Trainer Kenny Porter is concerned by the damage Errol Spence Jr. sustained in his dramatically one-sided tussle with Terence Crawford. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

Crawford scored three knockdowns en route to stopping Spence in the ninth round at T-Mobile Arena last Saturday in Las Vegas to unify all four belts in the welterweight division. Most expected a nip-and-tuck affair, but the high-profile showdown quickly devolved into a mismatch, with Crawford having his way with the native of Desoto, Texas, practically from the get-go. Omaha, Nebraska’s Crawford dropped Spence three times in the fight and landed what seemed like the majority of his punches.   

Porter, the veteran trainer best known for guiding his son, the former welterweight titlist Shawn Porter, was a keen observer of the fight. After all, the elder Porter was in his son’s corner when the latter took on Crawford in their welterweight title fight in 2021, which Crawford won by 10th-round stoppage. In that fight, Kenny Porter stopped the contest in an otherwise competitive affair in the 10th round after Crawford dropped Shawn twice. Although Shawn appeared more frustrated than hurt by the second knockdown, that was enough for Kenny to throw in the towel. Shawn announced his retirement after that fight. Kenny was heavily criticized for stopping the fight when it seemed his son could have continued.

In a recent interview, the elder Porter suggested that Spence vs. Crawford should have been stopped sooner, given the punishment Spence took.

“I don’t know what the game plan was,” Porter told FightHubTV. “I do have some thoughts on how long the punishment that Bud was handing out, how long that lasted. In my eyes, me personally, that lasted too long. I know without a doubt, I wouldn’t have let that go on that far. It’s not necessary.

“Definitely [the stoppage should have happened] there [in the seventh round], but I’m saying, like, after six rounds into a fight and you haven’t won them, there’s no way you can come back on the scorecards. You can’t come back. You need the knockout to come back. You have a trained eye as a trainer to see your guy is not going to be able to come back from this. He’s down too far on the cards, he doesn't have the pop on the punch, he’s not able to hit this guy with anything substantial to change the direction of this fight so as each round goes on, he’s just taking more and more punishment. I would’ve definitely said that’s enough, son, we’ve had enough. We’re done.”

Spence has the right to invoke a rematch, within 30 days, but Crawford is allowed to choose the weight. Porter said he would rather not see the rematch materialize at all but understood the business appeal of it. Spence prefers the rematch to take place at 154 and Crawford confirmed after the fight that he would be willing to fight at that weight class as well.

"Me, personally, I wouldn’t want to see [the rematch]," Porter said. "If he (Spence) decides to go for that, and they make that fight at 154, I know he’s going to do better and he believes in himself. He’s a warrior. And he believes he can beat Terence. I believe that opportunity should be there for him if everything else is in place in terms of his health. We don’t know—I know from being in those dressing rooms, that after these fights are over, guys will have to be seen by doctors, not just onsite, but they’ll go to the hospital and I’ve seen guys win fights, they’re the victorious guy…and they’re still going to the hospital."

Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing