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Errol Spence Jr/Shawn Porter pre-fight analysis with 'Iceman' John Scully

"Iceman" John Scully breaks down one intriguing fight

By Amy Green

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SpenceJrPorter
SpenceJrPorter

The Staples Center in Los Angeles plays host to the welterweight scrap between “Showtime” Shawn Porter and Errol “The Truth” Spence on Saturday. In an interesting unification match, undefeated Spence is considered the favorite and Porter, with two losses is a very tough underdog. “Iceman” John Scully, boxing historian, trainer and former title challenger breaks down this bout, and provides insight on what makes this a compelling fight.

In Scully’s opinion, Porter will be the toughest opponent Spence has faced. “Kell Brook was very good,” he said, “but he was simply not big enough to trouble Errol.” By contrast, Porter has no problem using size to his advantage. “Shawn is used to fighting bigger men because he did so frequently as an amateur,” Scully explained. “He was an elite amateur at 165 pounds so this is not a new thing for him mentally or physically.”

Size alone won’t lead Porter to victory. He needs to rely heavily on his skill, style and simply being Shawn Porter. “I think Shawn needs to do just what Shawn does,” Scully said. “He needs to be hard to time, and hard to set up. He needs to be strong and effective with his aggression.” In the midst of his aggression, there are key tools Scully reminded that Porter should not abandon. “Shawn needs to keep his hands up, and move his head a lot better for this fight and- utilize a more active jab. But his general attack is an interesting antidote to what Errol brings.”

Errol Spence will have a busy night ahead of him with the hard charging Porter, but Scully sees the ways he can combat that offense. “I think Errol needs to keep proper space between him and Shawn, and he needs to keep him turning as frequently as he can. He needs to keep setting up his punches off of sharp angles and he definitely can’t move back in a straight line when Shawn attacks.” The other keys to a Spence victory Scully noted, deal with distance- both arms length and inside. “Errol definitely needs to keep Shawn at the end of his punches where he can get the most out of them,” he said, and continued. “A lot of this fight is going to depend on how well of an inside fighter he can be when presented with someone who attacks like Shawn.” Knowing how the pressure of Porter’s offense can unbalance most fighters, Scully also advised Spence not be out of place. “He needs to get his positioning right and his balance right in order to dig those famous body shots he is known for. This might be the first opponent in his career where it’s not going to be quite so easy to bang that body like he is accustomed to.”

With the relentlessness and strength of Porter and Spence’s also dominant style, Scully believes Porter’s mind set is very important. “I personally think that Shawn has a very good chance here,” he said. “I know that Errol is the young and strong hot shot and is generally seen as the next big star in boxing, but I believe that Shawn’s mentality keeps him in this fight and he presents the biggest challenge yet for Spence.” Another problem Spence could face with Porter Scully said, is not being able to quickly inflict any damage on Porter. “If Errol can’t time Shawn and can’t hurt him early on he might find himself getting frustrated for the first time in his career. I think he would be wise to anticipate having a little difficulty early on and go from there.”

Predicting a winner of this bout, Scully acknowledged it’s no easy fight. “I think it is going to be a very rugged and rough fight,” he said. “I think Shawn will try and draw Errol into a firefight and he will have to take some big shots during that process in order to get things done. I think both guys are going to have their problems and both guys are going to have their moments.”

How Spence handles the heat of those moments will be the difference in this fight. “I think ultimately Errol is the real deal and he will keep himself composed and will find his rhythm around the midway point and will dig down and land the shots he needs to land,” Scully said, and concluded. “I think he will be pushed to the brink more so than he has in any other fight thus far and will come away with a hard-fought and maybe even a debated decision victory in a fight where both guys will have gained a new respect from boxing fans and from each other.”

 

 

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