It’s almost “Showtime!”
In this game of fistic “Truth or Dare,” the mostly unfairly and unheralded WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter (30-2-1, 17KOs) is out to prove bruising IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr (25-0, 21KOs) is a liar.
They’ll hold court for all the world to see tonight at Staples Center in Los Angeles on FOX PPV, as Premier Boxing Champions and Al Haymon will showcase another aspect of their own unification tournament at 147 for fighters not named Terence “Bud” Crawford.
In what will be 2019’s version of a hostile witness stand for both fighters, it says here that Spence will force Porter to bleed the 5th and render him unavailable for further questioning thereafter. However, there does exist a few reasons why this could all be wrong.
“I got a question… You got any excuses tonight Roy? You got any excuses tonight Roy?!?!”
—Antonio Tarver, before emotionally compromising and getting the great Roy Jones Jr KTFO
My compliments to Showbizz The Adult, for the flashbulb that went off in my head when he broached Tarver Vs Jones 2, because I think it’s analogous in an ego driven sort of way as it relates to Spence Vs Porter. Stylistically, it’s nothing like that fight; Spence and Porter, to be fair, are nothing like Roy Jones Jr or Antonio Tarver for that matter. But beginning with Porter’s pre-trial intervention in Las Vegas on the platform of Pacquiao Vs Thurman, where Porter kept incessantly using “The Truth” in vain and ending with his now infamous “When I cut you” declaration during their Face to Face airing on FOX, this all adds up to some Tarver Sauce on the Hot Dog of Spence, one in which he definitely intends to ‘cut the mustard’.
Adding to the drama is the corners for both men, which I believe will play a major role in the outcome of this fight. This is very much Derrick James Vs Kenny Porter in as much as it was Alton Merkerson and the ghost of Roy Jones Sr getting KTFO by Buddy McGirt.
I think it matters that Spence…
..maintains a great relationship with his Dad, who ceded to James and his son in a way that has had positive championship implications. Roy Jones Jr, when it mattered most, had the opposite end of the spectrum working against him in this regard. Interestingly, he needs to see what Spence will do to Porter in Spence-Porter before bestowing any greatness on Spence. The Father/Son Vs Trainer dynamic could be the underlying reason why.
None of this is lost on Kenny Porter, who in a recent interview with FightHype recalled a unique bond between himself and the proud Texas native and Dallas Cowboys fan. He described how during a harrowing flight to Russia with an unfinished idea of Spence, that the landing gear was malfunctioning, and how the two forged a warmth before deplaning into -30 degree temperatures. He knew Errol to be a pitbull all too willing to engage in a dogfight, and hinted at having influence on him during the championship rounds against Kell Brook in London where he sat ringside. I think he’s telling “The Truth” about what was arguably the most important moment of Spence’s career, on the eve of the most important fight of his career, which just happens to be against his son.
.. in observing him up close in Las Vegas, could’ve gone into the dressing room and faced either Manny Pacquiao or Keith Thurman on July 20. His conditioning was that good. Spence, who walks around in the 170s, had not yet began training in earnest for what will absolutely be a pitbull in Porter. This is going to be a dogfight. In black and white terms, if I’m sitting next to the late Bert Randolph Sugar and he asked me who’s fighting each other Saturday night in legendary terms, it’s a black welterweight version of Gene Fullmer in Spence against a Porter who for one night, will be Henry Armstrong. That’s a helluva fight. I don’t know if “The Truth” will set us free, but there will be no doubt about Errol Spence Jr after he forces Shawn Porter to plead the 5th. And of course, I reserve the right for plausible deniability.