LAS VEGAS – Shawn Porter, a retired welterweight champion, holds a great deal of respect for his former opponents, Errol Spence Jr. (28-0, 22 KO) and Terence Crawford (39-0, 30 KO).
Both undefeated welterweight champions have defeated Porter during his 13-year professional career. Crawford secured a victory over Porter in the 10th round of their fight in November 2021, while Spence won by split decision in their 12-round title unification bout two years prior.
As Crawford prepares to face Spence in their championship unification match, Porter offered his insights on the fight during their “grand arrivals” at the MGM Grand. According to Porter, Crawford’s key to success lies in preventing Spence from gaining confidence early on in the fight. He believes that if Spence feels successful in his attacks, he will keep pushing forward, which could lead to problems for him. Crawford needs to focus on breaking down Spence and controlling the range and distance to deny him any feeling of success.
“I think for Terence, it has to be about breaking down Errol Spence and not allowing Errol to feel success,” Porter told Premier Boxing Champions’ Ray Flores. “If Errol doesn’t feel success, he’s just gonna keep forcing it and forcing it, and that’s when something bad can happen to him because he’s forcing it.
“But if Errol’s finding success getting to the body, finding success hitting the shoulders, the arms, whatever it has to be, Errol just wants to touch you. And as long as [he] can touch you, [he knows] that eventually something good’s gonna happen. You know, so I think for Terence it’s just a matter of controlling the range and the distance and not allowing Errol to see success moving forward.”
Porter also addressed the question of why Spence seems to get stronger as the fight progresses. He explained that it’s not necessarily that Spence gains physical strength, but rather, he builds momentum as the fight goes on and wears down his opponents. This momentum can become difficult to stop and gives the impression that Spence is getting stronger with each round.
“I’ve had people asking me, ‘How is it that Errol gets stronger as the fight goes on?’ ” said Porter, who did not pick a winner Tuesday. “I said it’s not necessarily that he gets stronger, it’s just the momentum that he builds round after round, along with breaking down his opponents. It looks like he’s getting stronger. He’s really not. It’s just that momentum is building and it just becomes this big ball, an avalanche of snow, and it’s hard to stop that.”
In their previous fight in September 2019, Spence managed to drop Porter with a left hand in the 11th round but ultimately won by unanimous decision. When facing Crawford, Porter was trailing on the scorecards before being knocked down twice in the 10th round, leading to his defeat and subsequent retirement announcement at the age of 34.
As fight fans eagerly await the showdown between Crawford and Spence, Porter’s analysis sheds light on the strategies both fighters may employ to gain the upper hand in this highly anticipated bout.