SHAWN PORTER became WBC Welterweight World Champion Saturday night as he earned a narrow unanimous decision victory over Danny Garcia in a hotly contested fight live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Porter (116-112, 115-113, 115-113) in an electrifying fight in front of 13,058 fans at the 30th professional boxing event at Barclays Center.
Porter earned the belt that Keith Thurman, who previously defeated Porter and Garcia, was forced to vacate due to an injury.
In an anticipated title fight that was widely regarded as a 50-50 contest in boxing’s deepest division, Garcia vs. Porter played out as advertised. The difference in total power punches landed throughout the 12-round battle was just five, with Garcia holding the narrow advantage.
In a matchup of accuracy vs. activity, Porter looked to outworked Garcia. He was relentless in his attack and threw 742 total punches and 544 power punches, landing 25 percent. Garcia, on the other hand, was the more precise fighter, landing the higher percentage and more meaningful punches. He connected on 46 percent of the 304 power punches he threw. Due to the contrasting styles, the three judges were only able to all agree on four rounds.
“I made a prediction and a hard one to live up to,” said Porter. “I said I wasn’t leaving New York without this belt and I’m not leaving New York without this belt.
“I knew he was going to be accurate. The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show I could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes.”
A disappointed Garcia clearly disagreed with the judges’ scorecards.
“He was throwing a lot,” said Garcia, who falls to 7-2 in world title fights. “I had my defence tight, so I wasn’t feeling his punches. I thought I landed the clearer shots and won this fight.
“I have to sit back, relax and see what’s next for me.”
Following the announcement of the decision, IBF welterweight champion and consensus top-five pound-for-pound fighter Errol Spence entered the ring to challenge the newly crowned WBC champion to what would be a blockbuster unification bout.
“The same way that you called Danny out, I’m going to call you out”, said Spence. “I think I’m the best welterweight in the division. I’m ‘The Truth’ and I guarantee you I come home as unified champion. I definitely want that fight against Porter.”
It was a star-studded night at Barclays as current and former world champions attended the fights, including Spence, Mikey Garcia, Jarrett Hurd, Gervonta Davis, Adrien Broner, Andre Berto, Claressa Shields, Keith Thurman and Jermell and Jermall Charlo.
In the co-featured event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING, consensus top-10 welterweight Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) out boxed Argentina’s Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo (34-4-2, 24 KOs) on his way to a dominating unanimous decision victory (119-109, 120-108, 120-108). With the win in the WBC title eliminator, Ugas earns the WBC’s second mandatory position to fight Porter.
In a tactical performance, Ugas dictated the pace from the opening bell and looked comfortable throughout the 12 rounds. He was the more effective fighter from the outset, landing 55 percent of his power punches and 35 percent of his total punches. Barrionuevo, who was facing a big step-up in competition, was never able to trouble the former Olympic bronze medalist out of Cuba, despite throwing more punches.
Barrionuevo connected on just 26 percent of his power punches and 19 percent of his total punches. Ugas was the far more accurate puncher connecting on 55 percent of his power punches and 35 percent of his total punches, including a wild multi-punch assault on Barrionuevo in the eighth round.
“We won today and I think I showed everybody my talent,” said Ugas, who improves to 8-0 at 147 pounds. “I’m happy with my performance. I showed enough, now I’m ready for a championship fight.
“I want the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter. I’m here to compete with the top-level guys in the sport.”
“I just didn’t have the right distance tonight,” said Barrionuevo, who was making his U.S. debut. “It was hard to catch him and attack. He countered well and attacked the body. I showed my heart but he was the better fighter tonight.”