Spence Bests Porter in Classic Bout with Two Titles

It was an absolute barnburner at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. But in the end, it’s Errol Spence Jr. keeping his undefeated record, retaining the IBF welterweight championship and winning the WBC title in a fight that may go down as a Fight of the Year candidate.

Porter looked for this fight to be a brawl, and he got one. From the very start, the bout featured plenty of exchanging from both men, with each seeming to have the answer to whatever the other threw.

Porter came after Spence early on and even tagged him hard in the fourth round, but Spence maintained his balance and continued his strategy to dig into Porter’s body, albeit with some of his shots landing below the belt.

There were many close rounds throughout the fight, with possible cases being made for either fighter in most.

Spence did manage to get Porter’s back to the ropes in the 10th, and in the 11th, he connected on a hook as Porter came forward, causing a technical knockdown when Porter’s glove touched the mat.

That would be enough for the win, as while one judge gave the fight to Spence 115-112, the other two scored 116-111 in Spence’s favor, giving him both 147-pound titles.

After the fight, it was announced Spence’s mandatory challenger would be Danny “Swift” Garcia.

The co-feature attraction of the evening saw another back-and-forth bout, but one with a more definitive ending, as David Benavidez regained the WBC super middleweight title from Anthony Dirrell.

Dirrell had a strategy of staying on the outside, trying to make Benavidez miss. Benavidez would bring the pressure in the second round, however, and landed counterpunches of his own.

Halfway through the fight, each man landed about an equal number of strikes. But it was around that time, a cut began to form on Dirrell’s eyelid. The doctor was called in multiple times over the next couple of rounds but let Dirrell continue each time. Benavidez laid into him in the eighth, and the ninth saw Dirrell’s corner stop the fight, as Benavidez regained the WBC title he never lost in the ring.

The pay-per-view card also saw Mario Barrios controversially defeat Batyr Akhmedov to claim the vacant WBA (Regular) super lightweight title, and Joseito Lopez finish John Molina Jr. in the opener.

Main Card Results:
IBF/WBC welterweight championship unification: (IBF champion) Errol Spence Jr. def. (WBC champion) Shawn Porter via split decision (116-111, 112-115, 116-111)
WBC super middleweight championship: David Benavidez def. (c.) Anthony Dirrell via TKO (corner stoppage) (Rd. 9, 1:39)
For the vacant WBA (Regular) super lightweight championship: Mario Barrios def. Batyr Akhmedov via unanimous decision (114-112, 115-111, 116-111)
Josesito Lopez def. John Molina Jr. via TKO (Rd. 8, 0:39)

Preliminary Card Results:
Robert Guerrero def. Jerry Thomas via unanimous decision (98-92, 99-91, 99-91)
Joey Spencer def. Travis Gambardella via KO (Rd. 3, 0:53)

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