Shawn Porter isn’t convinced Errol Spence Jr. will defeat Danny Garcia.
The former IBF/WBC welterweight champion can’t commit to picking a winner in that welterweight title fight until he watches Spence in the first few rounds against Garcia on November 21. Like virtually every other boxing observer, Porter simply doesn’t know if Spence will be the same ferocious fighter following his horrific car accident last October 10 in Dallas.
Spence, who topped Porter by split decision last September 28 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, will end a 13-month layoff when he defends his IBF and WBC 147-pound championships against Garcia. Their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event was officially announced Saturday night during FOX’s three-bout broadcast from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
“I need a few rounds,” Porter told FOX’s Brian Kenny during the telecast Saturday night. “I need to know that Errol Spence is the normal and the same Errol Spence that he’s always been. And as soon as I can see that, then I can make a conscious decision on who I think is gonna win the fight. But I think if Errol Spence is any less than he was against me, that’s gonna be a very great fight and a fight that Danny Garcia could very well walk out of the ring as the winner.”
Las Vegas’ Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) will end nearly an 11-month layoff of his own August 22, when he’ll meet Germany’s Sebastian Formella (22-0, 10 KOs) in a FOX main event from Microsoft Theater. Once his fight ends, November 21 will be the date circled on Porter’s calendar.
The Akron, Ohio, native wants a rematch with Spence (26-0, 21 KOs), of DeSoto, Texas. If Philadelphia’s Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) pulls off an upset, however, a rematch with Porter would afford Garcia a chance to avenge his 12-round, unanimous-decision defeat to Porter in September 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Porter, who also works as an analyst for FOX, will be part of the network’s Spence-Garcia broadcast in 3½ months.
“You know what? Errol’s gotta be tough,” Porter said. “He’s gotta be – everything’s gotta be right. Physically, mentally, emotionally, the whole nine. And it’s only gonna take me a few rounds to see Errol Spence be Errol Spence. And from there, I’ll be able to see, you know, who’s gonna be able to win that fight.”
Spence suffered serious dental damage, as well as cuts to his face and body during the aforementioned car crash. Spence, 30, was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated as a result of that accident, in which his Ferrari flipped several times.
The 2012 U.S. Olympian returned to training early this year and insisted on facing a top opponent in his first fight back.
Garcia, 32, was expected to face Spence on January 25, but Spence’s recovery caused Garcia to seek another opponent. The former WBC welterweight champion instead defeated Ukraine’s Ivan Redkach (23-5-1, 18 KOs, 1 NC) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder January 25 at Barclays Center.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.