Shawn Porter said he was coming to New York and take the vacated WBC welterweight title. Danny Garcia also wanted the same thing and left without one piece of the championship in the elite 147- pound division that has now opened the door for Porter.
There was no controversy at the conclusion of an interesting 12-round championship bout Saturday evening at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. It was interesting and the unanimous decision went to Porter. One judge had it 116-112, the other two also for Porter at 115-113. Here at ringside and with others it was scored a draw 114-114.
But in boxing, the most subjective of all sports when it comes to the decision, those final scores sometimes don’t tell the story. This was a pick em type of fight and the win for Porter does open the door for a meeting with Errol Spence Jr. and a unification fight.
Why does this division spark so much interest? That’s easy to understand with Spence, who was at ringside and greeted the new champion in the ring. There is also Terence Crawford, who to many is the top fighter in the division, Keith Thurman on the comeback trail, Manny Pacquiao at the tail end of his Hall of Fame career.
And of course there is Danny Garcia who will remain in the mix of this all. Garcia graciously conceded defeat, though an hour or more after the outcome Garcia said he thought he won the fight and will await his options with the second loss of his career. The other loss was controversial to Keith Thurman in a title unification bout.
So this was that elite fight for boxing in a division that has the top fighters under the PBC banner. Barclays Center was electric, 13,058 fans, and a new lucrative deal with the venue will certainly open the door for Porter to defend the title in Brooklyn.
And that does not mean that Danny Garcia will sit still. This was the fight he accepted after defeating Brandon Rios that got it started when Porter made the challenge after his win in Las Vegas.
“This title means a lot to me,” said Porter. “It meant a lot to boxing and I wanted to be a part of that. He tried to out hustle me, mostly at the end of the rounds , He did a tremendous job.”
But Garcia did not get the knockout. He did not start off quick as he did in the Rios fight and Porter would not let him come to him. In the end Danny Garcia needed the final rounds to make this decisive, and a draw could have been accepted because it came with that saying of “Styles Make Fights.”
In the end Danny Garcia will go home and get some needed rest. This was his second fight of the year and it all makes sense now that Shawn Porter is the new WBC Welterweight champion. But does this make sense to Errol Spence Jr.?
“The same way that you called Danny out, I’m going to call you out,” said Spence in the ring with the new champion. “I think I’m the best welterweight in the division. I’m the truth and I guarantee you I come home as unified champion.”
But as Porter said, there is also Mickey Garcia who could move up in weight and make the division that more interesting. For Porter, or even Spence to take on Crawford, that becomes a task with different promoters and the networks. Porter and Spence are with Showtime and Crawford with Top Rank and ESPN.
Spence, the IBF champion said, “I am not leaving the PBC and Showtime.” So take your pick as to who will get who.
In other words, and after the events in the ring Saturday night, the elite fighters at 147 are not done making a statement, But the door is now open for Shawn Porter who became a two-time champion in the division.
UGAS GETS MANDATORY: Yordenis Ugas (23-3. 11 KO’s) of Cuba and close friend of NY Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman did not throw as hard and look as impressive in the co main event that was televised on Showtime.
Ugas got the unanimous 12-round win over Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo, in a WBC welterweight title eliminator and now become second in line to fight Porter.
Though this was a fight where Ugas out boxed his opponent, it was dull and drew many boos from the crowd. It would not make a meeting with any of the elite in the division as enticing like Garcia and Porter was. Though Ugas was satisfied with his performance there is a lot to be questioned about being ready for an opportunity to fight for the titles.
“ We won today and I think I showed everybody my talent,” said Ugas who improved to 8-0 at 147. “I’m happy with my performance, I’m ready for a championship fight,” he said also calling for the winner of the Garcia-Porter fight.