It was a busy boxing weekend, with A grader Amir Khan gloving up in England, and with HBO and Showtime putting on fight fare.
I was present live at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, to see the coin flip contest between Danny Garcia, a Barclays perennial and Shawn Porter, the slight underdog who also has found a home in NY to ply the trade he learned in Ohio. So, Who Won the Weekend? I asked the NYFights crew to weigh in, and give me their votes…
Here we go:
“Shawn Porter, of course, who won a fight he absolutely had to win,” said Tom Penney. “Not only is he finally the WBC champion at 147, he's set up for a big fight against either Keith Thurman or one of the other big boys in his division. More importantly though, Porter showed that his all-effort style can overcome a real technical fighter like Danny Garcia, which has to be a moral victory for Shawn.”
“Pretty easy, and certainly not incorrect, to pick Shawn Porter,” said our David Phillips. “I thought his slow start was going to cost him, but he picked up the pressure, took some serious shots, and relentlessly outworked Danny Garcia (who wasn't bad at all). I picked against Porter, and that brave-hearted young man proved me wrong. He's unorthodox, but unstoppable. All props given. But! Can we throw in a little love for Amanda Serrano, who became the first woman in the history of the sport to win championships in six (!) weight classes? It's a damn shame it wasn't televised, because as Crash Davis said in Bull Durham, “That's a career…in any league.”
Hey now, another vote for Ms. Serrano, age 29, a Puerto Rican born Brooklyn resident. “Amanda Serrano won the weekend! When we talk about major accomplishments in the world of boxing, winning a championship is what comes to mind for most of us,” said Abe Gonzalez. “On Saturday night, Amanda Serrano did what only two other boxers have ever done before (Manny Pacquiao and Oscar De La Hoya), which was to win a title in six different divisions. No disrespect to the other fighters this weekend but this accomplishment stands on it’s own and will be recognized one day when she is giving her induction speech at Canastota!”
“Porter's victory over Garcia was Showtime Shawn in prime form,” is what Kelsey McCarson told me when I asked him Who Won the Weekend. “He did every single thing he needed to do to defeat Garcia and he earned a close decision over a good fighter. The win puts Porter in a great position to lure other top welterweights into a big fight. My favorite option is Porter vs. Errol Spence. That would be a brutal slugfest and I think fight fans would love every single second of it!”
“Amanda Serrano won the weekend,” voted the Scottish sage, Colin Morrison. “By winning the WBO 140 pound title Serrano became the first woman to win world titles in six different weight classes. A fantastic achievement which will hopefully get the recognition it deserves. With Serrano now embarking on a campaign in MMA we may not get to see her in the ring again. If not she has definitely done her part to raise the profile of female boxing in the United States.”
My vote goes to Kenny Porter, father/trainer of Shawn. His game-planning, his comprehension that Shawn needed to not fight a more typical style, and bum-rush a foe, resulted in the win. OK, Garcia’s paucity in punching helped. But that infrequency of launching occurred partially, at least, because Porter wasn’t rushing in, and giving Garcia a reason to throw. Shawn stood his ground, backed off, showed patience. That focus and discipline and sticking with the strategy won the trainer/father the weekend.