Ahead of this weekend’s welterweight title unification between IBF beltholder Errol Spence and WBC beltholder Shawn Porter, the two fighters sit down with Inside PBC Boxing to discuss their thoughts on the fight.
Porter on saying that Spence has become an arrogant fighter:
“I think Errol is feelin’ himself. When you’re dominant, when you’re the guy that’s a champion right now, you know, I get how that could happen but time to calm down, baby.”
Spence on if he really is feelin’ himself:
“It has nothing to do with feelin’ myself, I’ve been feelin’ myself since my career started. I been saying that I can beat all the top guys in the division so, it’s not just that I’m arrogant — now they’re hearing me because I’m at the top of the mountain. So all the arrogant stuff, that all go out the door, I’ve been training hard, I’m fully focused, and I’m ready to fight. So doesn’t matter if you’re arrogant or not as long as you’re training hard, your focused, you listen to your coach, and I’m doing everything possible to ensure me a victory.”
Spence on telling Porter to his face he’ll be the first to stop him and if it will be a disappointment if he doesn’t:
“A little bit. It would be a little bit of a letdown. It’s something that I really want, I really want to be the first person to stop Shawn Porter. You know, he wanna be the first person to stop me too so I think it’s in the back of both our minds. I’m not gonna go out my way or look sloppy or try to do something extra just to get the knockout. If it happens, it happens. But hopefully I get it come Saturday night.”
Spence on why he thinks he can knock out Porter when he didn’t even knock out Mikey Garcia:
“[Laughs at the shade thrown at him]. I think Mikey’s more defensively responsible than Shawn Porter so I feel like with Shawn’s style it definitely enables me to catch him coming in and knock him out. But that was good, that was a good question.”
Porter on if he’s surprised he’s the underdog heading into the fight:
“No. Not at all. I’m not surprised I’m the underdog. This is where come from. I’m blue collar, baby. And you know exactly what that means, we have to work for everything we get and all the way up until now I’ve had to work for everything that I’ve gotten. So it doesn’t surprise me at all to be an underdog. Again, he’s 25-0, he’s young, everybody looks at him like he’s being avoided and things like that. So when it comes to this I think the betting odds are looking at it statistically more so than what could really happen in the fight. And so for me, I’m just out there to prove everybody wrong now.”
Spence on if this fight will end up being more like Mayweather-Pacquiao or Leonard-Hearns:
“I think it could be more of a Leonard-Hearns. I think this fight here is going to be very exciting, I think it will be more exciting than the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. With two of our styles meshing together, you know, Shawn, he’s all action, you know I’m all action, so I think at some point we’re just gonna meet in the ring and we’re gonna go at it.
“I think this right here might be one of the classic fights, especially a classic unification fight.”
Spence on if he really thinks Porter is a dirty fighter:
“Oh yeah. Everybody knows [laughs]. Everybody knows he’s dirty so, whatever it takes to win. You know, that’s what they do.”
Porter on saying that he’s going to break Spence in this fight:
“I think a lot of guys have allowed Errol to get his way...I know that I’m prepared to do everything that it takes to make that not the case...no matter what, no matter when, I’m gonna be right there and do whatever it takes to get the job done. I think that Errol is relying on his size, I think he’s relying on the power that he’s had through 25 fights against guys who shy away from him. And I think that’s what he’s relying on, he thinks he can knock me out and things like that. He says I’m a dirty fighter. All those things he’s saying, he really does believe all that and I think that’s gonna take away from everything [he’ll try to do].”
Spence on never having face a pit bull style like Porter’s before:
“I mean, it doesn’t matter. I’m sure Ray Leonard never fought a style like Tommy Hearns before he fought Tommy Hearns...It really doesn’t matter. It’s all about making adjustments inside the ring, it’s all about adapting, it’s all about following your game plan and your coach and, you know, I feel like I come out victorious. So I’m good at adapting, I’ve seen every style whether it was amateur sparring or professional — I’ve seen his style before. He’s a come-forward fighter. I feel like he can’t box...I’m ready for anything he brings to the table, period.”
Porter on how he feels when Spence dismisses his boxing skill:
“It’s okay. It’s okay, it’s only a matter of time. Anything he’s written off, he’s about to find out.
“You’ve seen it all from me but you’ve seen one style a little bit more than you’ve seen the rest of it. Here’s the thing, when Errol Spence chose to box Mikey, nobody expected him to be able to box Mikey. And when he did that he opened everyone’s eyes.
“He may overlook it, he may underwrite it or whatever it may be, but you know the jab is there, you know the straight right hand is there, the skills are there. I have boxer’s eyes. I know what I’m looking at and I know what I want to see. And I will see what I want and get it.”
Spence on his prediction for the fight:
“I’m knocking him out, cold.”
Porter on his prediction:
“‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter leaves the building as the unified champion of the world.”
“I might change my nickname to ‘The Showstopper’ after Saturday night. Errol ‘The Showstopper’ Spence.”