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Who Wins and How? The NYF Squad and Extended Fam Weigh In On Spence-Porter



Boxing can be a cruel mistress, when she judges you.

What have ya done for me lately is a harsh query for the person who didn’t look so stellar their last go…even if their resume is rock solid. Sorry Shawn Porter, people weren’t overly impressed with how you handled Yordenis Ugas in March, and that is one reason 20 of 21 respondents on a RING Who Will Win and How story pick Errol Spence to have his hand raised Saturday night, in the PBC main event, which unspools on PPV from Staples Center in Cali.

And Spence, he made people who picked Mikey Garcia to beat the Texan by upset look like they DKSAB. These are reasons why there isn’t as much buzz as maybe you’d expect around this one, arguably, being that Spence is top 5 pound for pound, and Porter is nothing less than a zealous rumbler whose will to win makes him a danger to snag the upset…and this is a known factor for the Spence team. They aren’t looking past scrumming Shawn…

What about the NYF Squad, and our extended fam?

I asked these fight game sages who would win and why, and here are their entries.

Errol Spence Jr wins by a progressive, premeditated manslaughter in the 5th round. He’s out to send a statement to ‘the other side of the street’ by putting Shawn Porter under his bus with an air of vindictiveness,” said John Gatling. “He’s not only feeling a little insulted by the tone of Porter and the psychological gamesmanship of Kenny Porter, but I think this is the most important fight of his career. He wants to show a man who has fought Danny “Swift” Garcia and Keith “One-Time” Thurman that he’s “The Truth”, with the thought of gobbling “Pac-Man” and smoking “Bud”. Spence is too big, too smart and too powerful. It’s a nasty dogfight while it lasts, but Spence mugs Porter in 5 rounds.

“The most likely outcome of Spence vs Porter is Spence by unanimous decision,” said Kelsey McCarson. “He’s an excellent boxer from the outside but also an underrated ruffian in close. Porter’s best chance will be to give Spence a heavy dose of swarming augmented by carefully planned escapes and pivots to shorten the rounds. He’d have to fight a perfect fight, something he almost did when he defeated Danny Garcia last year, but even then the fight would probably be really close. I like Spence by pretty wide scorecards in fight that establishes Spence as the only fighter in the world Terence Crawford needs fight to establish divisional supremacy.”

“It’s a better fight than what people give it credit for and Shawn Porter is a top draw fighter still,” said Chris Glover. “I think Errol Spence Jr is special however and I believe his size, range and impeccable will be the key factors in this fight.  I’m going with Spence Jr via decision.”

Who wins and how, Gabe Oppenheim? “Spence wins because he’s stronger, faster, fresher — and technically superior. Porter telegraphs his shots. He feints with his feet and shoulders, but if you watch closely, you can tell that these movements aren’t those that precede a real punch. No way Spence falls for those feints — especially since I imagine he’ll study them for a round or two while hitting Shawn exclusively to the body to soften him up.

Porter leans into his shots, falls in, head-first often. I worry about him butting Spence (unintentionally), but if Spence is smart (and he is), he’ll know to take that half step back and land a counter/catch-and-shoot/check hook.

Porter has (literal) scar tissue from his last bout — the thin, controversial win over Ugas. A counter will rip that right open. And yet, despite all this, I don’t have the conviction to say Spence will win via late-round KO (I so badly want to, and what follows is pure cowardice): Spence wins a UD.”

And what is Jeremy Herriges‘ take? “I give the edge to Errol Spence Jr. This fight has the nature of two conflicting styles colliding. Spence is the boxer and Porter is the rugged brawler. Porter is a better boxer than he gets credit for, but Spence appears to be the more skillful of the two. Spence’s southpaw stance will further complicate matters for Porter. Porter will try to get inside of Spence’s reach, but he’s going to struggle in the early rounds. Porter has the ability and heart to push Spence to new heights, but Spence should box his way to a unanimous decision victory. I see him winning eight rounds to Porter’s four.”

And your take, Dr. Johnny Lops? “Spence by decision. Jab is too good and I think will frustrate Porter; best bet is if Porters’ awkward rhythm gives Spence problems.”  

What does Emily Pandelakis think? “I think Spence outboxes Porter over 12 rounds. I don’t think it will be particularly competitive.

Who wins and how, Alden Chodash? “While I look forward to the match-up quite a bit, unfortunately there is no possible scenario I see for Porter to pull the upset. However, I do think “Showtime” Shawn has the stuff to exploit some of Spence’s often overlooked weaknesses, particularly his less than world class hand and foot speed.

Porter might not have the poise, IQ, and finesse of Errol Spence, but he is highly effective at closing the distance quickly and regularly. His quickness will be something Spence has to adjust to, as I don’t believe even Kell Brook compares to Porter’s rapid fire agility.

The thing about an elite operator like Spence though is that they can adjust to just about anything with their tremendous will and intelligence. Make no mistake, Spence will be uncomfortable at points, but I believe he will ultimately find a way to break down, measure, and ultimately time Porter into some serious firepower that will inevitably lead to his demise. I see Spence winning via late stoppage.

“Very interesting fight,” said Tommy Rainone. “I of course lean towards Spence but no fighter has ever dominated Porter and he is a very tough out. He is heading into the twilight of his career as Spence heads into his prime and timing wise that means Porter has something to prove. I expect an action packed fight which forces Spence to dig some and earn it but ultimately after some interesting moments he does just that.”

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.