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Errol Spence Jr Favourite for Welterweight Unification Bout with Shawn Porter


Errol Spence Jr puts the IBF welterweight championship and his 25-match unbeaten streak in pro boxing on the line against fellow American fighter Shawn Porter in a unification bout with the WBC belt also up for grabs on the night of September 28 in the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The Truth makes the fourth defence of his title against the one-time holder of the IBF strap after winning the gold from Kell Brook at Bramall Lane football stadium in Sheffield back in May 2017. Spence Jr recorded an 11th round knockout victory over the British boxer who previously dethroned Porter.

Bookmakers use the American pair’s respective battles with Brook as a key form line for their upcoming fight. Based on that, Errol Spencer Jr v Shawn Porter betting odds at Paddy Power have the former as a hot 1/8 favourite.

Since beating Brook in England, Spence Jr has made three successful defences of his IBF crown. After stopping compatriot Lamont Peterson after six rounds, a swift knockout of Carlos Ocampo – handing the Mexican a maiden loss in the paid ranks – followed.

Spence Jr had a very different fight when last in the ring earlier this year. His bout with Mikey Garcia that snapped the 39-match winning streak of his opponent went the distance, but he was ahead on each of the judges’ scorecards.

Given he has handed two unbeaten rivals their first defeats in pro boxing, you have to say Spence Jr is a worthy of being a strong favourite here. He has knocked the majority of his rivals out (21), but as the Garcia battle proved he has the stamina to go a full 12 rounds.

Porter suffered his first career loss to Brook when their 2014 fight, which also took place in the greater LA area of California, went to the judges. The majority decision on the scorecards was in favour of the Briton.

That leaves Porter as a 9/2 betting underdog for his bout with Spence Jr, although he has since rebuilt his career following another damaging loss on points to Keith Thurman in 2016 with the WBA welterweight title on the line.

With a more chequered pro boxing record of 30-1-2, Ohio native Porter toppled compatriot Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC championship in his penultimate fight last September. That went the distance, but the judges awarded him a unanimous victory.

Porter has since defended his belt against Yordenis Ugas of Cuba with a split decision win. All leading major boxing rankings, including The Ring, have him behind Spence Jr in the welterweight class.

There has been quite some strength-in-depth among Americans in this particular category. The pecking order has been established, but this unification match adds extra spice to a division which also has Filipino boxing legend, Manny Pacquiao, competing in it.

He won the WBA (Super) welterweight title from Thurman in July taking his record to 62 wins from 71 pro fights. Given Pacquiao’s split decision win over that rival, it only highlights Porter’s prior loss and strengthens the hand of Spence Jr in their encounter.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com