by Cliff Rold
It wasn’t a classic but every good fight doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes good is good enough.
That’s what we got Saturday night in Shawn Porter’s win over Danny Garcia. It wasn’t always pretty but it was competitive throughout and demanded attention from anyone viewing from the first bell to the last.
It was the sort of fight where swing rounds were plenty. Porter threw a lot, and landed a little bit, more. Garcia showed his uncanny ability to slip home left hook counters but had to endure a nasty body attack that at times was some of the sharpest work Porter has done in recent memory. Round four in particular, where Porter really started to come on, was some of the best work of his career.
In the end, activity and consistency of attack carried the day. Now Porter looks ahead to what could be the toughest night of his career.
Let’s get into it.
The Future for Porter: For Porter, the future may come down to one name: Errol Spence. He said it would be the easiest negotiation ever after the fight. Time will tell on that one. The new WBC champ at welterweight, and the reigning IBF titlist, fight under the same PBC umbrella so want to fight should be enough. Porter’s record really reads now like a who’s who at welterweight over the last five or so years and Spence is well in line with his willingness to take on anyone he can. Spence is bigger, fresher, and more athletic than anyone Porter has faced to date. Porter would be the second best opponent of Spence’s still developing career. Can Porter’s awkward approach and body work undo the aspirations of Spence? We’ll probably find out by the first quarter of 2019.
The Future for Garcia: Garcia felt he did enough to win and that’s fine but he doesn’t have much room to complain about scores. He’s benefited from close calls, sometimes with controversy, and the tight ones won’t always go your way. Garcia is in a tough spot with Porter-Spence likely. Where does he go from here? A Yordenis Ugas, victorious on the undercard, is a high risk/lower reward calculus than he’s been used to. Andre Berto seems to get the call fairly often for in-between action from the PBC and may make sense. Garcia can also hope for a rematch with Keith Thurman sometime after Thurman returns to action as he may be the biggest name available for “One Time.” Garcia is far from low on options but defeat changes what they are.
Superfly 3 was the least of the HBO cards in the division so far but it had it’s moments…Kazuto Ioka looked as good as he has in his career and wears 115 lbs. well. He doesn’t replace Naoya Inoue in the class but he adds back some of the depth Inoue’s exit took away. This is still one of boxing’s deepest divisions…Donnie Nietes probably deserved the win over Aston Palicte but he looked older, slower, and small in the new class. Nietes may be a case of a fighter who waited too long to make a move at a lasting impression on the global stage…Juan Francisco Estrada won going away against Felipe Orucuta but it was his most flat outing since Jobert Alvarez. Was it a hangover from two hard fights in a row or was his eye a little off the ball against a lesser foe? His next fight will tell us more.
Rold Picks 2018: 30-12 (Including SuperFly 3 Picks)
Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]