Welterweight title holders Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter will meet on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles for a unification fight in the 147-pound division.
The winner will likely be seen as the true challenger to Terence Crawford, the undefeated welterweight that many see as the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
Spence Looking for Knockout
As in many divisions in boxing, the title picture is murky at welterweight. Crawford (35-0, 26 KOs) is seen as the legitimate champion by most: he’s not only the WBO title holder, but he also has the No. 1 rating at BoxRec. Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) is No. 2 on BoxRec, but No. 1 according to The Ring, and is the IBF champion. Finally, Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) is seen as a step below those two men – he’s No. 4 in BoxRec’s ratings system – but holds the WBC title.
The fight between Spence and Porter should serve to start cleaning up that picture. Both men have admitted that this fight has big stakes for them, with Spence saying that he’s looking for a dominant performance after failing to stop Mikey Garcia in March.
“It is significant to me to get under one’s skin the KO,” Spence secern nehmen at a pre-fight insistency league.”It is a finish of mine to block up him, and I hope to get under one’s skin it done. If I give notice not get under one’s skin it done, then I ’ one thousand just starting to represent well-fixed with the triumph. But you know, I ’ one thousand searching for the closure.”
Porter Comfortable with Underdog Status
Porter comes in as a major underdog, which is surprising considering his strong resume suggests he’s a legitimate world-class welterweight. But with FanDuel Sportsbook listing Spence at -900, Porter (+500) says he’s comfortable with taking on the role of underdog – even if he doesn’t agree that he deserves it.
“Being in the underdog position is literally where I come from. Northeast Ohio is always an underdog,” Porter told reporters. “Everybody works where I come from. We always do the best we can.”
Porter is also unfazed by Spence’s talk of looking for a knockout, saying that there’s little chance that Spence can finish him off after he failed to do so against a smaller fighter in Garcia.
“I think he may represent essaying to psych himself into call upping he give notice coiffure it,” Porter read.”I think I have a proven Kuki. We never want to get under one’s skin hurt, but I have taken some pretty honest lips from some top us out there, and I have managed to wield that and add up out on meridian.”
While this fight will be a step in the right direction toward clarifying the welterweight picture, there will still be plenty of work to be done going forward. Along with the winner and Crawford, Manny Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KOs) is still in the picture, as the 40-year-old has won his last two fights, including a split decision victory over the previously undefeated Keith Thurman.