Shawn Porter wanted to get a rematch with Keith Thurman at some point and one way to do it was to batter former two-time welterweight world champion Andre Berto. Porter did so in convincing fashion in the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing Saturday night as he stopped Berto in the ninth.
Porter was aggressive as always and swarmed the Floridian from the opening bell. The rough style of offense caused several clashes of the fighters’ heads, though, which opened a cut over both of Porter’s eyes in the contest. Still, Porter never stopped coming forward as he fought through blood-soaked vision to drop Berto once in the second and twice in the ninth.
When Berto (31-5, 24 KOs) was rocked by an accidental clash of heads early in what was the final round, Porter unloaded a barrage that sent him to the canvas. Berto got back to his feet but Porter (27-2-1, 17 KOs) threw everything at him until referee Mark Nelson intervened, stopping the action at 1:31 of the ninth.
“I have to clean up those head butts,” Porter said afterward. “We tried to use the whole ring, but sometimes in the heat of the battle stuff happens. I’m a fighter and Mr. Berto is a fighter as well, those head butts were just the two of us going in and fighting.
“I thought I fought smart tonight,” Porter added. “I thought I picked my punches well. There were times where I smothered my shots, but there were also times where I smothered him. He has a dangerous uppercut but we had a great game plan. This was a just very hard fought battle by both of us and I’m blessed to get the victory.”
It was revealed that Porter will likely get a second crack at Thurman later this year.
In the Showtime-televised co-feature, Jermell Charlo retained his WBC super welterweight title with a brutal one-punch knockout of Charles Hatley. Charlo (29-0, 14 KOs) dropped the challenger in the third with a left-right upstairs and then flattened him with a perfect right hook to the jaw in the sixth. Once the punch connected, Hatley (26-2-1, 18 KOs) was out cold. He fell face first onto the canvas by the ropes, prompting referee Harvey Dock to immediately waive it off 36 seconds in and ignite the Barclays Center crowd.
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