Cincinnati’s Adrien Broner will meet Cleveland’s Shawn Porter in what is billed as the Battle of Ohio. The bout will headline the latest boxing card of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Showtime versus Protégé

Porter (25-1-1 with 16 KOs), dubbed as Showtime for his high-octane offense, is a former welterweight champion who is coming off a March KO win over unheralded Erick Bone. The 27-year old Akron native won the IBF Welterweight title by defeating Devon Alexander in December of 2013 and lost it to Britain’s Kell Brook via Majority Decision during his 2nd title defense last August 16, 2014.

Broner (30-1 with KOs) meanwhile is the man-child protégé of Floyd Mayweather Jr. He is a former three time world champion who patterned his game from Mayweather whom he also calls “big brother”. Broner has won three fights in a row after suffering an upset loss to Marcos Maidana in December of 2013. He is looking to establish himself as a major player in boxing’s talent-laden welterweight class.

What the Odds Say

Porter opened as a -160 boxing betting favorite over Broner. But the odds are much closer now at -130 for Porter and +110 for Broner meaning that this fight is almost a 50/50 affair and rightfully so.

Porter is obviously better skilled and more experienced than Broner. He is a very powerful volume puncher much like Marcos Maidana, who dealt Broner his lone career loss in 2013. Maidana’s power and volume made Broner uncomfortable in their fight and the Argentine even dropped Broner twice en route to a unanimous decision win.  Compared to Porter, Maidana is a crude brawler which means Broner could in fact be “walking to the lion’s den” as how Porter described it.

There is a Catch

But then there’s a catch in the fight and it’s something that’s not been talked about much: the catchweight. This fight has a stipulated weight of 144 pounds which is to the advantage of Adrien Broner who is moving up in weight. Porter has fought as high as 154 pounds in 2010 and is a natural 147 pound fighter. Putting a catchweight of 3 pounds can be potentially draining for him. Just take a look back at what happened to Daniel Geale when he fought Miguel Cotto at 3 pounds less the weight class limit last month. This is where Broner hopes to capitalize with his speed and athleticism.

Other than that, the consensus pick is for Porter to win by decision. He may be drained and all but he’s got enough skill and experience to pull this one off against Broner who has not looked impressive in his last three outings. Broner has a tendency to showboat and be inactive during fights and that’s where Porter’s volume punching will rack up points for him. Broner is also a notoriously slow starter which could also backfire against a high-volume opponent like Porter. So assuming that the weight cut doesn’t deplete him, there is no reason for Porter to lose this fight although it will be competitive and close.

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