Shawn Porter says he doesn't often make predictions. Maybe he should. Leading up to Saturday night's WBC welterweight championship fight against Danny Garcia, Porter vowed to win the title.
He lived up to his word by unanimously outpointing Garcia. Porter (29-2-1) received winning scores of 116-112 from judge Don Ackerman, and Julie Lederman and Eric Marlinski had it 115-113.
Porter held the IBF welterweight title from December 2013 to August 2014. Garcia dropped to 34-2.
Prior to Thursday afternoon's final press conference, Porter said he planned on using his movement to open up Garcia, while acknowledging he had to be wary of being caught in clinches or backed along the ropes.
He proved prescient, as almost from the outset, Garcia's plan of attack was to neutralize Porter's movement with clinches. Much of the first six rounds saw the two essentially engaged in a wrestling match.
It took until seventh for the fight to develop flow. The round began with referee Steve Willis calling for a timeout after Porter and Garcia bumped heads 29 seconds in, and the two exchanged heavy shots for the remaining 2:31.
Porter, the aggressor, had Garcia, the counterpuncher, forced into an aggressive fight. It stayed that way for the remainder, although Garcia began to re-implement clinches in the 10th round as a way to slow Porter.
It nearly worked. Garcia landed a higher percentage of punches (36 to 24) and a higher percentage of power punches (46 to 25), but Porter threw more punches (742-472) and more power punches (544-304). As a result, Porter now has the title that had been vacated by Keith Thurman.