Shawn Porter captured the WBC welterweight title with a 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 unanimous decision over Danny “Swift” Garcia Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York, joining Errol Spence Jr, Terence Crawford and Keith Thurman as the fourth title holder in boxing’s welterweight division.
The fight was very close; Showtime’s official scorer Steve Farhood had it a 114-114 draw and Compubox figures showed only a five-punch difference in punches landed, but at the end of the day it was Porter’s aggression and consistent activity that gave him the victory as he threw over 270 more punches than Garcia over the course of the bout.
In the early going, Porter opted to box from the outside, lading the occasional counter right hand while largely being peppered by Garcia. Still, Porter opted to show off his fancy footwork, attempting cakewalks, shuffles and stance-switches to confuse Garcia, who opted to hold more than anything when Porter darted in. Establishing this boxing ability from the outside was apparently a large aspect of Porter’s gameplan, as he told Jim Grey: “The gameplan for me was to be accurate. Be accurate from the outside to show that I could win and beat him without roughing him up, without getting him on the ropes the entire time.”
The middle rounds were where Porter took the fight over as he developed a unique blend of his old and new styles, pressuring Garcia and banging the body while still landing the occasional counter when Garcia tried to work from the outside. Garcia’s counters, particularly to the body, began to land with more frequency in the later rounds but did little to slow Porter’s aggression, while a few of his trademark left hooks landed but never hurt Porter. This back-and-forth created an especially exciting 10th round, and a dramatic last few frames as the fight seemed in the balance.
Porter referenced having watched the Marvin Hagler-Sugar Ray Leonard fight in preparation for this one, an odd choice considering the aggressor lost that battle, but claimed the film prepared him for Garcia’s tactic of trying to steal rounds by becoming more aggressive during the final seconds. Garcia did do this, even throwing some punches after the bell. Porter, on the other hand, was warned about headbutts in the seventh round, and though a Porter headbutt opened a cut on the side of Garcia’s head it had little effect on the outcome.
After the fight, IBF welterweight champion Spence Jr. entered the ring and challenged Porter to a fight in a very friendly manner, a matchup which Porter said would be “the easiest fight to make in boxing.”
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