I may be a glutton for punishment to try this, but the KP comments (and comments about his comments) really got me thinking, and then I happened to read on competitor site about the fight and was surprised to see the scoring. I also agreed with Scott on the scoring until round five, which I believe he gave to Porter.
So what I decided to do was to score the fight by round but with the sound off—but also take into account what I might be seeing and thinking if I am a… erm… concerned dad. To be honest, it did make me looks at the rounds differently, so maybe you’ll find this exercise compelling.
CAVEAT: I’ve seen a WIDE range of scores. I’m not claiming to be able to score better than anyone else, I’m just noting what I’m seeing and what I’d be thinking (again, with the sound off!)
Also, I’m not trying to criticize KP. It’s easy to do this in hindsight. In the heat of the battle it’s different. I’m just trying to think about this as if Porter were not one of my fighters, but my own kid and how I would judge the key rounds of the fight--and what would worry me going forward.
However, let’s skip to round five. The first four rounds were a bit messy, but I’d call them 2-2 through round 4 or possibly 3-1 for Crawford (although I’d probably go 2-2).
Now, picking up at round five:
Round 5—I’ve got Crawford controlling the round until almost inexplicably highguarded up. I have to wonder why, as he almost never does this. Is it an effort to get Porter to punch himself out? Porter jumps on his chance, fires away and lands a few clean through the guard, which ties them or maybe puts him a punch ahead--BUT at the end of the round Bud really lights up Porter with clean punches.
DAD’S view: If I’m KP I’m seeing two things: 1) Porter doesn’t look as sharp as I’m used to seeing him. Maybe not in the sharp-Crawford fashion, but in the sharp-Porter fashion—like the dog who is honed to a freaking spear point (or cave man club) who is just ON. He looks almost fuzzy to me compared to, let’s say, the Spence fight. 2) I also don’t like the clean shots he takes at the end of the round. That’s Crawford getting off too cleanly for the judges to ignore and it probably knicks Crawford the round.
Round 6—This actually may be the most important round of the fight. Crawford picks up where he left off, starts sharp shooting and scoring. Even when missing—it’s often two wide misses and then a scoring punch. Shawn is landing really nothing but a good body shot and later a straight right BUT he is actually apologizing for roughhousing. Crawford meanwhile is starting to look for the same uppercut that puts Shawn down later (and he catches Shawn with it once). And the headbutts—one of them ugly where Porter pulls Crawford into it, and I can’t believe nobody’s forehead split. Shawn takes more clean punches, but he does get in three good body shots before more crazy-Shawn roughhousing. The is a bit of even inside fighting at the end, but Shawn to me is looking uncharacteristically tired and Crawford looks fresh as a daisy.
DAD’s view: Again, this may be the most important round of the fight. I don’t like the clean punches Porter is still taking, and I can see Crawford looking for the uppercut—and how it’s going to connect again and again. Porter is already getting predictable, but what I REALLY don’t like are the love taps after roughhousing. Porter wipes Crawford with an elbow and then seems to tap him to say: "Hey man, sorry about that. It’s just me, but I’m not meaning to." This I put down to their friendship, and if I’m dad, I’m going to go ballistic here in the corner and tell my son, WTH? YOU ARE SHAWN PORTER. A MAULER. OBV, DON’T HURT YOURSELF WITH YOUR FOREHEAD, BUT BE SHAWN PORTER AND BE THE MEAN JUNKYARD DOG AND LET THE REF DO HIS JOB.
Because Crawford is going to kill you if he gets the chance.
Round-7 We start with the worrying Crawford wave with his jab hand—it means check hooks coming, and you know Porter knows this. Crawford starts looking bigger, Porter more diminished even though Crawford is backing up. Not a great deal happening—Crawford landing clean shots, but then they get tangled, and Crawford covers up blind (I think he’s worried about more headbutts). Crawford takes a couple on the ropes, but then Crawford wakes up, lands a sharp jab, slips and lands a good straight left. Shawn maybe lands a hard jab, maybe comes up short, Crawford gets him with an uppercut again, ties him up. Crawford scores with three clean shots to end the round. I’ve also giving this round to Crawford.
DAD’s view: The check hook is going to be more and more of a problem, as is the uppercut. Shawn is still trying to jump in off the jab, and we’ve already seen the near Ricky Hatton check hook into the ring post. That right there is a concern—Crawford is so long and strong that he can manage that off of a wrist cuff to the back of the head. Also, Porter is either going to take a check hook to the ear or to the back of the head, as Crawford is so long and quick that he can do that accidentally and the ref is just not going to say anything. And that wave of the jab hand—Porter is probably seeing that too. At this point, I’ve got to be very worried that my kid cannot solve this riddle at all. It’s ominous… Really.
