Written By Bakari Simpson: In his second consecutive bout at the Barclays Center Shawn Porter managed to prevail over Andre Berto. The Akron, OH native claimed a 9th round TKO stoppage in a very choppy and bloody affair. With this victory, a WBC welterweight eliminator, Porter is strategically positioned to force the rematch with Keith Thurman.
Way back when Shawn Porter initially announced to the media that the fight was being negotiated Berto denied it. From the very beginning Andre was reluctant to show interest in, or even acknowledge, the fight. Berto’s air of curious detachment persisted all the way up to being in the ring.
It didn’t help matters at all that a boatload of head-butts heavily seasoned the flavor of this fight. Ironically, while Porter was the generally the guilty party initiating the butts, it was Shawn who suffered the most, and deepest, cuts.
To begin the contest Shawn opened up boxing, behind his jab and attacking from range. Instead of a kamikaze wrecking ball Porter was a rational boxer. Andre mirrored the carefree Sunday afternoon pace resulting in a mundane opening stanza. The second round provided the action that most folks thought would define the fight as a whole. Shawn leaped off his stool intensely focused on destruction like the Bride trying to kill Bill.
Dispensing with pesky jabs and burdensome boxing Porter dove head first into his trademark mauling style. The change in tactics paid immediate dividends. Showtime dug to the body and pushed Andre to the ropes like a bouncer clearing a doorway. With his back pressed to the straps, being mugged and mauled Andre was in a bad way. Everything about his facial expressions and repeated complaining to the referee indicated he wanted to be elsewhere. That’s when Shawn dropped him.
Strangely enough, those two rounds accurately forecasted the remaining seven to follow. During the moments when Shawn opted to box Berto had greater success picking him off charging in. However, whenever Porter chose to muscle his way in Berto was a harassed, piteous creature. In isolated, single shot instances Andre was catching Shawn with significantly hard shots. The trouble was, nothing hard enough landed to discourage Porter’s aggression.
From the 2nd round thru the 5th Shawn dominated and pummeled Andre. Then, for whatever reason, Showtime takes his foot off the gas and the bully session gives way to a boxing match. When the bout was centered on straightforward boxing Berto began to shine once more. Andre Berto would claim the 6th and 7th rounds. During the 8th round Shawn tore into Ander Berto like cash was buried in his belly. For the greater majority of the stanza the Beast was might as well have been a heavybag. The Porter assault took a lot out of Andre.
Shawn finished the job he began in the 8th in the 9th. Undeterred by his two cut and bleeding eyes Shawn remained the unquestioned aggressor. Resuming the suffocating fusillade of punches Porter forces Andre Berto back to his second home on the ropes. Going from bad to worse Berto is dumped on the canvas twice during this period. After the second knockdown referee Harvey Dock felt compelled to halt the match.
Congrats to team Porter on a great win and for lining up the juicy rematch with Thurman!
Bakari Simpson INSTAGRAM: @s.larry_love FACEBOOK: Bakari Simpson