The old adage that style makes fights comes into the play in the upcoming Shawn Porter-Andre Berto fight. The question is what happens when you put a bull in a China shop with another bull in the same China shop? That’s what you’re going to have on Saturday night when these two square off. This will excite most fans because there is an anticipation that there will be a high volume of toe to toe exchanges.
The last time we saw Shawn Porter he was involved in an epic battle with, good friend, Keith Thurman. In his unanimous decision lost (115-113 on all scorecards), you could make an argument that this fight was truly a draw. There were several close rounds that could’ve gone either way.
Porter showed good foot movement early on and that could serve him well against Berto. Like Berto, Porter prefers to get inside but he must do that intelligently. One of the differences in the Thurman fight was Porter inability to avoid punishment when trying to close the distance. This led to Thurman rocking Porter in the 4th round.
When Porter was able to get inside, he did have some success getting Thurman against the ropes. He must try to do the same against Berto. When you have two fighters of this style, it’s imperative to put the other in spots that make him feel uncomfortable.
Foot movement and a strong jab will allow Porter to control the real estate but he must be committed to it and not just run into combat. Berto has the opportunity to hurt him if Porter chooses to do that. Just ask Victor Ortiz.
In a match up two fighters trying to stave off talks of retirement, Berto floored Ortiz twice in the fourth, after being knocked down himself in the second, for the KO victory. Berto’s defense must improve if he wants to beat Porter. His style makes for good fights but Berto can’t continuously give up 10-8 rounds.
Even though no fighter should be compared to Floyd Mayweather, Berto will also need to do a good job in cutting off the ring if Porter chooses to use a lot of foot movement. His inability to do this with Floyd was part of the reason why the fight wasn’t close.
Cutting off the ring will allow Berto to control when he wants to exchange and it could be the difference in close rounds. The more toe to toe exchanges, the better it is for Berto. He will need to hurt Porter if he wants to slow him down especially if you believe that Porter has more technical boxing skills than Berto. When the fight moves to the middle of the ring, look for Berto to double up his jab to set up the hook or uppercut.
Both fighters need this fight. Porter would love a rematch with Thurman and a win here could set that fight up. Berto is still trying to rescue his career and he’ll have the opportunity to do that on the big stage. This will be an action packed fight with both fighters getting stunned sometime in the fight.
But, Shawn Porter is the better boxer here and he should be able to hurt Berto more and win this going away.
Marcus “Mook” Washington is the host of Making The Cut. Follow Mook on Twitter: @mtcwithmook and IG: MTCWithMook