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Errol Spence unifies welterweight titles against Shawn Porter in a thriller

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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IBF welterweight champion Errol ‘The Truth’ Spence 26-0 (21) added the WBC belt to his collection with a hard-fought split decision victory over ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter 30-3-1 (17) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on Saturday night.

In a contest that will surely be in contention for Fight of Year, the 147-pound duo combined to throw almost 1,500 punches in their 12-round bout.

A knockdown during the 11th frame gave Spence the ascendency to win the fight by scores of 116-111 twice and a tally of 115-112 for Porter.

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“Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter,” Spence said after the fight. “I didn’t get off what I wanted to. He’s a true champion. He made it tough.”

After a close couple of opening rounds Porter found his range in the third and continued to pile on the pressure in the fourth. The relentless pace continued through the mid-rounds before Spence took over in the back half of the fight to eke out a close decision.

Southpaw Spence, 29, broke open the fight in the 11th round when he landed short left cross to the chin of the 31-year-old Porter, sending him to the canvas.

The crowd of 16,702 people at the Staples Center cheered enthusiastically throughout the contest.

“I’ve said this before, I’ve had a lot of experience in the boxing ring,” Porter said afterwards. “Did you enjoy that fight?”

“All my punches have bad intentions,” Spence said. “Boxing Mikey Garcia, I wanted to show people I could do it with that style.

“Porter was throwing a lot. I wanted to show I was the bigger and stronger welterweight.”

Porter was gracious in defeat.

“He’s a strong kid. We both came in to do the job,” he said. “I think I had a little more than what he expected, but he handled it. Congratulations to him and his team. We’re proud of what we did.”

Former two-weight WBC champion Danny Garcia, who worked commentary on the broadcast, could be next for Spence.

“Line ’em up, I’m gonna knock them down,” Spence said when asked about a potential fight with Garcia.

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