Errol Spence Jr beat Shawn Porter on a split decision to unify the IBF and WBC world welterweight titles in what proved a blockbuster battle.

Spence Jr, 29, edged it on the judges’ scorecards to remain unbeaten following a punishing 12 rounds at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

It left the Texan unbeaten after 26 bouts, while compatriot Porter, 31, suffered only the third loss of his career.

Spence Jr will face Danny Garcia next.

Judges scored the pulsating back and forth fight 116-111, 116-111, 115-112 in Spence Jr’s favour – an 11th-round knockdown of Porter helping his cause.

“Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter. He made it real awkward for me,” Spence Jr said.

Garcia – who lost to Porter last September – climbed into the ring to announce the fight shortly after Spence Jr was awarded the victory.

Many boxing fans had been hoping for the winner of Saturday’s fight to face WBA champion Manny Pacquiao or WBO title holder Terence Crawford next.