This Saturday night, boxing fans will get what they have been long desiring, and that's a welterweight clash between a Top Rank fighter and someone from the PBC. WBO Welterweight Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford (37-0) will be facing “Showtime” Shawn Porter (31-3-1) on ESPN+ PPV live from the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Although everyone would have preferred Crawford facing Spence Jr. on Saturday night, this is a close second to that as Porter gave Errol all that he could handle back in 2019. Will this be a fight that forces those other champions in the division to fight Crawford? Will Shawn Porter take the WBO title back to the PBC and set up a unification rematch with Spence Jr.?
I put together an all-star panel consisting of boxing sharps, some true online gambling experts, and journalists along with some special guests for this one.
Michael Woods (Publisher, NyFights): Crawford UD
Both men have slipped—aging and wear and tear. The wear and tear on Porter means Crawford has more left; his explosivity is still present.
It’s his legs which will win him the fight, though.
Anyone seeing a Crawford stoppage? Should I roll the dice and theorize that Bud will take out the frustration he's felt at not being able to play in the sandbox with Al's guys? I'm tempted to, but not that much. Crawford UD12, 8-3-1 in rounds.
It's a big matchup that the whole boxing world is excited to see. Seeing how Terence Crawford gets down, I have to go with him by decision. The wittiness and grit from Terence Crawford will be what gets him that W!
John Gatling (NyFights): Crawford by KO in Round 10
I like Bud to smoke Porter in about 10 rounds. It won't be easy and he'll cough a few times, but he'll get it done. Just too much talent coming from Crawford to overcome by Porter. It'll be a war worthy of fight of the year consideration, as this fight sets up the superfight: Crawford vs Spence.
Vladimir Lik (Boxing Journalist): Crawford by Late Round Stoppage
Terence Crawford finally lands a top PBC welterweight and will make the most of it.
Clearly, Shawn Porter has the best tee resume, and it's not even close. Porter has been in wars with Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Yordenis Ugas, and pre-accident Errol Spence. However, other than the unanimous decision victory over Garcia, he dropped a decision to Thurman, eked out a split decision over Ugas, which most observers believe he lost and dropped a close decision to Spence, which included a knockdown late in the fight, which sealed the victory for Spence.
Crawford, meanwhile, has been the consensus # 1, # 2, or # 3 fighter in the sport year after year. Crawford also carries a mean streak with him, which has served him well when either an opponent or the situation requires him to unleash us.
Porter will bring the heat, and that will provide for dramatic moments in the fight, but the memory that sticks out for me is when Broner dropped him late in a fight which Porter dominated, and of course, the left hook by Spence, which dropped Porter, and his eyes rollers back.
I believe Crawford would be very happy with a unanimous decision victory in a fight of this magnitude, but knowing full well that Porter will stand in the kitchen and trade with Crawford, I am predicting a late stoppage victory for Bud.
Ray Diggs (Boxing Sharp): Crawford by TKO in Round 8
Crawford TKO Rd 8. I believe we'll see Porter's aggressive approach find success early. Crawford's timing will be off due to a change in his typical pace and ring rust. Once Porter starts to slow midway through the fight, Crawford's sharp counterpunching will begin to wear Porter down. At some point, Crawford will land something big. That shot will put Porter down. He'll return to his feet but eventually get stopped. Look out for Porter's overhand right. He'll land it. Curious to see how Crawford responds. Porter isn't a big puncher, but it could play a role in the fight.
David Phillips (Awards Daily.com/NyFights): Crawford TKO in Round 8
Let's get one thing straight, Shawn Porter is an excellent fighter. He competes, is strong, hits hard enough, moves well enough, and is afraid of no one. He's just not quite great. He's like the boxing version of the film “Almost Famous.” So close, but yet…not quite.
The trouble is, the guy he's fighting is not solid. He's great—pound-for-pound great. Terence Crawford is a lot more than solid. In terms of common opponents, Kell Brook beat Porter, and Crawford crushed Brook. Now, all of us boxing fans know that you can – to a degree – take that commonality with, if not a grain of salt, perhaps a handful of chaff. Styles make fights, they say, and Porter could do better against Crawford than Brook did. In fact, if you're a betting man, I suggest you take those odds. Porter is awkward enough and good enough to make it past the fourth round that Brook got annihilated in by Crawford. The trouble is that Porter, for all his gifts, just isn't enough to make this fight anything more than interesting for a few rounds.
Don't get me wrong; this is a quality matchup between quality fighters. But the gulf between Crawford's quality and Porter's quality is equal to the space of that unfinished bridge that Keanu Reeves' bus left in “Speed.” But this ain't no movie. This is a fight. A real fight.
