Adrien “The Problem” Broner faces “Showtime” Shawn Porter for Ohio bragging rights not to mention a large step forward on the ladder to stardom. The fight takes place at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas and will be broadcasted live on NBC. A catchweight has been implored by Broner in efforts to reduce Porter’s strength and stamina. Can Broner effectively play matador to Porter’s bull rush in a game of catch the predator?
The boxing public has gotta be punch drunk from all the yellow tape that continues to surround their sport. Similar to the recent Cotto/Geale HBO fight, the weight in which this bout will take place has robbed many followers from being ecstatic for Saturday night. Instead of a main event that fans can sink their teeth in to, the catchweight chatter is major sticking point.
Shawn Porter is considered a large welterweight and surely the odds are sizable it will affect him in the ring. However, Porter is a true professional during breaks in between fights never going above 10 pounds of the welterweight limit. That combined with Porter’s camp believing they would fight in May has them feeling prepared and ready to make the 144 pound mark.
With the recent reports of Broner possible coming in overweight the sheer spectacle on social media will only increase this bouts presents on NBC. From the sounds of it Broner’s team have now ditched the 2nd day rehydration clause that would have prevented either fighter to be above 154 pounds. Which was a smart move for two reasons: One Broner is known for putting excess weight on come fight night and Porter is use to the 10 pound-rule having been in several IBF bouts were that’s common place. Only on the night of the fight will we know how much Shawn Porter struggled.
Many in the boxing world have pointed to a few fights in an attempt to pick the winner of this #PBConNBC primetime event. Names such as Marcos Maidana, Paulie Malignaggi, and Kell Brook are mentioned as to why Broner shouldn’t be the underdog or the reason Porter will come away with victory. Each fighter has just one loss so the crossroads label fits the bill for this matchup. It’s very dangerous to play the triangle game in the sport of boxing but there’s some information that can be put into the equation for the “Battle of Ohio”.
Last August Shawn Porter lost to Kell Brook by a close decision on the cards after Porter had manhandled Paulie Malignaggi. The same Malignaggi that gave Adrien Broner all he could handle almost two years to the date. Porter started well in his bout with Brook but in the 2nd half he was limited by Kells’s movement, clean punching, and holding. A gameplan that many think Broner can emulate or improve on this Saturday night.
On the flip side Marcos Maidana bum-rushed Adrien Broner in late 2013 giving “The Problem” just that. From jump-street, Maidana closed the gap and pressure Broner from ding-to-dong rarely allowing him space to operate and use his highly-touted skills. Broner showed plenty of heart fighting back from two knockdowns but one wonders if he will make those same mistakes versus Porter. The classic boxer vs. puncher does somewhat apply but with a little more complexity.
For all the talent on offense and defense Broner posses his mental game doesn’t always enter the ring with him. He tends to let his heart do most of the fighting while standing directly in the line of fire. Inch by inch he finds comfort in walking down his opponents something he couldn’t do against Maidana and didn’t try in his last fight with John Molina. His jab was a key weapon to keep Molina at bay and he mixed that with subtle movement. While he did outbox Molina it seemed that Molina’s war with Lucas Matthysse had taken some of his aggression and willingness to take excess punishment.
Molina was the first fighter Broner had faced with power since the Maindana loss. Adrien will get a chance to prove that he has more boxing ability than he has shown thus far as a pro. In the amateurs is where Broner use more of his tool belt but that was in small dosages. It will be very interesting to see if he can move consistently without letting a big punch by Porter take him off his plan. Back in 2009 Broner fought Fernando Quintero closely and at times didn’t look that good when trying to box.
Kell Brook is a bigger welterweight with hand speed and nice footwork that gave Porter problems on the way inside. The clinch by Brook was crucial and my guess is that the Broner camp will abuse the clinch until warned by the referee. Will Adrien be strong enough in the clinch for Porter? Team Porter says their ready for that scenario but they should have been ready in the Brook fight truth be told. Both guys have power but that trait at 144 is difficult to judge now. Porter should be the stronger man with Broner’s power punch not having the same effect as it did at 130 and 135.
Hand speed will go to Broner but foot speed could be a draw from Porter’s quick footwork to close the gap. Porter has a bad habit of smothering his own work and will have to be mindful of that fact if he wants to land clean. The jab will play a huge role for both fighters as will their left hook. Porter could use his jab and later faint with it to set up a left hook. For Broner look for him to use more jabs as he pivots away from danger as well as a check-hook to help turn Porter. Marcos Maidana’s chopping right is just what the doctor ordered for Shawn to penetrate Broner’s poor man’s impression of the shoulder-roll defense.
I expect both boxers to be fairly active and a bit dirty from the baggage that exits having grown up together. It could be a wrestling match for large portions after seeing a sparring session and the words traded by both camps at the press conference. Once we get to see these fighters step on the scale it will give us a clearly picture. You have to figure a close fight will go to the bigger name in this case Adrien Broner. Who by the way is a slight underdog at the sportsbook. This scribe is honestly stuck on the fence as a result of the 144 pound catchweight.
My feeling is it will be a two-way fight that features a little bit of everything. We will see Porter start fast and Broner on the move and clinching to the point of booing from the live audience. Beyond those slower pockets this fight should produce a fair amount of action and drama. Broner will win more rounds on the scorecards. Porter will hurt and drop Broner but can he deliver clean punching from 1 to 12? That’s where the catchweight comes into play. Broner may get the nod and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to put something on the dog in this spot. I just don’t see Broner being able to stick and move the whole fight. At some point Broner’s mental game will get thrown out the window and that’s when Porter will take advantage. We could get Broner by a controversial decision and I almost expect it.
My Official Prediction is Shawn Porter by Split-Decision
Side Note: Don’t Miss the Lemieux vs. N’Dam FS-2 fight that will be live after the NBC Broadcast. Also, Andre Ward makes his return versus Paul Smith and Errol Spence makes his PBC debut on the Co-Feature to Broner vs. Porter.
Written by Chris Carlson Owner & Host of Rope-A-Dope-Radio blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
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