Shawn Porter Shows His Speed in UD Victory

By John G. Thompson - Ohio native Shawn “Showtime” Porter 13-0 (10 KO’s) pleased the Wolstein Center crowd in Cleveland this past Friday night with his unanimous decision victory over the determined Russell “Spiderman” Jordan 15-7 (10 KO’s) of Rochester, NY. Jordan proved more rugged than his record may appear, however, and perhaps raised some questions about the 2007 National Golden Gloves Champion and former lead sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao. A heavy favorite to stop Jordan in the early rounds (Jordan having lost five times by stoppage), Porter needed to rely more on his boxing prowess than his punching power in going the full ten rounds for the first time in his professional career..

Despite a height advantage of about seven inches, Jordan failed to stay on the outside and box, instead opting to chase the slick Porter around the ring. ESPN2 Friday Night Fights guest analyst Bernard Hopkins commented, “The little guy is fighting like the tall guy, and the tall guy is fighting like the little guy.” Jordan’s big moment came in the second round when the southpaw landed two right hooks – first to the body and then to the head of Porter, which seemed to stagger him backwards. Jordan went forward looking for the knockout, but Porter moved and boxed effectively until the end of the round.

There were other rounds where Jordan fought well, though Porter out hustled him with greater speed and accuracy throughout bout. In the sixth round it appeared as though Porter hurt his opponent, knocking Jordan’s mouthpiece out and forcing Jordan to hold. In the ninth round Porter landed a hook which again knocked out the mouthpiece of Jordan. This time when the referee stopped the action he also deducted a point from Jordan. This seems somewhat unfair as a punch had caused the mouthpiece to come out, as opposed to a fighter spitting it out to gain some extra time. Regardless, it was a moot point as Porter coasted to a wide margin decision.

Why did Porter fail to earn the knockout win? The rising star who fought the majority of his bouts in Tunica, Mississippi and Salisbury, Maryland may lack the experience implied by his 13-0 record. Or perhaps Porter faces too great of a challenge with a 5’7” frame to compete in a junior middleweight division with fighters such as the 6’2” Jordan. In fact, he might consider moving down a weight class and joining the incredibly talented welterweight division. More than likely Porter’s struggles on Friday night were due to the determination and experience of Jordan. After all, some of Jordan’s prior losses were to excellent competition in Luis Collazo, Sergio Martinez, Oscar Diaz, and James Kirkland.

The junior middleweight division is itself currently rich in talent and Shawn Porter has a long way to go before he must fight the likes of Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez. Nor does he appear ready for some of the top up and coming fighters in the division like Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo or Vanes Martirosyan. Perhaps Kassim “The Dream” Ouma might present the greatest opportunity for Shawn Porter to make a name for himself. Ouma is coming off a close decision loss and heading into the twilight of his career, yet he is still a well respected name in the sport. However, the extremely aggressive and experienced Kassim Ouma might be too much fighter for the young Shawn Porter. There are many other options for him and bouts with Carlos Molina, Ronald Hearns, Harry Joe Yorgey, Danny Perez, or Gabriel Rosado (if he wins next weekend) would all be entertaining. The fight I would most like to see him in is a tough match up with former Olympian and up and coming Demetrius Andrade 9-0 (7 KO’s).

Aside from being a full time fire fighter in Houston, Texas, Lanard Lane 11-0 (7 KO’s) also fights extremely well, judging by his performance in the televised under card. His opponent, Martin Tucker 7-5 (3 KO’s), was game throughout the night, often coming forward against the fighter trained by Ronnie Shields and who has only been a pro for one year (though Lane says he was fighting since he was twelve). Tucker showed not only heart, but an excellent chin as he absorbed punishment from Lane throughout the eight round contest.

Lane looked extraordinarily relaxed and behind a solid defense was able to pick his shots throughout the night without wasting energy. During the second round, Lane backed Tucker into the ropes and landed some hard shots. In the fifth, Lane threw an amazingly fast four punch combination – a left uppercut which snapped Tucker’s head back, followed by a right hook, a left hook which was partially blocked, and ended with a right uppercut which only glanced Tucker’s head. The combination was very fast and had the second two punches landed cleanly the fight may have been over.

In the sixth round, Tucker’s pace slowed and Lane really began to dissect him with precision punches. In the seventh, Lane went to work, backing Tucker into the ropes and landing some damaging shots. Ringside commentator Teddy Atlas said, “The referee can step in here any second and stop this.” Again, Tucker’s chin somehow held up and he made it through the fight. Showing such skill and poise in the ring, Lane may soon need to quit his honorable job as a fireman and pursue the sport of boxing full time.

In other action, Garry Russell Jr. 8-0 (5 KO’s) knocked out Jairo Delgado 4-4 (3 KO’s) in the first round of their featherweight bout. The southpaw from Washington, DC who had trained for the Olympics was simply too much for Delgado who has now lost three in a row. Twenty four year old Jake Giuriceo 6-0-1 (2 KO’s) won a six round unanimous decision against James Ventry. The thirty eight year old falls to 7-11-1. Also, Justin Riegle 3-3 (1 KO) ended his three fight losing streak (all TKO’s) when he earned a unanimous decision for a second time against Brian Cook 3-4 (2 KO’s).

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Article posted on 21.02.2010

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