And while I think a year's worth of Crawford's ring rust might extend the length of the fight, I suspect that Porter, despite what will truly be his best effort (the man never gives anything less than), Crawford will take Porter down in 8. Should that happen, it says nothing bad of Porter but everything of Crawford. A man whose inactivity over the last year has made him, if not a forgotten man, a bypassed one. I think Crawford (who can be a nasty piece of business in the ring) won't want to waste this opportunity to get into the conversation of “who's the best in the fight game.” That does not bode well for Porter.
Gayle Falkenthal (Commdigines.com/NyFights): Crawford by Decision
Expect a slow start to this bout. Terence Crawford has been out of the ring a year, Shawn Porter out for 15 months. Crawford's last fight was a four-round blowout of Kell Brook. Porter fought a 12 round snoozer vs Sebastian Formella. But it's Porter who has the stronger resume. His loss to Errol Sprence Jr. was razor-thin – I had Porter winning on my ringside scorecard. Once both men heat up, expect Porter to try and make things ugly. He's got one big forward gear, and most of the time, he makes it work for him. Porter will force Crawford to work hard if he wants to win.
Crawford is boxing's Felix the Cat with his bag of tricks. Box or bang. Orthodox or southpaw. Speed or stealth. Where Crawford has the edge is the kind of mean streak champions use to close the show. When it's time to put a hurt on someone, this Bud's for you. Porter has been dropped twice but never stopped. I'm not sure Crawford can accomplish this, but he should get the win on the cards after 12 rounds. It could be a fight close and entertaining enough down the stretch so we will all want to see it again.
Jacob Rodriguez (NyFights): Crawford by KO (10-12)
Terence Crawford will beat Shawn Porter this Saturday Night. No in-depth analysis is needed. That being said, Porter will not make things so simple for Crawford. There is a reason why he is “Showtime” Shawn Porter. You better believe Porter is coming to fight and will apply the same unrelenting pressure style of fighting that makes hell for every opponent he faces. However, it will be to no avail. Terence Crawford is a skilled champion whose boxing IQ and ring generalship are unlike anything Shawn Porter has ever seen. It will take “Bud” a few rounds to knock off the ring rust and get adjusted to Porter's incessant pressure. But, as he did against Kavaliauskas, Crawford will make the necessary adjustments and position himself to ward off Porter's attack.
Shawn Porter has bruised his way to becoming a two-time world champion against Devon Alexander and Danny Garcia. That will not be the case when he faces Crawford Saturday night. Not only does Terence Crawford win this fight, but I believe he will be the first to knock out Shawn Porter. Yes, I said it!
Terence Crawford knocks out Shawn Porter in the championship rounds, retains the WBO welterweight title, and adds to the notion of why he is considered the “Boogieman” in the welterweight division.
Matt Andrzejewski (NyFights): Porter under Twelve
Crawford is the heavy favorite in this fight. I get it. He has the speed edge and has been showing some electrifying power in recent contests. But here is something to think about. Crawford started his career as a lightweight. Porter began his career teetering between middleweight and the 154-pound division. It wasn't until his 16th pro fight that he dropped down to welterweight. Porter is huge for the division, and his strength at welterweight cannot be understated. I think we see a close competitive fight thru about six rounds, and then Porter's physicality starts to take over. I like the underdog here and for him to get the job done inside the distance.
Johnny Wilds (Boxing Sharp): Crawford
Jeff Sherman, VP of Risk Management at the SuperBook Las Vegas, has the fight at Crawford -800 and Porter +550. He set the rounds prop at 10.5 over -250 and under +210. “It has been crickets thus far with only five tickets written, all small on Porter,” said Sherman.
The odds are very high on Crawford, and I don't see enough value to take a shot with Porter. I think Crawford will win the fight and look to find a price on Crawford by KO.
Panel Results: 9-1 for Terence Crawford.
My Three Cents:
This is an exciting fight as both men are a little long in the tooth. I can see Terence Crawford coming out as a southpaw from the start since it seemed to trouble Porter in spots against Spence Jr. Shawn will be rushing in and forcing the action all night long, which will make this fight hard to score. In the end, I think we see Terence Crawford victorious by a very narrow decision.
I love this fight for both men! Terence Crawford has the opportunity to earn a victory against a top-level welterweight who has been in with the best. Shawn Porter looked both ways before crossing and walked over to the Top Rank side in a quest to once again become a welterweight champion.
Who will come out victorious? You can find out this Saturday night when you purchase the ESPN+ PPV!