By Jason Pribila: NEW YORK – Since Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia agreed to meet for the vacant WBC welterweight title, many boxing experts and fans have been split when it came to picking a winner. Those who liked Porter cited his aggression and pressure fighting. Garcia supporters felt his ability to counter punch would carry him for the title. After 12 hotly contested rounds, the three ringside judges unanimously decided that Porter’s activity earned him the title.
When the official scores were announced judges Julie Lederman and Eric Marlinski handed in scores of (115-113); while Don Ackerman chose Porter by a tad too wide score of (116-112).
Porter threw 270 more punches than Garcia (742 – 472), but he only landed 12 more punches (180-168) than his foe from Philadelphia.
Porter’s style is not always easy on a viewer’s eyes. He often smothers his own punches while attempting to pressure his opponents, which often leads to more grappling than clean punching. On Saturday night, when he failed to lead with his jab, Garcia was able to land counter punches often in the form of left hooks to Porter’s head. However, when Porter used the jab, he would be able to get off combinations that would effectively cause Garcia’s offense to freeze.
Garcia seemed to take an early lead winning the first and third rounds. Porter finally seemed to get himself into the fight in the fourth round. He was able to pound away at Garcia’s body with his free right hand, which he was also able to land upstairs.
Through six rounds the bout seemed to be even. Porter won rounds seven and eight on my card, but allowed Garcia to again even up rounds at 5 apiece thru ten.
Porter clearly won the 11th round, while Garcia seemed to earn a Draw by winning the final round on my car.
Unfortunately for Garcia, the judges did not agree with my analysis, and gave the nod to Porter.
This was a close fight, but it seemed that the rounds that Porter won were clear, while some of the rounds that I favored Garcia clearly went the other way.
The decision was clearly fair, and if any fans weren’t happy with the result, their moods would be soon improved as Errol Spence Jr. entered the ring to make it clear that he would like to unify titles with Porter. Both fighters agreed that this would be an easy fight to make in 2019.
Garcia (34-2, 20 KO) suffered his second career decision loss at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He was definitely disappointed, but he remained classy in defeat.
“I thought I landed the cleaner shots. I thought I won this fight. I have to sit back, relax and see what’s next for me.”
Fortunately for Garcia, he plies his trade in a deep division and for a company that still finds TV dates for guys like Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, and Victor Ortiz. Garcia is competitive with just about anyone in the division, and if he strings together a few wins, he’ll be destined for another title shot if he chooses to pursue one.
The likeable Porter was also gracious when he spoke after the fight. The 30-year old fighting out of Las Vegas won his second title at 147 lbs. while improving to (29-2-1, 17 KO).
“I knew he was gonna be accurate,” Porter said of Garcia. “The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show we could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes. He tried to out-hustle me, mostly at the end of the rounds. He did a tremendous job.”
There are plenty of interesting fights to be made in what continues to be the sports glamour division. Hopefully with PBC’s new deal with Fox Sports, we’ll get to see their fighters compete more than once per year.