Being the first time I’ve taken to the pen in a while, it seems fitting that I start with the return of my fighting namesake ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter as he takes on Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC World welterweight title tonight from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The bout features two fighters that need no introduction, having both mixed it at World level for a number of years. The two American powerhouses are both aged 30, both former World champions and both share one key mutual opponent in the shape of former unified champion Keith Thurman – who holds narrow points decisions over Porter and Garcia in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Having spent time with Porter’s trainer and father Kenny in a casino in Sheffield – hours after his fighter Lenroy Thomas’ rematch against Dave Allen – he broke down the ‘limbo’ situation that his son Shawn found himself in while we watched Deontay Wilder successfully defend his WBC heavyweight title against Luis Ortiz.
After building a ranking with the WBC and investing time, money and effort into securing his position as mandatory challenger, fans were screaming for match-up with between Porter and Errol Spence. Kenny, however, didn’t see the fight making sense from a business point of view – unless both men held titles and could meet in a lucrative unification bout.
Danny Garcia was the man they were targeting: and the man that they got.
Garcia enters tonight’s contest as the ‘bookies favourite’ – which I somewhat put down to the highlight reel knockouts of Amir Khan, Mexican legend Erik Morales and, in his most recent outing, former lightweight champion Brandon Rios. Prior to his split decision loss to Thurman, Garcia held the WBC crown, and with the title being left vacant due to Thurman’s inactivity, Garcia used his ranking to secure the fight with Porter – and with it an opportunity to regain his title.
There is no denying that at any point in the fight ‘Swift’ is extremely dangerous, particularly with his trademark left hook. Garcia possesses a good sense of ring generalship and presence, and also an eagerness to dig his heels in and let off big shots when the opportunity presents itself.
Matched up with the aggressive and bullish style of Shawn Porter – whose urgency to get on his opponents chest and make them work for every second of the round is his own trademark – the match-up looks almost certain to bring fireworks. I don’t for a second think this fights going to be one for the purists who enjoy watching a technical chess match with a wide skill-set on display.
However, for the fight fans who want to see two athletes at the peak of their physical fitness put everything on the line and simply walk through their opponent: this is the fight for you.
Though I will have the tendency to be slightly swayed due to a distant friendship built up with (as he put it) my ‘doppelgänger’ – ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter – I think the contest will go to the final bell and the scorecards will be tight.
I see the engine of Porter doing enough to bag the later rounds, and his toughness will take away Garcia’s biggest threat: his power. Unless Garcia can land that left-hook, I am going for a narrow points win for the Las Vegas based slugger, Shawn Porter…
Article by: Sunny Edwards
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