A month ago, Keith Thurman defeated Danny Garcia to unify both WBA and WBC titles in the welterweight division. Things are starting to pick up in the division as to, who’s the kingpin of the division. We still have IBF titlist Kell Brook who, will be defending his title against Errol Spence and WBO titlist Manny Pacquaio defending his title against Jeff Horn. April 2nd on Showtime,we have two welterweight contenders who will do battle for a WBC eliminator which, has potential to be something special for fight fans. Andre Berto versus Shawn Porter is a fight I expect nothing less of a “barnburner”.
For both Berto and Porter, this fight is a much needed win . The winner gets a future WBC title shot with Keith Thurman. For the loser, unforunately they will be back in line waiting among the rest of the welterweight pack. Berto who’s now 33, is getting up there in boxing age. He’s already been a 2 time champ in the division with the IBF and WBC titles. Some question is this his last chance to capture a title in the division. Porter is coming off many fight fans would say, an arguable loss against Keith Thurman. Prior to that fight it looked like Porter was getting back on track with wins over Adrien Broner and Erick Bone. After winning the IBF title in a impressive win against Devon Alexander in 2013, it looked like Shawn Porter was going to be a problems in the division until. he stumbled and lost his title in a close fight to Kell Brook in 2014.
What’s interesting and maybe a concern is, that both fighter haven’t fought since April of last year. From all the youtube videos of them training and doing interviews, it’s clear that both of these fighters stay in shape year round. That’s a great thing but at the end of the day, that’s not the same as taking the headgear off and putting on the lighter 10-12oz gloves. So, there’s a possibilty that both fighters can have ring rust coming into this fight. Both fighters are known to be physically strong but, the clash of styles is what makes this even more fun. Porters’ mauler like style is something that I myself can appreciate. It’s a in your face, relentless pressure that requires the physicality to perform for 12 rounds. Berto has always been a fighter blessed with athleticsm, speed and power and is the better boxer in this fight. Both fighters have their defensive flaws as well. As far as the better chin, I would have to lean toward Porter. The intangibles, depends on what you like. Berto doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a warrior in this sport. When he got TKO’d by Jesus Soto Karass, he fought that fight with one arm. He took a beaten from Robert Guerrero with both eyes shut and answered the bell for the 12th round. He’s been hurt before in many fights and still continued to fight and show no quit in him. As for Porter, we saw him get dropped by Broner in the 12th round of their fight and getting back up and win the fight. Porter hasn’t been in the situations that Berto been in but, I don’t question the kid’s heart especially when his father and trainer pushes him like no other.
Regardless of what any oddsmaker says, this is a pick’em fight. To think Berto is a 3 to 1 underdog is hilarious. Even though Berto has had some wear and tear on him from some past fights he’s, he’s a game fighter even with the best. Porter is in his prime and even though it was a loss, he came off one of his best performances against Keith Thurman. I just don’t like the fact that he’s coming off this year layoff. Berto defeintely has the strength and athletiscm to deal with Porter’s style. The real question is, does Berto have the gas tank to handle Porter’s style going into the later rounds of the fight or, can he just simply be the first to put stop Porter? I’m very excited for this fight and no, I can’t pick a winner!