Shawn Porter didn't live up to his nickname, Showtime. What mattered to Porter, though, was that he earned another title shot at Keith Thurman.
Porter stopped Andre Berto in the ninth round of a sloppy, often inartistic WBC welterweight elimination bout Saturday night at Barclays Center. Porter was in control for much of the bout, which resembled a street brawl more than a prize fight. There was some wrestling, lots of clutching, even a near chop-block, and lots of blood, mainly from head butts.
He'll need to for a rematch with Thurman, who outpointed Porter at this arena last June.
In the end of this one, it was Berto's inability to get off the ropes against the relentless Porter, who figures to get that title shot before year's end.
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Porter, 29, of Las Vegas, had lost two of his last four fights, including last June at this arena to Keith Thurman. The former champion was well ahead when the fight was stopped at 1:31 in the ninth as Berto stumbled around. Porter outlanded Berto 60-12 in last two rounds.
Overall, 51 of Porter's 138 landed power shots were to the body. Porter is 27-2-1 with 17 knockouts. Berto is now 31-5.
Referee Mark Nelson often stopped the fight to have doctors look at each boxer's eyes. Porter, 147 pounds, was cut first and bled profusely near his left eye in the second round. But it also was one of his best rounds, and he knocked down Berto (146 1-2 pounds) with a left-right combination — his sharpest of a mostly clumsy showing.
Porter began bleeding in the areas of both eyes in the fourth round, but Berto also was cut in that round. Soon after began the short delays as ring doctors periodically examined each fighter.
Had Porter backed off and then thrown some straight rights when he consistently had Berto against the ropes, he might have settled matters earlier before a crowd of 9,118 in the Showtime telecast. Instead, as he is wont to do, Porter fought from close in, negating his power.
But Berto, 33, of Winter Haven, Florida, had little left after a strong seventh round in which he kept Porter off-balance.
It was rough, and Porter did handle Berto. Thurman should be up next.