Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter a DONE DEAL for fall
By Sean Jones: Errol Spence Jr. and Shawn Porter are a done deal for the fall on pay-per-view, according to Mike Coppinger. There still isn’t a date or venue for the unification fight between IBF welterweight champion Spence (25-0, 21 KOs) and WBC champion Porter (30-2-1, 17 KOs), but they’re looking at staging the PPV fight in August or September at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Spence vs. Porter on PPV is a bad idea
It might not be the best idea for the management of Spence and Porter to put this fight on pay-per-view, because it’s arguably not a PPV worthy fight or even close to it. Porter, 31, isn’t as popular as Spence’s last opponent Mikey Garcia, and he’s coming off of a career worst performance against Yordenis Ugas last March. Porter fought horribly from start to finish against Ugas, and looked like an over-the-hill fighter from start to finish. Ugas took Porter to school and beat him to the punch the entire fight. This writer gave Porter a couple of mercy rounds to make it 8 rounds to 4 for Ugas. In reality, I saw it as a 10 rounds to 2 win for Ugas. Porter looked like a TV commentator that had overstayed his welcome a a fighter.
A lot of boxing fans thought Ugas deserved the win in that fight, as Porter ran the whole time and looked scared. When Porter did stop to exchange with Ugas, he got the worst of it. Spence is basically fighting a guy that was given a gift by the judges. For a lot of boxing fans, it’s hard to get motivated to pay to see Spence fight Porter instead of someone like Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford. Porter has unfinished business with Ugas. Porter had his time, but he looks more comfortable outside the ring a a commentator than he does inside it.
It’s understandable though why Spence would want to fight Porter, because he’s got the WBC welterweight belt that he wants. Also, if Spence doesn’t fight Porter now, he may miss his chance, because someone is going to beat him soon. Porter is looking like a shot fighter since his match with Danny Garcia.
Spence’s fight with Mikey Garcia last March brought in a lot of buys on Fox Sports pay-per-view, but that was because he was fighting Mikey. Porter isn’t Mikey. Spence isn’t popular enough to bring in a huge number of PPV buys all by himself, and he’ll be forced to do so against Porter. At best, this writer sees Spence vs. Porter bringing in 50,000 buys. At worst, it might be even lower. That fight is not meant for PPV.
Top Rank Boxing promoter Bob Arum recently expressed doubts that the Spence vs. Porter fight would get made, because he felt it wasn’t a pay-per-view worthy fight. Arum feels that Spence, now that he’s gotten a taste of the PPV money from his fight against Mikey Garcia last March, wouldn’t want to go back to fighting on regular network television. But, if Premier Boxing Champions want to take the risk of putting Spence vs. Porter on PPV, it’s going to be interesting to see how many buys, if any, this fight brings in.
Spence and Porter aren’t PPV attractions in their own right. It looks like PBC is going to try and have Spence fight on PPV from this point forward. Spence might not have the pull to make that jump unless he’s fighting popular guys like Mikey Garcia, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao or Terence Crawford.
Porter misses the mark as a fighter that will help bring in PPV buys. He’s arguably a fringe elite level fighter, who has some fan, but not a whole bunch.
Porter’s physical style of fighting won’t be a problem or Spence
Porter’s a blue collar fighter, and his fights often involve a lot of accidental head-butting & accidental elbows being thrown that create problems for his opponents. Porter can’t get away with that kind style of fighting against Spence, because he’ll get chewed up on the inside. Spence’s strength will be too much for Porter.
As we saw in Porter’s fights with Ugas and Adrian Granados, he didn’t even try to fight on the inside against those guys, because he was taking too much punishment when he came in close. The last time Porter fought on the inside against an opponent was in his fight against Danny Garcia last September in Brooklyn, and he took some major shots in that fight. Porter doesn’t want to fight on the inside anymore at his age, because it’s too punishing.
Some boxing fans are going to want to see the Spence-Porter fight, thinking that they’re going to see the Porter of several years ago. I think they’re likely going to be disappointed when they see Shawn fighting a safety first match on the outside like he did against Ugas, and not putting out any effort to try and win. Boxing News 24 had Ugas dominating Porter by a 116-112 score. Porter’s lack of reach prevented him from doing anything when he was on the outside, and the scoring was horribly bad.
Ugas won that fight with ease, but the A-side fighter Porter was given the win. After watching that fight, it’ a forgone conclusion that Spence is going to beat Porter with ease. Spence might have to take a number of head-butts along the way for his troubles, but it’ll be an easy fight. It’s too bad Porter didn’t try and clear up the controversy surrounding his “win” over Ugas.
Should Porter even be a champion?
Having Spence fight Porter on PPV is bad enough, but what makes it worse is when you look at Porter’s last fight against Ugas. As this writer mentioned, Ugas dominated Porter, and beat on the inside, outside at medium range. The talented Cuban Ugas gave Porter a boxing lesson, and even got the better of him when he tried to slug at times.
At this point, Porter is a fighter that is coming into the Spence fight with a lot of controversy following him. It might not be a big deal to the casual boxing fans that don’t follow the sport, because they’ll be none the wiser about Porter. Of course, if they’re casual fans, they’re not going to be excited at plunking down $70 to see Spence and Porter battle it out in a unification match. Neither guy has a big enough fan base to pull in a massive amount of fans, and the casuals aren’t going to want to pay to see these two go at it. That’s why it’s a mistake to have this fight on PPV, because it’s not worthy of that.
Spence vs. Porter would be a good non-PPV fight
If this fight were on regular Fox Sports or on Showtime, it would be an interesting match-up, but not a compelling one. If the fans have nothing else going on that night, they’ll watch it, but it’s not must see TV, and definitely not a PPV worthy fight. Both fighters are coming off of poor efforts in their last matches.
Spence recently looked lackluster in boxing his way to a boring 12 round decision over the much smaller 5’6″ Mikey Garcia last March. Spence didn’t press the issue to use his size and power advantage to stop Mikey. Because of that, Spence was heavily criticized afterwards.
For his part, Porter is coming off of his aforementioned questionable decision over Ugas. With the taint following both fighters, it seems like a REALLY bad idea for Spence and Porter to be fighting on PPV.