As the career of Floyd Mayweather Jr. slowly came to a close, the collective attention of the sport shifted. From an emerging group of young heavyweights to a crop of offensively gifted lightweights, suddenly, a quest to be labeled the best had ensued. As with all things in life, time has a way of revealing answers that often go missing to the naked eye. Several talents deemed to be elite were proven incomplete. From Andy Ruiz’s stunning upset of Anthony Joshua to Manny Pacquiao’s incredible effort over Keith Thurman, few of these careers evolved the way we believed they would.
Amidst the shaken landscape, two talents have continued to ascend. As we watch the legend of Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez continue to rise, those watching closely have noticed that he’s not alone. Fight after fight, night after night, the glow of Errol Spence Jr. continues to shine bright! Not too long ago he was under the radar. Today, he’s above the rim!
25 wins, no losses…..21 debilitating KO’s….good height (5’9″), great reach (72 inches), blinding speed, a type of power that devours, and a work rate known to generate heartbreaks. How do you defeat a talent this polished and poised? Is it possible?
Many have tried, some have cried, several got on their bikes to ride, and the few brave enough to stand and fight nearly died! In the words of famed lyricist Rakim, “there’s no obituary, when nothing’s left to bury”!
Terrence Crawford is easily and arguably one of the better pure boxers in the sport today. Ask media members and fans about the odds of him being the one to eventually stop the Spence train and the results are firm. Either crickets or woof tickets! Keith Thurman? Seemingly uninterested and very much uninspired. The legendary Manny Pacquiao? Great enough to be mentioned, smart enough to keep his distance. Danny Garcia? Nolo Contendere!
Of the current crop available at welterweight, only one other opponent joins Terrence Crawford on the list of those with a genuine interest to face Spence. That man is the opponent he’ll face in the Los Angeles Staples Center on the night of September 28th. Shawn Porter is the proverbial blue collar worker without white gloves! He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, and will definitely come to fight. Career results for Porter don’t support a fighter that will find success against Spence. But one thing none of us can deny: he will NEVER enter the ring and not try (to win)!
The odds won’t be in his favor and Errol Spence won’t do him any. For some, this bout will serve little more purpose than a brief stepping stone. But if this year has been any indication, we’ve learned this theater of the unexpected doesn’t always give us what we expect. Can Porter produce a “Ruiz Repeat”? Is there anyone at welter weight capable of pulling that off?
Conventional logic says the only man solid enough to test Spence is the man who’s star continues to rise by his side (Canelo). It’s a collision course that can’t come quick enough. For now, like Spence, we can only focus on the mission at hand. Porter said he has the goods to do the job. In apt fashion, it’s now “SHOWTIME”! (Tune in next Friday for a spotlight on “Showtime” Shawn Porter as we get closer to fight night)
(Vivek “Vito” Wallace can be reached at 954.770.9807, Facebook, Twitter @vitostake, or email at email@example.com)