Shawn Porter stopped Andre Berto in nine rounds at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday. His victory makes him the mandatory challenger for the WBC welterweight belt and sets up a likely rematch with unified champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman.
The build up to the fight promised much. Porter possesses an all action style that may lack finesse, but is backed up by undoubted athletic prowess.
Berto too is rarely in a boring fight. A fan favourite for many years, his wars against the likes of Ortiz and Guerrero cemented his legacy long ago.
As to be expected, the bout was grueling from the first bell. Porter was a bundle of energy from the outset. Cutting off the ring with perpetual forward motion and stifling Berto with a barrage of body shots from the outset.
Porter’s early salvo quickly paid dividends as he dropped Berto in the second round.Although by the close of the round accidental headbutts, brought on primarily by Porter’s aggressive toe to toe style, began to take their toll on both fighters.
Although clashes to the head continued to feature frequently, it was Porter’s constant pressure to the body that began to truly wear Berto down. By the ninth round Berto was on shaky feet. Capitalising on a further clash of head, Porter connected with a vicious hook that downed Berto for a second time.
By this point Berto was done. Although he survived the count Porter stepped in and swarmed his opponent, connecting with unanswered powerful shots that gave the referee little choice but to step in and save Berto from further punishment.
Following his dominating performance Porter was gracious in victory, admitting that he needs to better control his head movement in future.
“I’m shaking my head for only one reason, the headbutts. We come in and we try to fight flawlessly. Outside of the headbutts, our game plan worked out very well. I can only shake my head about the headbutts. It’s very unfortunate and yes, I am very sorry.”
That said, Porter still turned in a flawless performance that will hopefully see him challenge Thurman in a rerun of one of 2016’s fights of the year.
If you need a reminder of how great that fight was, why not check out the highlights below?
Are you excited for a potential rematch between Thurman and Porter? Let us know in the comments below.