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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Porter joins Manny sweepstakes

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
13 Mar 2019



WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter has jumped into the bandwagon of likely opponents for WBA titlist Sen. Manny Pacquiao and despite an unconvincing win by split decision over Cuba’s Yordenis Ugas to retain his crown in Carson City, California, last Saturday, the fighter known as “Showtime” is a serious choice in the sweepstakes.

Porter, 31, is known as an aggressive pressure brawler with a high workrate. But against Ugas, he was more of a technician and fought a tactical contest with the Cuban a dangerous counterpuncher. Porter hesitated to engage Ugas and walk into a counterpuncher’s trap. So instead of initiating, Porter waited to counter like Ugas, making for a dull bout. Porter’s usually relentless body attack wasn’t evident.

It’s also possible that Porter wasn’t in tip-top condition and conserved his energy for the long haul. At the weigh-in the day before, Porter initially scaled 148.8 pounds and two hours later in a second attempt to make the limit, checked in at 147.2. Porter’s trainer and father Kenny then snipped the braids on his head and finally, the champion tipped in at 146.8. There had to be some dehydration that set in to sap Porter’s energy for the fight and it showed.

Against Pacquiao, Porter will surely be focused in training. For one thing, they know each other well. Porter sparred with Pacquiao in two camps, one to prepare for Miguel Cotto in 2009 and the other for Sugar Shane Mosley in 2011. Porter realizes that for him to get a chance to beat Pacquiao, he’ll need to report for work ready to leave it all in the ring.

A month before Pacquiao faced Adrien Broner, Porter guaranteed the outcome. “No way Broner wins,” he told The Star. “I’ve fought Broner and I’ve sparred with Manny. I think Manny’s too quick, too strong. In all aspects, Manny’s better than Broner.” As it turned out, Pacquiao trounced Broner to win by a unanimous decision.

Los Angeles sports photographer Jhay Otamias covered the Porter-Ugas fight in the Carson venue and predicted a Pacquiao win if ever they meet. “Si Ugas kulang ang suntok na binitawan,” said Otamias, a Quezon province native who migrated to the US over 10 years ago and is credentialed for every major boxing event. “Close yung laban at pwede ibigay kay Porter at pwede rin kay Ugas. Kung sa akin, mabagal si Porter. Kung makikipagsabayan siya kay Senator, may kalalagyan siya. Takbo-takbo lang si Porter sa pahuling rounds kay Ugas. Mga suntok ni Porter mga ilan lang.”

Judge Steve Morrow scored it 116-112 and judge Max DeLuca 115-113, both for Porter while judge Zachary Young had it 117-111 for Ugas. Young gave Ugas five of the last six rounds. The fight exposed Porter’s vulnerability to facial cuts. He was cut over the left eye by a punch in the 10th round. Porter was cut around both eyes in beating Andre Berto, was cut over the right eye in losing to Kell Brook and cut twice over the right eye in defeating Alfonso Gomez. Scar tissue surrounding both eyes is easily shredded by constant pounding.

In 2015, Porter outpointed Broner but not before going down in the 12th round and surviving a late scare. Porter’s power was reflected in flooring Berto thrice, Erick Bone twice and Paul Malignaggi, Phil LoGreco, Ray Robinson, Jamer Patterson and Cory Jones once. An alternate on the 2008 US Olympic boxing team, Porter compiled a 276-14 amateur record before turning pro weighing a hefty 165 1/2 pounds in 2008. Porter fought as a supermiddleweight and superwelterweight for five years before settling in as a welterweight in 2013.

Porter’s biggest win so far was his unanimous 12-round decision over Danny Garcia to claim the vacant WBC welterweight throne in Brooklyn last September. Boxing News writer Jack Hirsch said Garcia took the early rounds but “Porter adjusted well, moving laterally, jabbing, rushing and banging the body.” Hirsch said Porter was rocked by a left hook in the 10th then rallied in the next round to take firm control with a body attack.

Porter’s record is 30-2-1, with 17 KOs. His only losses were to Keith Thurman by a unanimous decision and to Brook by a majority verdict. The draw was with Julio Diaz and Porter won on points in a return bout.

If the rematch with Floyd Mayweather fails to materialize, Pacquiao has the option to take on Porter or WBA “super” champion Thurman or IBF ruler Errol Spence, Jr. or Garcia----all of whom are in Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions stable. Pacquiao himself has an existing promotional partnership agreement with Haymon.


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