After weeks of pre-fight hype and plenty of trash talk -- almost solely by Adrien Broner -- Akron, Ohio, native Shawn Porter had to overcome an extremely mobile opponent and clinched at virtually every opportunity.
As frustrating as the Premier Boxing Champions on NBC’s main event was at times, Porter kept his composure and stuck to his gameplan. His patience paid off in the end because he wound up winning a unanimous decision win in what was arguably the biggest fight of his career.
Porter tirelessly chased after Broner and whenever he got even remotely close to his rival, he pounded away at the head and body. Broner, to his credit, blocked most of what Porter launched at him, but Porter’s extreme punch output kept Broner in defense mode for every minute of every round. Broner was able to counter quite a bit with his right hand, but Porter usually negated that with voluminous punches upstairs and down.
Related » Broner vs. Porter Play-by-Play
Broner tried frustrating the former IBF welterweight champion with endless clinching and his tactic backfired in the 11th when referee Tony Weeks deducted a point. Weeks had warned him for various infractions throughout the contest, but when he took the point away so late in the fight, Broner knew he had to dig deep and try to storm back in the final round.
Though Porter (26-1-1, 16 KOs) won rather comfortably on all three official scorecards -- 114-112, 115-111 and 118-108 -- Porter didn’t have a walk in the park. Broner made it extremely difficult to get any punches off cleanly and whenever Porter would start to get some momentum, “The Problem” kept him out of sync when he got close. And when Broner clearly needed a knockout to win in the final round, he crushed “Showtime” with a perfect left hook early in the frame, knocking him onto his back.
Porter beat the count but Broner nailed him with several more thudding shots to the head. Porter was rocked a few more times in the 12th, but Broner ran out of time and had to wait to hear his fate.
The win was vindication for Porter, who closed as a slight betting underdog the night of the fight. Broner talked trash and insulted Porter and his father relentlessly, but it was Porter’s relentlessness that was the difference in the brawl.
“He got me with a good shot and that’s what true champions do,” Porter said after he was announced as the winner. “But true champions also get up from those shots and win. That’s what I did.”
Broner (30-2, 22 KOs), a former three-division world champion, took his loss with grace but he still got off some verbal jabs before he exited the ring.
“I’ll still take Shawn out to dinner, man,” he said. “I’ll take his girl out and everything.”
In the co-feature, welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. rocked late-replacement Phil Lo Greco repeatedly in the third and eventually took him off his feet with a brilliant right hand. Lo Greco beat the count, but he was wobbly and in recovery mode. Spence tore into him with a barrage of punches and when Lo Greco (26-2, 14 KOs) stumbled into the ropes in a defensive shell, Spence was all over him. Finally, after several punches got through the Italian’s guard, referee Robert Byrd stopped it. The official time of the TKO came at 1:50 of the third, allowing Spence to improve to 17-0 with 14 KOs.
Super middleweight prospect Kevin Newman was the better man against Bobby McIntyre as the Las Vegas fighter outpointed him over four rounds. Newman used a good jab and body work to sweep every round on all three official scorecards to improve to 3-0-1 with one KO. McIntyre, from Tacoma, fell to 0-2.
Junior welterweight prospect Sanjarbek Rakhmanov made his pro debut a quick one as he dispatched Cleveland’s Brett Simmons in just 81 seconds. Simmons (2-2-2, one KO) seemed a little timid from the start and once the Uzbekistani nailed him with a double left hook to the guts, Simmons dropped to his knee, where he was counted by Vic Drakulich.
In the evening’s lone swing bout, Cleveland’s Terrell Gausha dominated Luis Grajeda (18-5-2, 14 KOs) over eight rounds, winning a lopsided unanimous decision. Gausha (15-0, nine KOs) floored his foe with a perfect left hand in the third and almost stopped him in that frame, but the native of Chihuahua survived until the end. Gausha was awarded the victory with a scoring advantage of 78-73 and 79-72 (twice).
Lightweight contender Robert Easter Jr. scored a second round knockout of Miguel Mendoza. Easter (14-0, 11 KOs) dropped his opponent in the first and then finished him at the 2:13 of the next frame. Mendoza fell to 21-6-2 with 21 KOs.
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