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Porter thrashes Berto; Valdez defeats Marriaga

By Rob MaClean: Shawn Porter (27, 2, 1, 17Ko’s) managed to pull off an impressive TKO of Andre Berto (31, 5, 24Ko’s) in Brooklyn, New York, by scoring a TKO victory in round 9. In what was an extremely entertaining slug fest between two welterweights it was the wrecking ball that is Shawn Porter who offered too much for Andre Berto this evening.

Porter scored the TKO early in round 9 when he landed a stunning left hook to the chin of Berto, which wobbled him, he applied immense pressure and the fight was stopped upon the second clean left hook to hit Berto. The fight contained numerous cuts to both fighters due to the brawling tactics of Porter.

Round one was a feeling out round but by round two Porter’s intentions were clear, he managed to constantly trap Berto on the ropes who seemed shell-shocked by the pressure. Most impressive was the footwork of Porter, which has always been excellent, as Shawn had no problems getting to Berto and battling him inside.

Round three and four told the same story… Porter had far too much youth, desire and roughness for Berto. Porter clearly out landed Berto, who did manage to land some shots of his own, one of which was a perfect uppercut that did not bother Porter at all.

Round five was a little closer. Berto began to answer some of Porter’s shot which previously went unmatched. What was recognizable however was how Berto was affected by the cuts compared to Porter, who simply got on with it. Porter eased of in round 6 as Berto probably just about stole it with some clean shots. Round 7 was much the same however Porter showed the fans he can also jab, which was impressive in this round.

Then came round 8 were Porter went for broke. Whether it was the cuts or the simple fact that he wanted to get Berto out of there is debatable, however his work rate was not. Virgil Hunter asked Berto at the end of the round why he was languishing on the ropes and taking punishment, Berto answered, “I don’t know”. The simple fact was he couldn’t physically stop Porter’s onslaught.

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By the beginning of round 9 the writing was on the walls for Berto. Porter landed a huge left hook which wobbled Berto, and following another huge onslaught, he managed to land another hook, which caused the referee to halt the action and give Porter the TKO win.

From a personal stand point I find it impossible to dislike Porter as a fighter. His commitment is amazing to witness. His skills are probably underrated too, as he has excellent footwork and also a granite chin. Berto had no answers and now it’s up to him if he wants to continue his career. Shawn Porter, on the other hand, lands a step closer to the WBC strap which is held by his previous rival, Keith Thurman.

Oscar Valdez Proves Himself In Test

WBO Featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (22, 0, 19Ko’s) won an extremely exciting contest against title challenger Miguel Marriagia (25, 2, 21Ko’s) in Carson California by unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 119-108, 118-109 and 116-111 all in favour of the champion Valdez, who scored a knockdown in round 10. The championship rounds in this fight was a brutal standoff between two tough world-level operators.

It was hard not to give the first 10 rounds to Oscar Valdez, I gave one to Marriagia which was probably generous, Valdez simply threw much harder shots. This was the first I’ve watched Oscar Valdez in action and I was highly impressed and it is a matter of time before he bursts into the big fights. He showed excellent ability and defence but he simply sacrificed this for entertainment. He made it a war against Marriaga, who was more than happy to oblige.

The championship rounds as stated were tremendous. Valdez and Marriagia traded huge bombs and just as Marriaga looked to be getting the better, Valdez dropped him with a huge shot. It was testament to Marriaga’s conditioning that he managed to make it out of the round.

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The penultimate round was very tight but the final round went to Valdez as he tried to score the knockout. Valdez is clearly a fan friendly fighter. He has immense power in both hands but also can be tricky. His chin was incredible today and he rarely seemed in trouble, but on a couple of occasions seemed remotely hurt by some tough body shots. The only criticism being Valdez could have worked the body more, but that’s neither here nor there.

Valdez regains his title and says he wants to face another champion soon. The featherweight division is stacked with fighters. Valdez from this showing is clearly up there. I gave him a 119-108 victory and as already stated, for a first-time viewer of Oscar Valdez, I’m now a fan and can’t wait for him to land a big fight. Leo Santa-Cruz or Carl Frampton anyone?

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