Spence adds WBC belt to his collection
In a gritty and thrilling welterweight unification bout, IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. scored a knockdown and rallied in the championship rounds to earn a split decision victory over WBC titleholder Shawn Porter at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA Saturday night.
Scores were 116-111 (twice) for Spence, and 115-112 for Porter.
Spence, with advantages in height and reach, came out jabbing. Porter bounced on his toes and circled. Spence, a southpaw landed a couple of hard shots to the body. Porter sprang forward and fought back. Porter connected with a left that knocked Spence off balance. Spence cracked Porter with two straight shots down the middle. Porter landed a glancing blow off the check of Spence.
In round three, Porter a ridiculous 9-1 underdog, worked the body and head. Spence cracked Porter on the inside. Porter roughed Spence up with a few shots. Spence connected with two shots to the chin. Porter took them well and landed a lead right.
With three rounds in the books, the fight was gritty and physical. Porter landed a number of shots to Spence’s chin in round four. Spence clocked Porter with vicious left. Porter was outworking Spence, but Spence connected with another large left.
Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) went matching after Porter in round five. He wanted to get off first. Porter landed a crisp uppercut. Spence jabbed, but Porter answered. Porter (30-3, 17 KOs) spun Spence and went to the body. He was fighting a great fight. Spence forced Porter into the ropes and went to the body. Porter turned Spence and missed a whistling left hand. Both fighters connected with shots to the belly. Spence got the better of it. Porter landed a short right to the chin. Porter got off first in round seven. He connected with another uppercut. Porter landed a double jab. Spence,29, moved forward, but figuring out the rhythm (or not) of Porter was proving difficult. Porter dug to the body. Seconds later he stopped Spence in his tracks with a right to the gut.
Spence tried to set the pace in round eight, but Porter,31, went after him. Spence connected with two hard lefts to the chin. Porter fired back with rights. Spence dug to the body-Porter fired back with crisp right. Porter came out bouncing on his toes in round nine. He jabbed up and down. He timed Spence with a left. Spence knocked Porter off balance with a left to the face. Porter connected with an uppercut.
Porter was busier. He kept working—while Spence was a punch behind. Spence clocked Porter with a wicked right. Somehow the WBC champion took the shot without incident.
Entering round 10, Spence appeared to have slight edge. Porter had done a wonderful job of outworking Spence in stages, while Spence had connected with a number of hard shots. Both fighters dug down and went to war-Porter connected with a few jabs and rights while Spence cracked Porter with a head shot. Porter landed a clean right at the bell.
Porter was back to boxing in round 11. He jabbed and moved away. Spence went after him aggressively. Porter connected wit a solid right hand. Spence went downstairs and up. A big left floored Porter for a flash knockdown. Porter got up and waved Spence forward. He fired punches from all angles while Spence tried to end it.
Spence clocked Porter with another left in the 12th and final round. He worked over Porter’s body. Porter fought back as hard as he could. He landed a left, and seconds later a right. Spence cracked Porter with a right-while Porter crashed home another right. Spence landed vicious shots to the body and head as Porter looked a little hurt.
“Thank you for all the fans for coming out," said Spence. "Shawn Porter is a good fighter. He’s a true champion.”
Ringside report from Jason Gonzalez coming soon exclusively on Maxboxing.com
Picture by Stephanie Trapp