Welterweight stars past, present and future have weighed in with their thoughts on the matchup that pits former welterweight champions Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter against each other for the vacant WBC Welterweight Title this Saturday (September 8) in the main event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The Showtime telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a welterweight title eliminator between Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas and Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo and heavyweight action that pits unbeaten Polish slugger Adam Kownacki against former heavyweight champion Charles Martin.
Here is what a group of current and former welterweight fighters had to say about the Garcia vs. Porter world title showdown:
SUGAR RAY LEONARD, Hall of Famer & Former Unified Welterweight World Champion
"I feel the Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter fight has the makings of an exciting fight from what I’ve seen of both of these talented fighters. So here is my prediction based on what I feel both fighters bring into the ring.
"Garcia will win if he uses his jab to keep Porter at bay and off balance, but Porter gains a victory if he connects and hurts Garcia early and makes him abandon his boxing ability and fight like a slugger -- as I did with my first fight vs Roberto Duran.
"This is how I see this matchup, which should be an exciting fight!"
ERROL SPENCE JR., Unbeaten IBF Welterweight World Champion
"I definitely want to fight the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter. That’s a close fight. I always picked against Danny Garcia in the past, and he always proved me wrong. Shawn Porter’s always a tough fight, because he’s going to come forward and give it his all. He’s basically trying to mug you. But for this fight, it’s hard to go against Danny Garcia.I pick Danny Garcia to win a split decision."
KEITH THURMAN, WBA Welterweight World Champion; Former Unified Champion
"I honestly love this fight, and I consider it a tremendous battle and one of the best matchups of the year. For me, having fought both of them, I do believe that each is capable of hurting the other and getting one another out of there.
"I know most fans are going to lean toward Danny Garcia with his knockout power and the potential for that. Then there is Shawn, who’s got a decent punch, even though he focuses on his output more than his one-punch solid blow and has it in his arsenal to hurt Danny Garcia.
"I wouldn’t bet on Shawn getting the knockout, but I would on Shawn getting the victory, simply because of his output. I think Danny’s only chance of winning is by knockout, but even as a gambling man, I can’t put my money on Danny getting it. I’m taking Shawn Porter by decision."
MANNY PACQUIAO, Multiple-Time Welterweight World Champion
"I’m going to give the edge to Danny Garcia. They’re both gritty fighters, but I think Garcia is a little more technical with a little more ring generalship. It should be a great fight, and there’s a possibility of me fighting the winner, but we’ll have to see what happens."
MIKEY GARCIA, Four-Division World Champion
"I think this is a very good matchup. Shawn Porter is the kind of athlete who is always bringing the fight to you with pressure and volume punching. They both come to fight and they can both take it and dish it out.
"Danny Garcia can use his skills to box on the outside and work from a distance. I think Danny will be able to box a little more and win more of the tight rounds in a very close fight. I’m not sure if it will be a split-decision or a unanimous decision. I believe that Danny will use more of those tactics to win an exciting decision."
YORDENIS UGAS, Top Welterweight Contender
"I have much respect for Shawn Porter, and I think it will be a great fight.
Danny Garcia has more technique and he’s also faced and beaten better opponents than Porter. I am leaning toward Danny Garcia to pull off the victory."
ROBERT GUERRERO, Former Multiple Division World Champion
"This will be a very entertaining fight for the fans. I can see Danny putting up a good fight, but Porter is going to make the fight rough, and Garcia doesn’t like those type of fights. I’m going with Porter to win by split decision."
VICTOR ORTIZ, Former Welterweight World Champion
"I think it’s going to be a fast-paced fight. Shawn will be pushing forward, making it rough on Danny, and Danny will be trying to control the distance. I’m going with Danny, giving him the slight edge and saying he wins by a decision."
JAMAL JAMES, Welterweight Contender
"It’s a good one. Shawn is busier than Danny, more active and carries a lot of momentum when he fights. But that’s not always a good thing because Garcia has power with his timing, he might be able to catch Porter coming in. I’m thinking that Shawn Porter pulls it off. "
BRANDON RIOS, Former World Champion & Welterweight Title Challenger
"That’s a really tough fight to predict. If Danny can counter really well and keep Shawn Porter off of him while Porter’s coming in, then I see Danny stopping him.
"But if Shawn Porter is able to pressure Danny like he usually does, I don’t see Shawn Porter stopping Danny, or anything, but I see him winning by split-decision if he can be in his chest all night long. But if Porter gets nailed with one of those left hooks or a straight right hand, I say Porter goes down. I’m going to go with Danny because he knocked me out."
BRYANT PERRELLA, Welterweight Prospect
"It could come down to how well Shawn Porter can take Danny Garcia’s punches in a fight that’s really hard to predict, and how well Danny can move, given that he’s not known for having fast feet similar to a guy like Keith Thurman.
"But if Shawn can get close and smother Danny’s punches, he will make it a difficult fight. But Danny’s got really heavy hands and sits on his shots well, timing and counter-punching guys, so Porter could play into his hands.
"Based off of clean, effective hard shots and giving him the edge in the close, competitive rounds, I’m leaning toward Danny Garcia. Shawn is tough as nails, so I see it going the distance, but just the slight edge to Danny."
SAMMY VASQUEZ JR., Welterweight Contender
"I’m going with Shawn Porter. Not by stoppage, but Shawn creates too much pressure and Danny Garcia doesn’t throw enough punches and doesn’t deal with pressure. You saw that when he fought Guerrero, who wasn’t looking too bad in that fight.
"Danny can win by knockout if he catches Shawn with that hook, but Shawn’s a workhorse and he puts forth far more pressure than I think Danny’s ever seen in a fight. Shawn may not be susceptible to it if he doesn’t have the proper head movement, but I believe that he will."