By John J. Raspanti
Shawn Porter, who has dreamed of winning the WBC title since he was a kid, boxed and brawled his way to a 12-round unanimous decision over Danny Garcia at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY Saturday night.
The scores were 115-113 (twice) and 116-112.
Maxboxing also had Porter winning by a 115-113 tally.
Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) came out bouncing and moving to his left. Garcia clipped Porter with his bread and butter, the left hook. Seconds later he landed a good right to the face. Porter landed a swift combination in round two. Garcia went to the body. Porter was using his jab effectively.
In round three, Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) landed a powerful right hand and crisp left hook. Porter fought back with a combination. He lunged in with a left. Garcia wanted to counter, but was waiting to much. Porter did well in round four, mixing up his punches to the head and body. Garcia landed a strong right hand in round five.
His shots were harder, but Porter was busier.
Porter,30, continued his momentum in round seven. He was outhustling Garcia. Garcia, also 30, let fly with a left hook that whistled over Porter’s head. He did land a good right hand. Porter knocked Garcia back with a left. Nothing was hurting Garcia, but Porter was scoring points.
Garcia, perhaps sensing he was behind on points, came out throwing more punches in round eight. Porter worked Garcia’s body. Garcia clocked Porter with a right, but again it was Porter who had the edge in volume.
In rounds nine and 10, the more athletic Porter feinted and fired. Garcia waited. He connected with a double left hook. Porter ate the shots and worked the body. Garcia found him with another left. Porter pressed and punched. Both fighters were landing. Porter landed a right, but absorbed a wicked hook in return.
With two rounds left in the match, the fight was close.
Following his trainer-fathers’ advice, Porter came out jabbing in round 11. He landed a few. He also countered a Garcia’s left with a good right.
The 12th and final round had an ebb and flow of its own. Porter started well, connecting with lefts and a combination. Garcia caught Porter with a pretty shot to the chin. Porter bobbed and weaved, but ran into another hook. Garcia unloaded in the last few seconds to perhaps win the round.
“I made a prediction and a hard one to live up to,” said Porter. “I said I wasn’t leaving New York without this belt and I’m not leaving New York without this belt. I knew he was going to be accurate. The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show I could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes.”
“I thought I did enough to win,” said a visibly disappointed Garcia. “It was a close fight. The judges didn’t give it to me.
Porter, now a two-time world champion, will likely meet IBF champion Errol Spence sometime next year.