By Thomas Gerbasi
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York - In taking the IBF welterweight title from Devon Alexander, Ohio’s Shawn Porter did the one thing the majority of the St. Louis native’s opponents couldn’t – he made him fight his fight. And while that fight wasn’t pretty, it enabled him to win a 12 round unanimous decision via scores of 115-113 and 116-112 twice.
There was more wrestling than fighting in the opening round, but when the two weren’t grappling, Alexander worked on timing Porter’s rushes, and he was successful more often than not, even though the challenger’s smothering responses diluted any momentum the champion was going to get.
Porter stuck to the game plan though, and he began to land more frequently in the second stanza, forcing Alexander into the unusual role of aggressor at times in order to get some payback, and this strategy worked perfectly in the third round, as Porter rocked Alexander and forced him into a firefight. But in the second minute of the round, referee Harvey Dock had seen enough holding, and he warned both men. In response, Porter staggered Alexander twice more before the bell, capping off a big round.
Some heated exchanges in round four left Alexander bloodied around his right eye, but the champion got in his share of shots as well, as he pressed the action for much of the fifth and sixth rounds.
The sloppy infighting continued in the seventh and eighth, but this type of fight clearly favored Porter, who continued to do the bulk of the work.
In the ninth, Dock halted the fight momentarily to have the doctor check a cut over Porter’s right eye, and after being cleared to continue, the challenger tore after Alexander with an even greater urgency, and while he wasn’t able to score with anything significant, what he did continue to do was force Alexander to fight his fight, and it was paying off big time.
The tenth was a close one, with Alexander rallying late to possibly steal it, but as the fight entered the championship rounds, he appeared to need more than a couple close winning rounds to retain his belt, but it just didn’t happen, allowing a new champion to be crowned.
With the win, Porter improves to 23-0-1 with 14 KOs; Alexander falls to 25-2 with 14 KOs.Tags: Devon Alexander , Shawn Porter , Alexander-Porter , Alexander vs. Porter