear it’s ugly head with Porter.
Spence: Everyone knows Porter is a dirty fighter
“I think it’s going to be more Leonard-Hearns,” said Spence about his fight with Porter being more similar match-up to Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns than Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao. “I think it’s going to be very exciting than Floyd Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. With two of our styles meshing together with Shawn being all action, and I’m all action.
At some point we’re going to meet in the ring, and we’re going to go at it. I think this here is going to be one of those classic fights, and one of those classic unification fights. Oh yeah, everybody knows he’s dirty. I mean, whatever it takes to win. That’s what they [dirty fighters] do,” said Spence.
Porter probably doesn’t like Spence calling him a dirty fighter, but there’s nothing he can do about it. Through most of Porter’s career he’s been the type of fighter that has gotten over in his fights by roughing up his opponents. The only fight that he didn’t do that was against Ugas. You can’t expect Spence to refer to Porter as a master boxer just because he showed a different side to his game against Ugas.
Porter thinks Spence is relying on his size to win
“I think a lot of guys have allowed Errol Spence to get his way,” said Porter. “I know I’m ready to do everything it takes to make that not the case. I’ve been in the ring with you, and you know how I come. No matter what, no matter when, I’m going to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
“I think Errol is relying on his size. I think he’s relying on his power that he’s held during 25 fights that shy away from him, and I think that’s what he’s relying on. He thinks he can knock me out. He thinks that I’m a dirty fighter. All those things he’s saying, he really does believe all that. I think that’s going to take away from [his game],” said Porter.
Spence has mostly used his size and power to stomp his opposition during his seven-year pro career. However, in his last fight against Mikey Garcia, Spence showed that he can box from the outside, and win in a similar manner as Terence Crawford. Spence fought like a carbon copy of Crawford with the way boxed Mikey Garcia for 12 rounds.
The only time where Spence showed his old style of fighting was in the 9th and 10th rounds when he battered Mikey with power shots. It’s likely that Spence would have knocked Mikey out if he’d fought with his normal style of fighting by being aggressive the entire fight. As it is, Spence had Mikey ready to be knocked out in the 10th, and that was the only round that he really poured it on.
Spence: I’m ready for anything Porter brings to the table
“It doesn’t matter. I’m sure Ray Leonard never fought a style like Tommy Hearns before he fought Hearns,” said Spence when asked if he’s ever fought a style like Porter. “Tommy Hearns never fought a style like Ray Leonard before he fought him. [Marvin] Hagler never fought a style like Tommy Hearns before they fought each other. So it really doesn’t matter. It’s all about making adjustments inside the ring, and it’s all about adapting.
“And it’s all about finding a game plan with your coach, and I feel like I come out victorious. I’m good at adapting, and I feel like I’ve seen every style as an amateur, sparring or professional. I’ve seen his style before. He’s a come forward fighter, and I feel he can’t box. So I feel like
“I’ll be victorious. I’m ready for anything he brings to the table, period. It doesn’t matter. I’m ready for anything he brings to the table. You want to meet in the center of the ring, so be it. On the ropes wherever It does not matter,” said Spence. [Editor’s note: At this point in the interview, Porter starts barking. Spence looks irritated at him].
Spence is going to need to be ready for Porter’s different game plans, because he’s likely to have at least two. Most boxing fans expect Porter to try and rough Spence up with constant pressure. But it’s likely that Porter will try and box Spence from the outside if he’s getting beaten up by him.
Porter says people overlooking his skills
“You’re supposed to be ready,” said Porter to Spence. “It’s okay, it’s only a matter of time. Anything he’s written off. He’s about to find out. And you haven’t seen me be anything more than just rough and rugged in any of my fights? You’ve seen it all from me, but you’ve seen one style a little bit more than the rest of it. But here’s the thing: when Errol decided to box against Mikey [Garcia] no one expected him to box Mikey.
“When he did that, he opened up everyone’s eyes. With me, I’ve been an aggressive fighter the majority of my career. So I think he may overlook it or whatever the case may be, but the jab is there, the straight right hand is there, the skills are there. I have boxer’s eyes. I know what I’m looking at, and I know what I see. And I will see what I want and get it,” said an animated and slightly upset Porter.
For a lot of boxing fans, they don’t see Porter as being an overly skillful fighter. Porter has spent so much time in his career as roughhouse fighter that they can’t appreciate him when he boxes a little bit. When Porter is spending 99% of his fights roughing up hi opponents, the fans go home thinking about what he did the majority of the time. They’re not thinking about the 1% of the fight where Porter showed off his boxing ability.
Spence – I’m knocking Porter out cold
“It didn’t open up everyone’s eyes. Everyone knows from my amateur background I could box. I don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Spence. “I’m knocking him out cold. I might change my nickname to the ‘Show Stopper’ after Saturday night. Errol ‘The Show Stopper’ Spence,” said Spence.
It’s tough to take this prediction seriously, because Spence hasn’t fought aggressively in an all out manner in his recent fights against Mikey Garcia and Lamont Peterson. Spence boxed alot, and turned it on only briefly against both guys. But when Spence did turn up the heat on Mikey and Peterson, he had them reeling big time. Peterson’s corner pulled him out of the fight after the 7th, and Spence really didn’t fight aggressively in rounds 1-4 & 6-7.
The only round where Spence went after Peterson in the 5th when he dropped him. But it was such a dominating round that it made it clear that was pointless to leave Peterson out. If Spence started unloading on Peterson in the 6th or 7th, he would have gotten him out of there in those rounds. Only Spence knows why doesn’t fight hard all the time.
Porter predicts win over Spence
“Ah, stop it. Where did you come up with that one,” said Porter in response to Spence saying he might change his nickname to the ‘Show Stopper’ after he beats him on Saturday. “Showtime Shawn Porter leaves the building the unified champion of the world,” predicts Porter. Nope, it doesn’t matter. Beating Errol will be great. So however it’s done, it’ll be done in fantastic form,” said Porter when asked if it matters if he doesn’t get a knockout.
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 24, 2019