By Kenneth Friedman: Shawn Porter and Errol Spence Jr. both weighed in at 147 pounds at the weigh-in on Friday for their unification fight this Saturday night on September 28 on PBC on Fox Sports Pay-Per-View from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The broadcast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET.
IBF welterweight champion Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) towered over WBC champion Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) during the face off.
One was noticeable about both fighters was their tall hair. Both guys were sporting tall hairstyles that could prove to be a problem on Saturday when they start getting hit. With sweat likely to fly each time they get hit, it impress the judges one way or another. Porter’s hair is extremely high, making him seem taller than his 5’7″ height.
Dirrell-Benavidez looks evenly matched
In the co-feature weights, WBC super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell (33-1-1, 24 KOs) and former WBC champ David Benavidez (21-0, 18 KOs) both weighed in at 167 1/2 pounds. Both guys were close to the same height. The 6’1 1/2″ Benavidez is accustomed to being the taller fighter, but not this time. Dirrell about the same height at 6’2″ and was able to look Benavidez in the eyes during the face off. It’s going to be interesting to see how well Benavidez does against a guy his own height that has punching to hurt him.
Porter has to pressure Spence
“For Shawn to be victorious, he’s going to have to impose his will, and take some things away from Errol, and keep him away for him to be victorious,” said trainer Virgil Hunter to Fighthub in analyzing the Spence-Porter fight. “Errol pretty much has to convince Shawn whatever he’s going to do won’t work that night, and take him downstairs from the brain to the gloves so to speak. Shawn has to be effective one round at a time. I think the first three rounds will tell who the fight is the most difficult for. It’s a difficult fight for both.
“Both guys are driven, and both guys have proven that they can. Shawn has won some big fights, and he’s been in some big fights. He’s lost some close, tight fights, and fought [Keith] Thurman when he was at his peak. Again, it’s a fight that has a lot of questions, but it’s one that is more close to answers than questions,” said Hunter.
Porter’s game is based on him pressuring his taller opponents, and it doesn’t make sense for him to steer away from that style. It’s gotten him this fight. In Porter’s last fight against Yordenis Ugas, he went away from his pressure style, and he almost lost the fight.
Hunter: I can’t fathom to come up with a game plan to beat Errol Spence
“I think the bottom line is can Shawn overcome Spence?” said Hunter. “It would be really hard for me to come up with a game plan [to beat Errol Spence]. I can’t even fathom to come up with a game plan to beat Errol. But if I was to pick any punch that would help Shawn in this fight is he would have to have an effective jab. His jab has to be effective, it has to be educated, and it has to setup everything, and it has to keep Errol off balance. I think that’s the most important punch for him to utilize for him to be victorious in the fight,” said Hunter.
It’s difficult for anyone to come up with a game strategy that can beat Spence. He hasn’t lost a fight since the amateurs when he was beaten by Andrey Zamkovoy and Serik Sapiyev. Those guys used speedy combinations and movement to beat Spence. However, Spence’s pressure was starting to give both fighters a lot of problems as the fights ended. It’s quite clear from watching those fights that Spence would have destroyed both guys if these were 6 round fights. They were literally running from Spence at the end.
The judges will be swayed by Spence’s more telling shots says Hunter
“Well, Errol brings a lot of volume to the fight as well,” said Hunter. “He throws a lot of punches. I think he’s above the welterweight average. So I think the judges will be swayed by the more telling punches. One thing I did notice was the hairstyles of each kid with the hair being up. It’s going to be sweating with the hair. So if you get hit, the sweat is going to fly off. I think it’s going to make the punch more effective than it is, so that’s something to consider. But I think when Errol punches, it’s pretty clear when he lands, because he places his punches.
“Shawn swarms and he volumes to hit you on the arms, and shoulders. So it’s hard to pick up on what punches are land, but he is effective in what he does. But if you think about Shawn’s fights, you would have to go to each round, and say, ‘Okay, did he land six or seven?’ Even though the work-rate is there, and he’s landing punches, you have to ask yourself where was it clean shots? That’s a testament to his style. His style has overcome a lot of styles. He’s beaten a lot of great people,” said Hunter.
Shawn has to sit down on his shots more
Porter is going to have to put more emphasis on sitting down on his shots for him to win this fight. He throws too many wild shots that don’t have a lot of power on them. If Spence is loading up on his punches, the judges are going to be more impressed with his work.
Porter can win if he fights like he normally does, and outworks Spence. Kell Brook was ahead of Spence after six rounds in their fight in 2017, but he suffered an eye injury and was stopped in the 11th.
Co-main set, the real WBC Super Middleweight Champion will be decided tomorrow night! pic.twitter.com/z3ZLVHpCcB
— FOX Sports: PBC (@PBConFOX) September 27, 2019