BRONER AND PORTER SET TO FACE OFF IN VEGAS
By TOM WATT on June 17 2015
With the Golden State Warriors defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in game 6 of the NBA finals today, focus for the Buckeye state will now move on to the ‘Battle for Ohio’ between Cincinnati’s Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner and Akron’s ‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter this weekend in Vegas. Many have questioned the motivation behind putting 2 stars from the same state against each other in a main event thousands of miles from their home-town supporters but regardless of the location, this fight is for bragging rights in Ohio and will see the winner’s career truly back on track.
Both Broner and Porter have suffered setbacks in their career and are looking to finally extinguish the memories of those losses. Broner lost to Marcos Maidana at the end of 2013 and has since bounced back with 3 straight wins over Carlos Molina, Emmanuel Taylor and John Molina Jr but Porter will be his first fight against an elite-level fighter and many will be looking for Broner to show he has improved his game from that one loss on his record. Porter’s only defeat came at the hands of Britain’s Kell Brook in August last year and he has had only one fight since, against Erick Bone, so this will be Porter’s re-entry to the elite fights as well.
Much of the fight-week talk has centred around the catch-weight of 144lbs and the rehydration clause that states fighters cannot go more than 10lbs over (154lbs) on fight night, Porter is understandably not happy with the clause or the catch-weight and said “We are doing we need to do as professionals to be on weight, be on point, be 100% and the ‘kid’ who chose to make the contracted weight 144 wishes not to talk about the contracted weight, wishes not to talk about any rehydration clause, wants to avoid any conversation involving weight limits or anything like that” – it seems Broner’s refusal to discuss his (or his advisor’s) demands is under the skin of team porter and they should be worried. Porter is a naturally bigger fighter, he has campaigned his professional career at 147lbs and has always come into the ring around 160lbs on fight night, he will have to do things differently come Saturday night and will also have to avoid draining himself too much to make 144 or bloating too much to go over 154.
Broner on the other hand is a naturally smaller fighter, a World Champion at Super-Featherweight, Lightweight and Welterweight and should have no problems with making weight or the rehydration limit. This will no doubt be a huge advantage for him, particularly if Porter struggles with the weight. We saw with Daniel Geale in his fight with Cotto that draining and then rehydrating can have calamitous effects on your body and in that condition, Geale stood no chance against a fresh Miguel Cotto. I’m expecting Porter to be less affected by the 3lbs than Geale due to him being a smaller and younger man but it would be foolish to expect it not to have any effect.
When it comes to the fight itself I would expect Porter to try and put pressure on Broner from the first bell, similar to the way Maidana did and attempt to put him on the back foot. Porter has looked very tense in his last couple of fights, particularly against Brook and he will need to remedy that against Broner’s slick defence. For his part ‘The Problem’ will be aware that he cannot sit back and let Porter smother him, Broner actually possesses tremendous accuracy and hand-speed when he does go on the offensive and I would love to see him fight fire with fire on Saturday night although I wouldn’t put any money on seeing Broner consistently coming forward, instead I expect him to pot-shot Porter as he closes down the space and to tie up when they are close.
Broner is the definite favourite, he has moved to Vegas to train for this fight and has had his ‘big bro’ Floyd Mayweather watching in camp as he prepares to headline at the MGM. Broner sees himself as the heir apparent to Mayweather’s crown atop the Sport and knows he will have to put on an impressive display over Porter if that dream is to be realised. Even a win this Saturday won’t be enough for many fans out there who will question his legitimacy at Welterweight until he faces off with the likes of Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or Kell Brook.
A win for Porter will see him jettison back to the top of the sport and give him a chance to position himself to fight for another World Title in the near future, a fight with Floyd Mayweather seems unlikely and after the way he was beaten comfortably by Brook, I see no point in him chasing the Mayweather fight at this stage. I’d like to see Porter fight Provodnikov or Bradley next, if Bradley beats Jesse Vargas then this becomes a real possibility.
As well as the main event, the PBC card also features the highly-rated Errol Spence Jr, now 16-0 with 13 KOs, Spence is tipped by many in the sport to be one of the future PPV stars and a good performance against the experienced Roberto Garcia will go a long way to backing up that claim. This is one the best support fights we have seen on a PBC card so be sure to tune in early!
(Above) Unbeaten porspect Errol Spence Jr (16-0-0, 13 KOs) features against Roberto Garcia on the Undercard
1. FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR.
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