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.
“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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