Porter Wins WBC Belt over Danny Garcia; Looks for Fight with Errol Spence Jr.
Shawn Porter won the WBC welterweight title, taking a 116-112, 115-113, 115-113 decision victory over Danny Garcia in a fun, back and forth fight from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. After the fight, Errol Spence Jr. who holds the IBF welterweight title, stormed the ring and challenged Porter to a fight in the future, a prospect Porter was very open to, calling it “the easiest fight to make in boxing.”
However, with Yordenis Ugas becoming the mandatory challenger to Porter’s title with his win on the undercard and Spence telling Dan Rafael that he would like to fight Mikey Garcia first, then face Porter, that fight might not be so easy to make after all. Although Porter and Spence would both be favorites in those fights, victories would be far from guaranteed, and while Garcia is a big enough name that a Porter-Mikey Garcia fight would still sell, a Yordenis Ugas-Errol Spence Jr. fight likely wouldn’t. Still, those are issues for another day, and Porter should take some time to celebrate his championship victory before worrying about the future.
Khan Wins Decision Despite Getting Dropped
What can you say about Amir Khan? The 31 year-old Brit whose hands are lightning fast, but whose chin is made of porcelain, showed that both of those characteristics remain intact as he outboxed Samuel Vargas for huge portions of their fight, but was hurt and dropped in the second round by a guy not known for having punching power. Yes, despite enlisting the help of legendary trainer Joe Goossen, Khan’s strengths and obvious weakness remained the same, but ultimately Vargas was simply not good enough to keep up with Khan, losing a unanimous decision by scores of 119-108, 119-109, and 118-110.
Although Kell Brook, who was seated ringside for the bout and once beat Shawn Porter, has been lobbying to be Khan’s next opponent, Khan expressed a desire to face the suddenly resurgent Manny Pacquiao instead. This, despite the fact that Khan and Brook are both represented by Eddie Hearn, who would like to see the two face off in England for Khan’s next fight. The Pacquiao idea is an interesting one. Although Pacquiao is coming off a stoppage win, his power is considered a thing of the past. While Pacquiao would have starched Khan in his prime, at this point he may be far enough removed from his prime to make that fight a whole lot of fun, for as long as it lasts.
Amanda Serrano Becomes First-Ever Six Division Female Champion
Although it was not on the televised portion of the Showtime card, those who watched the network’s live stream got to see Amanda Serrano become the first ever female six-division world titlist when she won a unanimous 99-91, 99-91, 99-91 decision over Yamila Esther Reynoso. Serrano briefly flirted with a career in MMA, motivated in large part to the lack of money in female boxing, a problem which is quickly becoming one of the sport’s most pressing issues. She fought just once, a draw in a “Combate America” event, so it is nice to see her return to boxing going so smoothly in the ring, if not in the bank account.
Tim Tszyu Scores Impressive First Round Knockout as ESPN+ Headliner
Kostya Tszyu’s son Tim got to be the main event of an ESPN+ card on Friday night, and more than took advantage of the opportunity, knocking out Marcos Cornejo in the first round. Cornejo was a hard-hitting Argentinean who had knocked out 18 of his 23 opponents but had been stopped twice before. Tszyu landed an overhand right followed by a flurry of punches to make that No. 3, forcing the referee to stop the fight despite Cornejo never touching the canvas. With the win, Tsyzu moved to 11-0 with 9 knockouts.
Ugas Beats Barrionuevo by Dull Decision to Become Porter’s Mandatory
Cuban Yordenis Ugas won a dominant but boring 12-round, unanimous 120-108, 120-108, 119-109 decision over Argentina’s Cesar Barrionuevo. Ugas was far better than Barrionuevo, and though he seemed to hurt his outmatched opponent a few times, particularly with punches to the body, he was never able to come especially close to stopping the man from Argentina. With the win, Ugas becomes the mandatory challenger to the WBC welterweight title that Shawn Porter won on the same Showtime card.
Ioka Returns from 17-Month Retirement to Decision McWilliams Arroyo
Despite having been out of the ring for seventeen months following his retirement, and despite having never fought at superflyweight before, Japan’s Kazuto Ioka showed no signs of ring rust during his exciting ten round, unanimous 97-92, 97-92, 99-90 decision victory over Puerto Rico’s McWilliams Arroyo.
Despite being known primarily as a counterpuncher, Ioka knocked Arroyo down in the third round, and maintained that level of aggression throughout the fight. This was Ioka’s first fight outside of Japan and came about after he watched “Superfly 2” as a fan and was convinced he could beat any of the fighters on that card. While we don’t know if that is true, we know that Arroyo was on that card, and it ends up Ioka was right about that one.
Nietes and Palicte Fight to Controversial Draw
Donnie Nietes was seemingly in control of his fight against much larger Thai countrymen Aston Palicte, but his decision to cruise and take rounds off came back to haunt him as the judges saw the fight as a draw, with judges scoring the fight 118-110 for Nietes, 116-112 for Palicte and 114-114. Fans, media and especially HBO’s Max Kellerman, who stated that Nietes was in command throughout the contest, immediately cried “robbery.” Whether he won the fight or not, Nietes did not look great against such a larger opponent, and at age 36 is well past the point when guys this small start to falter. This is surely as heavy a weight class as he can compete at, and it is doubtful he could defeat any of the top guys at this point in his career.
Estrada Beats but Can’t Stop Orucuta
Juan Fransisco Estrada really wanted to knock Felipe Orucuta out, convinced that with a hugely impressive victory he could entice Sor Rungvisai into a rematch of their fight Estrada lost back in February. And though he came out swinging with looping haymakers in the first three rounds, and landed a series of flush shots in the final round, his opponent was simply too tough to be stopped. So, although Estrada won a 118-110, 117-111, 117-111 unanimous decision and looked good doing it, he probably did not do enough to get that rematch.
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