DALLAS – Shawn Porter doesn’t expect Errol Spence Jr. to stand and trade with Danny Garcia.
Porter figures that’s the only way Garcia can catch Spence with a well-timed counter punch that could change their welterweight title fight Saturday night. The former IBF and WBC 147-pound champion anticipates Spence taking a more tactical approach against Garcia, who is considered a dangerous opponent in Spence’s first fight since his well-documented car accident in October 2019.
If, however, Spence makes strategic mistakes similar to those he committed when he opposed Porter, that’s when Porter predicted Garcia will have a legitimate chance to pull off an upset.
“Danny, he’s that guy that it looks simple from the outside,” Porter told BoxingScene.com. “I think he’s faster, quicker and stronger than a lot of people recognize, and that’s one thing you don’t see on the film that you watch. So, I think his timing is the most special ability that he has, and that’s something you just really can’t plan for. You can’t plan for when somebody’s gonna let loose. And I think that could be something that Spence’s team could be overlooking.”
Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) dealt well with Garcia’s timing when he defeated Garcia by unanimous decision in a 12-rounder two years ago at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Las Vegas’ Porter won the then-vacant WBC welterweight title by beating Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs), but he lost that title to Spence, who won their 12-round title unification bout by split decision in September 2019 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Garcia’s chin and heart especially impressed Porter when they fought.
“I think that he held up very well to my punches, but I think it’s more than his chin,” Porter explained. “I think it’s his heart and his will, and of course, his experience. You grow up in this sport, you just know how to take punches, you know how to recover, you know how to mask it. And I think that he’s got a great chin, but even beyond his chin, I think he understands the sport and he’s got the heart for the sport.”
Porter, who is also an analyst for FOX, declined to pick a Spence-Garcia winner. He wants to see how Spence performs in the first round before committing to who will win their FOX Sports Pay-Per-View main event at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas ($74.99; 9 p.m. EST; 6 p.m. PST).
When asked about Angel Garcia stating that his son will win by seventh-round knockout, Porter didn’t dismiss the possibility of Garcia stopping Spence (26-0, 21 KOs) in their fight for Spence’s IBF and WBC 147-pound championships.
“If he’s able to beat Errol Spence Jr., I have a feeling it’ll be because he really hurts Errol or even knocks Errol out,” Porter said. “I do think those are the only ways he can win the fight. And I think if he does that, then people are really gonna recognize him for who he claims to be and who he says nobody respects him for being, and that’s a good, hard champion.”
Spence’s chin has served him well throughout his eight-year pro career, but Porter reiterated the importance of Garcia’s timing.
“Anybody can get knocked out,” Porter said. “It’s no secret that it only takes one punch. You saw what happened with Nate Robinson over the weekend. He wasn’t in the ring with anybody special [Jake Paul], but it was one punch that took him out. So, anybody can do it. Honestly, it’s Danny’s biggest attribute, just timing. He has the timing, he has a way of picking up on someone’s rhythm, and that’s the biggest advantage he’s got in the fight.”
Noel Galang – Kamao TV