Honestly, what else is there to say after a fight like that? Errol Spence and Shawn Porter absolutely went to war tonight. Both men came into the fight as world champions ranked at the top of the Welterweight division. And both gave it their very all in the ring here. The fight we saw was very much a Shawn Porter style fight. Porter was able to get inside, to make it rough, and to beat up Errol Spence. But Spence was ready for it, and gave it right back to Porter, working the body, landing his own shots inside, and pushing the pace so that Porter couldn’t keep up.
For Spence, it all came together in the 11th round where he dropped Porter. On my cards, I had it even through the 10th, with Spence’s world-class performance in those final championship rounds closing the show for him. Spence has been called the real deal, and he’s been called overrated. I’m hoping this fight shows doubters that he is indeed what he’s hyped to be, though he’ll probably need to take out Terence Crawford to really make that happen, and boxing politics makes that a highly unlikely fight.
But that’s the future. For now, let’s just revel in the glory of boxing’s fight of the year.
And hey, it capped off an overall highly entertaining show that thoroughly delivered. More thoughts on the rest of the card:
- Yes, Shawn Porter got the call on one judge’s card, but don’t get all worked up there. This was in no way an easy fight to judge. The right man won, and I’m just fine with Porter getting one nod.
- Big E brought Shawn Porter to the ring! I feel the power.
- David Benavidez is the champ once again. After being stripped of his Super Middleweight title due to a failed drug test and missing a year of action, Benavidez returned earlier this year and has been very impressive, first with a fast stoppage of J’Leon Love, now by becoming the first man to stop Anthony Dirrell. He was greatly helped tonight by a nasty cut that he managed to open up on Dirrell’s eyelid. That cut forced Dirrell to go for broke, and allowed Benavidez to just carve him up in response. It was another excellent outing from Benavidez and firmly puts him right back in the upper echelon of the 168 lbs. division.
- Mario Barrios vs. Batyr Akhmedov was poised to be the sleeper fight of the night and it delivered. Put two undefeated fighters aching to break into the top 10 against each other and that will happen. Barrios started strong and scored a 4th round knockdown, but Akhmedov came back to control much of the 2nd half. In the final round, Barrios scored a great late knockdown, and that was enough for the judges to give him the somewhat controversial nod. Very good fight.
- 116-111 Barrios eh? Oh boxing.
- I was hoping for an action-packed war from Josesito Lopez vs. John Molina, and that’s not exactly what I got. Instead, this was an exciting, but one-sided contest, with Lopez dominating right from the opening bell. He put Molina down twice in the first, again in the seventh, and finally closed the show in round 8. Between this very impressive win and his near victory over Keith Thurman, Lopez is having a hell of a 2019. Lopez has always been one of the sport’s most entertaining fighters and now, with Robert Garcia in his corner, I’m even more excited to see what comes next.