Who’s The Man? Common opponent Shawn Porter predicts Errol Spence Jr.-Danny Garcia outcome
Former two-time welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter will be an interested observer when Errol Spence Jr. defends his IBF and WBC titles against Danny Garcia on Saturday.
Porter, who is rated No. 5 by The Ring at 147 pounds, has shared the ring with both men. He edged Garcia by close but unanimous 12-round decision in September 2018 to claim the then-vacant WBC title but lost it to Spence by 12-round split decision in September 2019.
The 33-year-old is excited by the prospect of seeing two of his rivals clash on the big stage.
“I think it’s going to be a better and more competitive fight than a lot of people are expecting,” Porter told The Ring. “Everything, for me, goes back to the accident that Spence was in. There are some questions he’s going to be asking himself, and the whole world are going to be asking, all the way to the opening bell.
“Prior to the accident, myself and a lot of people in the boxing world were expecting Errol Spence Jr. to basically roll over Danny Garcia. I don’t expect that anymore. In fact, I expect Danny Garcia to box very well and put up a good fight.”
Porter feels two key areas are pivotal for Spence to emerge victorious.
“I think, number one, he’s got to push Danny Garcia back, and he’s comfortable doing that,” explained Porter. “Errol Spence Jr. is comfortable being an aggressive fighter.
“I think Errol Spence Jr. is a really good bodypuncher, he’s probably the best bodypuncher I’ve ever been in the ring with. Those bodypunches will break you down and it’s important for you to defend those bodyshots.
“I was able to sneak in some really good bodyshots against Danny Garcia and he didn’t fold. I did hear a grunt or two during the match. I feel like when you get to a guy’s body during the course of a 12-round fight, you will break that guy down. I don’t think it’s something people see happening but it does happen and I think that could be very effective for Errol Spence Jr.”
However, Porter feels the single most important thing Spence needs to do is be himself.
“I think if he goes out and shows, ‘I’m Errol Spence Jr!’ and believes he’s the fighter he’s always been, he’ll be fine,” said Porter. “If he gets any questions that come back with the wrong answers – he doesn’t see a punch the way he’s expecting to, or he got a little dinged up with the first jab thrown, anything like that at all, then he won’t be the Errol Spence Jr. we’ve seen in the past. He won’t be as dominant as we’ve seen in the past.”
Conversely, Porter believes that Garcia needs to make an early statement and force Spence to doubt himself.
“I really am excited to see what Danny decides to do in this fight,” said the ex-titleholder. “Garcia has to be aware that this kid has been in an accident and had time to recover and been in the gym training. But [Spence] hasn’t been in this kind of intense situation since he fought Shawn Porter a year ago and he does not know what this is like anymore.
“I believe the number one thing Danny has to do is start fast and not allow Spence to get comfortable.”
Porter feels that Spence needs to be fully tuned in and aware of being drawn into a trap by the veteran two-weight titleholder from Philadelphia.
“I always thought the talk about Danny Garcia’s timing was a little overrated, and that he was slower than a lot of people thought he was,” explained Porter. “However, after being in the ring with Danny Garcia, it’s not that he’s slow, it’s just that his timing is that good that he’s willing to wait and find those right moments.
“If you’re someone who gets comfortable being aggressive and taking the fight to him, you can get caught with a vicious counter. Danny Garcia doesn’t throw counters to just touch you, he throws counters to hurt you. I think that is the most dangerous thing that he does in the boxing ring, his ability to counter a guy, catch him coming in.”
Porter broke down each fighter in 10 key categories:
Spence: Errol Spence Jr. has the best jab. I think Errol is more comfortable using his jab as well.
Spence: He’s got more in his arsenal. He’s going to move his feet and he’s also going to move his upper body and head. He can keep his hands up and block punches. Danny Garcia is going to block your shots or step around you, he’s not really going to give you too many looks.
Spence: There were a couple times I got into firefights with both guys, but I think Errol Spence is not only willing to exchange, he’ll exchange with four, five, six punches and continue to go if he feels that it’s there [to land shots]. Danny Garcia is a lot more apprehensive with his hands. If you get in a firefight with him it really is going to be two quick counters, maybe three, possibly four punches and he’s going to try to step around. Even from the outside with the basic jab, Errol Spence Jr. has the speed and he trusts his speed with his jab. I don’t think Danny Garcia trusts his speed with his jab, which is why we don’t see it as often.
Spence: He’s more athletic than Danny Garcia. It’s no surprise that he wants to use his foot movement. Danny Garcia is more of a plodder, more of a ‘I’m in your face to knock you out’ kind of guy.
Spence: This is the closest and I think what makes it close is the fact that one guy [Garcia], is not purely a power puncher, but he counters very well, he reads his opponents very well and he throws the right punches. But I’m going to go with Errol Spence Jr. I think Spence and his team, they work out a game plan more and better than Danny Garcia and his team does. We’ve seen Spence and his team make adjustments, we have not seen that out of Garcia. I would say Spence is the smarter fighter.
Spence: Spence has strength, and another thing I like about him, he’s mentally strong too. When you’re mentally strong when you come up against a guy like myself who’s got a lot of strength, you’re going to tell yourself, ‘He’s not pushing me back, I’m pushing him back.’ And then it becomes a thing of will, not just physical strength but a battle of wills. Collectively, Errol Spence is stronger, mentally and physically.
Spence: I got hit by more shots from Spence as well. For the entire 12 rounds with my fight with Danny Garcia I was really aware of everything that was coming at me. Even the punches that did land, those were moments I stayed there and threw shots. The big shots Spence hit me with were a little later in the fight. When you take into account the punch Spence landed that caused me to put my hand on the canvas, I think that was in the 11th round, that’s real power.
Garcia: It’s a tough one. I think both guys took my punches very well. Danny Garcia, I think, has been in the ring with bigger punchers than Errol Spence Jr. has, especially Keith Thurman. He was able to fight with Keith Thurman and take a lot of his punches as well.
Spence: That’s a close one. I’m going to go with Errol Spence Jr. I think he’s got more in his arsenal, just by a hair.
Spence: Overall Errol Spence Jr. is more athletic. He’s got a lot more in his arsenal, offensively and defensively. He’s the better fighter.
When all is said and done, Porter gives Spence the edge.
“Ultimately, I do think this is a fight Errol Spence Jr. is going to win by a decision,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a competitive fight, but I expect him to win a majority decision. I think it’s going to be that close of a fight, that good of a fight.”
Spence Jr.-Garcia will be broadcast live on FOX PPV in the U.S. and Premier Sports in the U.K.
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