By Jeff Aranow: Shawn Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) started off slowly in the first four rounds but then came on in the second half to defeat former two division world champion Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to win the vacant World Boxing Council welterweight title on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
The judges scored it 116-111, 115-113 and 115-113. Boxing News 24 scored it for Porter by a 117-111 score. Porter boxed Garcia in the first quarter of the fight. As you would expect, Porter wasn’t effective when he was boxing Garcia. After the fourth, Porter made adjustments by mauling Garcia and working his midsection on the inside.
Once Porter began to maul Garcia, he took over the fight and wound up outworking him. Garcia struggled with Porter’s darting attacks, as he wasn’t able to time him like he had been doing in the first quarter of the fight. Porter’s jab was a key to him taking over the fight.
When he started doubling up his jab, he then was able to take over and dominate Garcia in the last right rounds of the fight. Garcia wasn’t nearly busy enough in the last eight rounds. Porter’s body shots were also key to him winning. Garcia did a good job of showing that the shots weren’t affecting him, but they clearly were. Garcia wasn’t as strong in the second half as he was in the first part of the fight.
Garcia lost for only the second time in his career. His previous defeat came against Keith Thurman last year in March. Garcia lost a 12 round split decision in that fight, and he finished strong. Tonight, it was Porter who finished strong. After the fight, Garcia looked chocked up like he was going to burst in tears. Garcia is clearly not happy with losing.
The win for Porter now sets up a potential rematch between him and World Boxing Super World champion Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, who beat him by a close 12 round unanimous decision in 2016. Thurman has been out of the ring for 1 ½ years since his win over Danny Garcia last year. It’s unclear when Thurman will be back fighting again. If Thurman chooses to sit out the remainder of 2018, then Porter will have the option to face IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a unification fight.
It was a good strategy for Porter to come on strong in the last eight rounds. It’s possible that Porter and his trainer/feather Kenny Porter decided to start slowly due to Garcia being really strong in the first four rounds of his fights. Garcia tends to slow down and weaken after the 4th. It’s possible that Porter chose to wait until Garcia faded a little before going on the attack to beat him by a decision.
It would be nice to see Porter face Errol Spence Jr. in a unification fight. If Porter wants to get the attention of the boxing world, then facing Spence would be one way of doing that. It’s unlikely that Porter will want to face Spence because the chances are high that he’ll lose to him. But it would be a good fight nonetheless if Porter does decide to face Spence.
For Garcia, the loss means he’s got to start over and figure out a way to a championship belt. He’s already lost to Thurman, so that wouldn’t be a good idea for him to go in that direction. A rematch against Porter might be an option, but it might not change anything. Garcia would have problems trying to beat Errol Spence Jr. or WBO champion Terence Crawford.
In other boxing results on the card, Adam Kownacki (18-0, 14 KOs) defeated former International Boxing
Federation heavyweight champion Charles Martin (25-2-1, 23 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision. The scores were 96-94, 96-94 and 96-94. It was a close fight, but the 29-year-old Kownacki’s youth and punching power was too much for Martin. Both guys were landing big shots in the fight, but Kownacki was the busier of the two down the stretch. Martin, 6’5”, looked like the better fighter in the first three rounds, but Kownacki took over with his pressure and power punching to get the victory. Martin, 32, had a chance to win the fight if he’d been busier, but he didn’t have the energy to stay busy enough to get the victory. Martin was doing a good job of hitting Kownacki with left hands, but he was throwing only one punch at a time and not letting his hands go enough.
Kownacki was hurt in the fight by Martin. It wasn’t a good sign that he was hurt by a guy that was destroyed in two rounds by Anthony Joshua in 2016. Kownacki is going to need to improve for him to have a chance of beating Joshua and WBC champion Anthony Joshua. Based off this performance, Kownacki loses to both of those guys in one-sided fights.
This fight was one of the best on the card. Both guys were unloading on each other with hard shots, which made it an intriguing fight compared to the other ones.
In a one-sided mismatch, Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) defeated Argentinian Cesar Barrionuevo (34-4-2, 245 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in an IBF welterweight title eliminator. The judges’ scores were 119-109, 120-108 and 120-108. This was a bad match-up on paper and it turned out to be an even worst one in reality.
The win for Ugas, 32, makes him the mandatory challenger to IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Although Ugas looked good beating Barrionuevo, he didn’t show the kind of talent that suggests that he’ll have a chance of beating a talented fighter like Spence. Ugas has been beaten several times in his pro career against lesser opposition. Tonight, Ugas was fighting a guy that didn’t belong in the side ring with him.
Ugas did a good job of working over Barrionuevo with body shots throughout the fight in winning an easy fight. Ugas does well against fighters like this. When he’s stepped up in the past against the likes of Maurice Hooker, he was soundly beaten.