By Rocky Morales at ringside
IBF welterweight champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (26-0, 21 KOs) defeated WBC titlist “Showtime” Shawn Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) by twelve round split decision firefight in a unification clash on Saturday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
It was a back and forth battle through the first ten rounds with both landing punishing shots and as often to the body as to the head. Many rounds were so close they were difficult to score with Porter pressing the action and Spence seeming to throw more precise punches. A few of Spence’s punched strayed low and he was warned but not penalized.
Finally, in round eleven, the difference-maker was a counter left cross Spence perfectly landed that caused Porter to touch a glove to the canvas. Porter was visibly shaken but quickly rgained his feet and was not in danger of being stopped. It did seem to take all the wind out of Porter’s sails, however, and he didn’t show the same gusto following the knockdown.
Spence seemed to win round twelve to seal the deal in a close fight. Surprisingly, when the decision was announced, it was a split decision with scores all over the place. Judges scored it 116-111 Spence, 115-112 Porter and 116-111 Spence to make Spence the split decision winner.
Following the fight, former WBC welterweight champ Danny Garcia was brought into the ring, faced off with Spence and announced as Spence’s next opponent.