Shawn Porter unanimously defeated Danny Garcia on Saturday night for the vacant World Boxing Council’s welterweight title.
Porter (29-2-1) received winning scores of 116-112 from judge Don Ackerman, and Julie Lederman and Eric Marlinski had it 115-113. Porter held the IBF welterweight title from Decemeber 2013 to August 2014.
Garcia fell to 34-2.
Prior to Thursday afternoon’s final press conference, Porter said he planned on using his movement to open up Garcia, while acknowledging he had to be wary of being caught in clinches or backed along the ropes.
He proved prescient, as almost from the outset, Garcia’s plan of attack was to neutralize Porter’s movement with clinches. And much of the first six rounds saw the two essentially engaged in a wrestling match.
It took until seventh for the fight to develop flow. The round began with referee Steve Willis calling for a timeout after Porter and Garcia bumped heads 29 seconds in, saw the two exchange heavy shots for the remaining 2:31.
Porter, the aggressor, had Garcia, the counterpuncher, having to fight an aggressive fight. And it stayed that way for the remainder of the fight, although Garcia began to reimplement clinches in the 10th round as a way to slow Porter.
And it nearly worked. Garcia landed a higher percentage of punches (36 to 24) and a higher percentage of power punches (46 to 25), but Porter threw more punches (742-472) and more power punches (544-304).
As a result, Porter now has the title that had been vacated by Keith Thurman.
The question of who is next for Porter appears to be undecided. Porter could meet Yordenis Ugas, who won a unanimous decision in the WBC welterweight eliminator over Cesar Barrionuevo which served as the semi-main event.
Judges John McKaie and Kevin Morgan each scored the fight 120-108 for Ugas, while Tom Schreck had Ugas ahead 119-109.
“I showed enough. Now I’m ready for a championship fight,” said Ugas, who landed 199 of 564 punches. “I want the winner of Danny Garcia versus Shawn Porter. I’m here to compete with the top guys in the sport.”