Broner v Porter – A Tasty Little Match-Up

Say what you want about Al Haymon and his Premier Boxing Champions format – that he’s going to turn it and his stable of fighters into boxing’s UFC, fighting for in-house titles and the like – but scare stories aside – so far I have been nothing but impressed with both the brand itself and the quality of the fights that have been dished up to us, the fans.

Last week’s Burns v Figueroa fight is the most recent case in point, corrupt official aside – of an action packed contest that will surely bring in new fans as well as satisfy the existing ones – and now perhaps the most eagerly anticipated fight of the series yet – between Ohio natives Adrien Broner & Shawn Porter has been confirmed for June 20 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.

Also propping up the headliners is red-hot US Olympic starlet Errol Spence Jr (16-0, 13ko) in a showcase fight against aging Mexican veteran Roberto Garcia (37-3, 23ko) that will further break out the young prospect to new audiences.

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Plenty of people are already getting excited about this fight and I think it’s justified. It’s pretty easy to make a case for either winning due to their opposing styles, yet I would have given the marauding, aggressive style and strength of Porter the edge over Adrien – UNTIL I heard about the 145lb catch-weight and re-hydration clause. Neither fighter can come in at more than 155lbs on fight night.

For Porter, who is a natural welterweight and has in fact boxed up at 154 before, this is concerning. One has to wonder if making the 145lb is going to severely take it out of him and that’s WITHOUT the re-hydration clause. That just tips the scales further in Broner’s favour – who, for me – is most effective at 135 or 140 anyways.

What we do know is that both fighters need a statement performance if they are to re-ignite their careers. That IS for sure.

Since being given fits by Malignaggi and then being taught a lesson by Marcos Maidana in 2013, “The Problem” has been pretty unremarkable, scoring three routine decisions since, the last of which was against the now-finished John Molina in March.

The real “Problem” for Broner is that he still hasn’t found his own identity as a fighter. His style and attitude are comically lifted straight from the Floyd Mayweather playbook – and sadly for the Ohioan motor mouth, what works just fine for Floyd Mayweather does not work the same for Adrien Broner – or anybody else for that matter.

He also has struggled to find his natural weight – and after a brief foray into the welterweight division – has once again dropped down to 140lb. The insistence on the catch weight for this fight just tells us what we already know. That Broner is not big enough at 147, his power doesn’t travel up that far and the natural strength advantage of more natural welterweights like Marcos Maidana – is simply too much for him to cope with.

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Shawn Porter is a strong welterweight, albeit not a very tall one. Height and reach wise, he is actually almost identical to Adrien – yet he is without doubt the stronger man. His bullying style absolutely destroyed Malignaggi less than a year after Broner struggled terribly with him.

Paulie is a pure boxer, not unlike Broner – although AB is flashier and can punch – and before all this catch-weight and re-hydration stuff I would have gone with “Showtime” to bully Broner and nick it on points or even stop him late – but now I’m not so sure.

Porter hasn’t done much since his brief tenure as IBF 147lb champ was ended last year at the hands of classy counter-punching Brit, Kell Brook. He has had a routine knockout win against over-matched late replacement Erick Bone in March but will surely know this opportunity represents a chance to spring-board back into the mix at 147lb. Defeat will be devastating for his immediate prospects.

However, for all the dislike of him, Broner is the fighter with the skills and the footwork – far exceeding Porter in terms of pure boxing ability and now he has everything all his own way contractually with the weight, I would have to reluctantly pick “The Problem” for the win – probably on points. Though it isn’t a foregone conclusion.

I’m really intrigued by this one and I’m tipping it to be a good contest. As far as I’m concerned, Al Haymon and PBC are continuing to deliver.

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