Consummate pros Shawn Porter and Andre Berto did the expected and made the welterweight limit Friday at the weigh in for their Saturday scrap at Barclays Center, which will screen on Showtime.
The Ohio hitter (whose handlers came armed with towels, to block his bits as he dropped his drawers, to make 147) and the Floridian, both seeking to re-ascend to previous heights, get back to that title shot territory, gave their best game face stare down as their bodies spoke to assiduous work in training camp. Both men gave off an aura of respectful fire, and left the chatter to 154 hitters Jermell Charlo and Charles Hatley. The two Texans both brought large crews with them to the Brooklyn Marriott, and the two squads barked at each others and milled about as a nervous tension hung in the air, and threatened to spark into something more grave. But tensions stabilized and the fighters saved it for another day…namely, tomorrow, at Barclays Center, in what will be the chief support bout to the welterweight main event.
I chatted with Derrick James, trainer to Charlo, before the weigh in, and asked him if Hatley would be easy work. “No such thing as easy work,” said the man who also tutors Errol Spence, the welterweight young gun readying himself to test Brit Kell Brook. (Showtime will screen that contest, as well.) It is possible that Charlo's hard work in camp, and all the sparring with Spence, pays off and Charlo finds he's able have his way with Hatley and ends it early, he allowed.
After the weigh in, I went to Modell's across from Barclays and taped a podcast episode. We had ex 154 hitter Boyd Melson, who 2, and he told us that he saw Hatley fight Keith Thurman in the amateurs and saw Thurman send Hatley to the mat, hard. Hatley tried to get up, collapsed, tried again, and succeeded…and then knock Thurman down. It was a massive show of heart, and yes, Melson said, the Hatley versus Charlo fight could steal the show at Barclays.
—Derric Rossy attended the weigh in. His fight against Luis Ortiz was cancelled when Ortiz hurt his hand. Rossy said his contract calls for a kill fee of half his purse, so he was there to make sure all knew he upheld his end of the bargain and thus, deserves compensation.
—There was some drama when Amanda Serrano foe Diahana Santana came in over weight. Would a title be on the line, then, or not?
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Live At 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT
WBC Welterweight Eliminator – 12 Rounds
Andre Berto – 146 ½ Pounds
Shawn Porter – 147 Pounds
Referee: Mark Nelson; Judges: Don Ackerman (N.Y.), Pasquale Procopio (Canada), Robin Taylor (N.Y.)
WBC Super Welterweight World Championship – 12 Rounds
Jermell Charlo – 153 ½ Pounds
Charles Hatley – 153 ¼ Pounds
Referee: Harvey Dock; Judges: Larry Hazzard Jr. (N.J.), Frank Lombardi (Conn.), Eric Marlinski (N.Y.)
SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME® Live At 7:30 p.m. ET/PT
Vacant WBO Bantamweight World Championship
Amanda Serrano – 118 ¼ Pounds
Dahiana Santana – 122 ¼ Pounds
Referee: Benjy Esteves; Judges: John McKaie (N.Y.), Tony Paolillo (N.Y.), Waleska Roldan (N.Y.)
Vacant title only at stake for Serrano
Welterweight Bout – 8 Rounds
Jose Miguel Borrego – 141 ¾ Pounds
John Delperdang – 142 ½ Pounds
Referee: Eric Dali; Judges: Anthony Lundy (N.J.), Tony Paolillo (N.Y.), Waleska Roldan (N.Y.)