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Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter in the works for September

Errol Spence Jr Shawn Porter Spence vs. Porter

By Chris Williams: A welterweight unification fight between IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. (25-0, 21 KOs) and WBC champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs) is in the works for September. This would be a pay-per-view fight, either on Fox Sports or SHOWTIME, and it could take place in Dallas, Texas, according to Mike Coppinger.

Spence, 29, had recently said that he wanted to return to the ring in July, as he desires to fight three times in 2019. At the same time, the Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman fight is being planned for July 13 or July 20, and it won’t work if there are two major pay-per-view events in the same money. The U.S boxing fans wouldn’t be happy to have two PPV fights to pay for in July. As such, Spence will have to sit out of the ring for six months before he can fight again.

Spence defeated four division world champion Mikey Garcia (39-1, 30 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision on March 16 on Fox Sports pay-per-view at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The PPV buys for the Spence-Garcia fight are projected to hit 400,000 buys. Spence vs. Porter might not do as well though, as Porter isn’t as popular as Mikey, and he’s coming off of a controversial 12 round split decision win over Yordenis Ugas last March. Porter has also been beaten twice during his career in losses to Keith Thurman and Kell Brook.

If the Spence vs. Porter fight does get made for September, it’ll likely mean there will be two huge mega-fights in the same month. The Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin trilogy fight is expected to take place in September, but it’ll be on non-pay-per-view on DAZN. It would be a different story if the Canelo-GGG III fight were to take place on PPV, because the U.S boxing public would be asked to pay to see two PPV events rather than just one.

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Porter, 31, defeated his WBC mandatory Yordenis Ugas (23-4, 11 KOs) on March 9 by a 12 round split decision in Carson, California. The judges scored it 116-112, 115-113 for Porter, and 117-111. Boxing News 24 scored it for Ugas 117-111. The fans overwhelmingly saw Ugas, 32, as the winner of the fight. Porter has made it very clear that he’s satisfied with his win over Ugas, and he’s not going to take his career in reverse by giving him a rematch to clear up the controversy. If Porter loses to Spence, he can always fight Ugas again to try and get in position for a title shot.

It’ll be interesting to see if Porter’s roughhouse, pressure fighting style works on Spence. Porter was able to beat a lot of fighters using his mauling style of fighting to get the better of them in close. Porter tends to bump heads with his opponents when attacking them on the inside. We often see a lot of Porter’s opponents winding up with cuts, bumps and bruises from his physical style of fighting. Spence likes to fight guys that come at him, so this could a real interesting fight to watch for the fans. Spence, 5’9 1/2″, will have the height, reach and power advantage over Porter. It’ll be a different type of fight than Spence’s recent match against Mikey Garcia.

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Spence claims that Porter didn’t want to fight him in March, so he was forced to look in another direction towards a match against Mikey Garcia. Porter says he had his WBC mandatory to take care of against Ugas. That excuse by Porter didn’t go over well, as the World Boxing Council would have likely allowed Porter to face Spence in a unification match, and have Ugas wait until the smoke cleared from that fight. The unification matches supersede mandatory title defenses. Porter should have known that himself. That’s why the perception that fans have of Porter is that he simply didn’t feel up to taking the fight with Spence at that time for whatever reason.

“September is a good month traditionally for PPVs, which is where this fight will probably land since Spence proved he’s a draw,” Coppinger said about the likely rationale behind Spence and Porter looking to fight in September. “August a poor month for PPV. You can’t have Pacquiao-Thurman and Spence-Porter in the same month.”

The winner of the Spence vs. Porter and Pacquiao vs. Thurman fights will likely meet in a tournament-like semifinal match. The winner of that fight will likely look to face undefeated World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Terence Crawford (34-0, 25 KOs) in what would be the finals of the unofficial tournament. Spence has made it clear that he would like to fight Crawford. It’s unclear how Porter, Pacquiao or Thurman feel about fighting Crawford. If one of those guys comes out on top, they may not want to fight Crawford, because he’s on the other side of the fence in being signed with Top Rank Boxing, and fighting on ESPN.

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Pacquiao, Thurman and Porter are all with Premier Boxing Champions, and they fight on Showtime. They don’t have to fight Crawford if they don’t want to. The same goes with Spence. He doesn’t need to fight Crawford either, but he clearly wants to if he’s still the WBO 147 lb belt holder by the time the mini-tournament is over with. Crawford is defending his WBO title against Amir Khan on April 20 on ESPN PPV at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Crawford looks good in beating Khan ear in the fight, then his popularity will increase with the boxing public. That’ll make Crawford a more appealing opponent for the likes of whoever emerges as the top dog in the unofficial PBC tournament.

Spence wanted to fight Manny Pacquiao next. He even called out the Filipino star following his win last month over Mikey Garcia on March 16. Pacquiao came into the ring and accepted the challenge to fight Spence next. It looks like Manny doesn’t want the fight with Spence right now. Maybe Pacqiao will want the fight later if he gets passed Keith Thurman.

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