LOS ANGELES (AP) — Errol Spence had never been tested at this degree of difficulty. Shawn Porter pressured, prodded and exposed him during a title bout that stretched every bit of Spence’s vaunted boxing skill.
The budding welterweight superstar emerged with two championship belts after he figured out the answers to this test just in time.
Spence added the WBC welterweight title to his IBF strap with a thrilling split-decision victory over Shawn Porter on Saturday night.
Spence persevered through the biggest challenge of his ascendant career from Porter, a veteran brawler who forced Spence into uncomfortable situations in nearly every round. Spence matched Porter’s pace and landed more punches, and the Texan punctuated the win by knocking down Porter in the 11th round with a left hand.
“This is a lifetime dream,” Spence said. “It shows hard work pays off. ... Shawn Porter is a rough and awkward fighter. I didn’t get off what I wanted to. He’s a true champion. He made it tough ... (but) all my punches have bad intentions.”
Two judges scored it 116-111 for Spence, and a third scored it 115-112 for Porter. The Associated Press scored it 114-113 for Spence.
Porter’s unorthodox, pugnacious style baited the favored Spence into many wild exchanges, starting with a thrilling stretch of the third and fourth rounds. The pace rarely waned for the rest of the bout, with Porter constantly forcing a tough fight.