On September 28th, defending IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr takes on WBC welterweight champion Shawn Porter for supremacy in the division. Punters looking to bet on Errol Spence Jr v Shawn Porter with Betfair will see that the ‘The Truth’ is the overwhelming favourite for victory at the Staples Center, Los Angeles – and with good reason. Not only does Spence have a height and reach advantage over his opponent, but a clean sweep of victories – 25-0-0, with 21 coming by way of knockout. Porter may be more experienced, having faced more opponents and gone for more titles; but there’s no denying that a 100% record at any level is an admirable feat.
Spence made his professional debut at the age of 22, taking on Puerto Rican Jonathan Garcia, in what was scheduled as a four-round bout. Spence knocked the teenager out in round three, before going on to fight his second professional bout the following month. Here, he took on fellow American, Richard Andrews, in what was one of the undercards to Amir Khan’s comeback fight against Carlos Molina. ‘The Truth’ once again sent his opponent to the canvas and Andrews was unable to recover in round three. In 2013, Spence took on eight opponents, beating them all – and the following year, made his television debut. Come the end of 2014, Spence was still unbeaten but made his boxing debut at the iconic MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where he beat Javier Castro by technical knockout in round five.
A rise up the ranks
2015 was a good year for Spence, who not only won all four of his bouts by technical knockout, but was also named as the ESPN.com ‘Prospect of the Year’. In April 2015, Spence took on former NCC Welterweight champion, Samuel Vargas, whose record boasted 20-1-1. A third-round victory at the Brooklyn Center saw Spence go on to fight Canadian Phil Lo Greco – interestingly, as the undercard to the Shawn Porter vs Adrien Broner match.
From here, the only way was up and Porter’s first real big test came against Chris Algieri, a former light welterweight titlist. Scheduled over ten rounds, it was a tough bout for ‘The Truth’, with the crowd all behind Algieri, who had yet to be beaten by way of knockout (with two unanimous decision losses). A fifth-round left hook sent Algieri to the deck, prompting Spence to call-out 35-0 IBF welterweight champion, Kell Brook: “Kell Brook knows what time it is. We got to get in the ring and fight.” The two would go on to meet the following year.
IBF welterweight champion
After negotiations, Spence got his wish and took on Brook at Bramall Lane in Sheffield. Both boxers had 100% records, but Brook had the IBF welterweight title (despite losing his last bout in a bid for more belts). In front of 27,000 live fans, ‘The Truth’ stopped ‘Special K’ in round 11. Opting for power, he landed 246 of 633 punches and at the time of the stoppage, was winning on all three of the judges’ scorecards.
To date, Spence has successfully defended his IBF welterweight title, something he has held on to for over 800 days. He has fought three times since gaining the belt, with his toughest test coming in his most recent bout against four-division world champion, Mikey Garcia. Making his debut in the welterweight category, however, Garcia was out of his depth and succumbed to defeat by way of unanimous decision (120-107, 120-108, 120-108).
The next step
Spence takes on Porter, who boasts a record of 30-2-1, and is a two-time welterweight world champion. Looking at his professional record, Porter has also taken on Lo Greco and Brook, losing to the latter by majority decision. He arrives at their match-up in good form, having recently claimed the WBC Silver welterweight title before winning the vacant WBC welterweight championship – he will no doubt look for unification next. Should Spence win this one, future opponents could well include Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquiao.