Revisited: Errol Spence Jr versus Shawn Porter among the best of 2019

Premier Boxing Champions recently uploaded the September 28, 2019 bout between Errol Spence and Shawn Porter onto their Youtube channel. This was one of the more entertaining contests from 2019 and so far has been the most difficult fight of Spence’s successful but very young career. From time to time I like to revisit past fights and rescore and reevaluate the action to gain a new perspective. I remember being very excited for this IBF and WBC unification match at welterweight as Spence Jr. entered off of stoppage wins against Kell Brook to win the IBF and former champions from 140 lbs. in Lamont Pederson and Chris Algieri in very impressive performances. Keith Thurman held unified titles at welterweight and the Spence Jr. fight was viewed as one of the best fights in boxing that never actually materialized. Porter entered this fight off the back of his title winning fight with Danny Garcia which had some controversy but I felt after being level at 95-95 he won the final two rounds to solidify a close victory. He just barely edged Yordenis Ugas of Cuba to retain his title in another close and controversial victory. Live, I felt Spence Jr. had done just enough to nick the contest on points though I did not have a definitive round by round scorecard.

Bout: 147 lb. unification123456789101112Final
Errol Spence: IBF1099910109101091010115
Shawn Porter: WBC91010109910991089112

Reviewing this fight reminded me just how exciting and close this bout really was. Scoring aggregates like Eye on the ring rated it at a 52% controversy rating based on fan submitted scores while Boxrec averaged 116-112 for Spence. Shawn Porter brought his usual aggressive style and threw more punches than any previous Spence opponent and took the best Errol had to offer and kept coming. I feel the first three rounds of this contest are pretty close. If I gave Errol one more of those rounds I would match the two official scores in favor of Spence at 116-111 including fellow New Jersey judge Steve Weisfeld. Larry Hazzard Jr. had it 115-112 for Porter which ends up being eight to four in rounds for Porter with a lost point for the knockdown. I don’t feel as though there are eight rounds for Porter, let alone six but it was a very close fight. Upon review, Spence Jr. was much more effective with his straight left hand than I remember live. Porter was hard charging all night but Spence Jr. had a way of walking him into that punch. Porter took these shots well but they were very clean and effective scoring blows. Porter surged behind adept head movement and his left hook and overhand right which gave him plenty of success against Keith Thurman in their fight of the year candidate. Spence Jr. remained composed and worked behind a steady jab, stuck with his body attack and in addition to the left counter he landed the right hook inside with much effect. Like the unofficial PBC scorer Marcos Villelegas I had the fight event at 76-76 after eight rounds but had Spence Jr. pull away in the final third of the bout. The knockdown in the eleventh round came after Porter performed very well in the round and certainly had a case when a punch caught him off balance and he briefly fell to the canvas. He returned to his feet quickly and responded with aggression but the 10-8 round was very consequential in the close fight. I did not feel Porter was all that hurt from the blow but he was surprised by the shot which resulted in a brief visit to the canvas. Porter came out hard charging in the final round to try and keep alive on the cards but I felt Spence Jr. closed strong enough to earn the final round though he was hit with a very hard overhand right.

In closing, 2019 was an interesting year with several other great fights in Inonue vs Donaire and Doheny vs Roman which I recommend all fight fans to watch. This was a breath of fresh air to see two great fighters go at it with a pumped up live audience. If Spence Jr. and Terrence Crawford cannot secure the big fight I would love to see these two run this back in 2021. Let me know what you thought of this fight in the comments!

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