Let's take a quick and dirty look at what to watch for when Adrien Broner takes on Shawn Porter this weekend. This breakdown will be short & sweet, and mostly comprised of a few intricacies that I think fans should be on the lookout for when comparing the styles of the two men.
We'll start by looking at a few clips of Shawn Porter's fight with Kell Brook (I'm using this fight to illustrate Porter against a higher level of opponent than his most recent one in Erick Bone). The first thing that stands out to me about Shawn Porter is obviously his toughness. He has good all-around skills but he's at his best when he's imposing his physicality on his opponents. Because of this, a number of people describe Porter as having "football style" of fighting, where he basically is trying to truck his opponent over. But one thing I've noticed about Porter is that his bouncing rhythm can be a little too predictable at times, allowing opponents to catch him coming in. Exhibit A:
Porter sometimes has this kind of 'Miguel Cotto' thing to him where he does a couple of bounces before rushing in to attack. You'll see above that Brook is able to see Porter coming in and catches him cleanly with a check hook before resetting his position. This is important to note, particularly in this fight, because Adrien Broner has an excellent check hook and Porter is going to have to be mindful to disguise his attacks by changing his rhythm. If Porter can do this, he'll be able to work his way to the inside where he looks to do most of his damage.
But if Porter doesn't change his rhythm, he could have some problems as Kell Brook was able to time Porter's aggression very early in their fight, and stung Porter with a right hand that wobbled him. You can't hear the sound of the punch landing in this clip below, but you'll note Porter's reaction to it, immediately stepping back and stumbling in his corner at the end of the round. Exhibit B:
Of course we all know what to expect when Porter is able to get on the inside. The clip below illustrates the tough, grinding mentality of Porter. He's rarely looking to tie up, instead preferring to slug it out and wear down his opponents.
Now, it should be noted that Adrien Broner has had some trouble with these sort of roughhouse tactics during the Marcos Maidana fight, which is part of what makes this style match-up so intriguing. This fight could prove to be "déjà vu all over again" for Broner, as Yogi Berra would say, but for now let's just have a peek of how Maidana was able to bully Broner along the ropes (something that Porter is surely going to accomplish).
Overall, I think Broner-Porter will be a story of landscape. Can Broner keep Porter at middle-to-long range where he has some advantages, or will Porter be able to bull rush his way in and grind away on Broner. Because Broner doesn't punch much in between his opponents punches, this mauling action isn't going to be the kind of fight Broner wants; he's going to want to get Porter to follow him around the ring, pick his spots to stand his ground so he can get off his own offense, and then circle back out and use movement. Let's have a look at an example from the John Molina fight.
Here, after walking Molina around the ring, Broner is able to stop, pop, and mix up his punches - completely befuddling Molina. But Porter won't be anywhere near as easy a target as John Molina was here, that much is sure. This is why it'll be important for Broner to stay disciplined in his approach against Porter, and not let his pride/ego (or buffoonery) drag him into the kind of firefight that isn't going to favor him against the very physically strong Porter.
Two more days until the story unfolds...