Round 8—Crawford just hitting Porter clean again and again to start the round. Some punches might be misses, but they are so pretty that it’s almost a 10-8 round in terms of domination only 30 secs in until Porter lands a body shot. Then things slow down a bit. Porter gets a few good shots in around 2 min, but then Crawford goes back to scoring—and there is a tendency of Crawford waiting for the same moves. He knows a long power jab is coming, so he tries to slip it (usually does) then counters over it with his jab and then with a shot to the body or an uppercut looking for Shawn to duck down into it. This is a clear Crawford round for me. Crawford looks a bit tired going back to his corner—first time I’ve noticed that—but still he looks good. Maybe he’s a bit sick of this fight (and the head clashing), but he doesn’t look worried at all. In fact, in much of that round he looks like he’s simply enjoying himself. Interesting is that off one of Porter’s successful jabs, Crawford lands a check hook and then a very hard body shot to the sternum. That’s got to hurt… and it’s more foreboding. Also interesting is that his jab gets countered hard by Porter—maybe Porter should have fought a more defensive fight?
DAD’s view: I should be noticing right now that jumping in behind the hard jab is not going to work. Crawford is just waiting for it, and that body shot to the sternum was a shot. At this point, I’m probably picturing the knockdown, as this does not look like the Spence fight at all, with Porter looking more and more "fuzzy" by the minute—and again, Crawford does not look phased. He does not seem to feel Porter’s power and he’s simply too comfortable in there.
Round 9—HOLY MOLY--noww this is a round that makes me think. To start the round Porter does a fantastic job slipping shots on defense to open the round. I mean he is literally in Benitez mode, which is incredible at this point in the fight. Really makes me wonder if he had the wrong game plan all along. Bud literally can’t land a thing--it's incredible--until Porter charges forward and again catches a check hook (and this to the back of the head). Porter lands a body shot and a glancing blow or two, but what is more telling is that Bud looks very ineffective and takes more shots, although then he starts nailing Porter with about 50 left. Interesting that he still cannot land his jab on Porter. He does land a couple of nice shots at the end, but you could lean this round to Porter or call it a 10-10. I really would have a hard time giving it to Crawford, although maybe his shots were cleaner. Maybe we’ll give this one to Porter also on the Willie Pep defensive round factor.
DAD’s view: THIS should be a sign to make adjustments—and to wonder if WE (not my son) got it wrong all along. I am shocked that Bud simply cannot land that jab, and in fact Porter’s defense when Bud goes on offense is outstanding. I honestly wonder if Porter had really changed it up from the start and played straight counter puncher if this would have been a different fight. I don’t mean change his nature, but just to wait to go Tasmanian Devil until after a slip and to stop the leaping in behind a power jab. ALSO, I think it would have been wise to get Porter circling toward Bud’s backhand. I know the common mantra these days is to circle away from the back hand, but honestly, that’s not always the right play. Guys like Holmes, Leonard, Benitez, Hearns and even Duran circled to their left constantly against ortho fighters. Why? Because a lot of guys cannot launch their backhand without getting set, and that movement against the grain keeps making them take little steps to try to get set—and when they do launch it, they hurry it and throw it from a squared position, which takes a lot off it. Sure, you can walk into a broken nose, but nothing in boxing is a sure thing. Anyway, it's an option here--an adjustment, and I really didn't see Porter make any this fight.
Also, I’ve noticed that Bud doesn’t seem to have much power on a straight backhand left to the head. He can hurt you to the body, uppercut you with it or even hook with it, but the straight is not his greatest punch (at head level). This is very common. Anyone who is playing with switch hitting will probably notice that it’s kind of the same. In fact, if I were Spence, I’d consider circling right against that back hand. Bud now fights almost exclusively as a southpaw (most of the time anyway), and this could work. It might make it harder for Spence to land power shots to the body though.
Round 10—obv, no reason to score this one. Only Porter got caught attacking, and that first uppercut was something that was waiting for him all night.
So in the end, I would give Porter three rounds to Crawford’s seven. I can understand the argument that Porter only won three or maybe eve that he won four (based on the early rounds). But upon watching this I don’t really question the "early towel."
Anyway, that’s my take on the fight, and I’m sticking to it.