With just weeks to go until their blockbuster welterweight title unification, IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. and WBC Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter had a heated series of exchanges on “PBC Face to Face” as they went back and forth previewing their showdown that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Spence Jr. and Porter both predicted knockout wins in their quests become a unified champion, a win that would bring the victor one step closer to their goal of becoming the undisputed top welterweight in the world.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.
A two-time welterweight champion, Porter captured the WBC belt last September with a win over Danny Garcia and defended it on FOX with a victory over Yordenis Ugas in March. Porter plans to use his status as the veteran of numerous title fights on the biggest stages to eventually overwhelm his opponent on September 28.
“I’m expecting to break Errol Spence in a lot of different ways,” said Porter. “I’m expecting this to be the fight that comes as a wakeup call for his career.
“Any top notch fighter or any fighter that’s talked about for a long time and who you’ve seen win over crowds in the ring, that’s who I am. As a fighter, I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to leave a grand mark in my era. I will not be denied and that’s what makes me so good as a fighter.”
A highly-touted U.S. Olympian coming out of the 2012 games, Spence has lived up to the promise and became a welterweight champion in 2017 by stopping then unbeaten Kell Brook in the U.K. Since then he has made three successful defenses, including his most recent triumph over four-division champion Mikey Garcia in a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View in March, and he will look to leave it all in the ring on his path to becoming a unified champion.
“I already have it in my head that I want to punish Shawn and get an impressive knockout,” said Spence. “Nothing he can say can stop me. That’s my mentality come September 28.
“I have a lot of dog in me, I’m a guy who always comes to fight. I’m going to do what it takes to win.”
Catch the “PBC Face to Face” replay on FS1 this Sunday, September 8 at 9 p.m. ET and on FS2 tomorrow, Friday, September 6 at 11 p.m. ET and again on Saturday, September 7 at 12:30 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET. Here are some of the top exchanges from the show between the two welterweight champions:
On going from “from friends to foes” after a relationship dating back to their amateur days:
Shawn Porter: “I wouldn’t say I’ve shifted, but when he said he wants to fight me, I’m like ‘let’s go’. This is what we do. This is what we signed up for. But you know just like I know, it’s time to take care of business.”
Errol Spence Jr.: “This is something that I’ve wanted for a long time. To be a unified champion. To have that WBC Belt. I’m more loyal to my dream and to my job than I am to a friendship. This is how I put food on my family’s table.”
On their Las Vegas press conference on July 20 where Spence declared he would knock Porter out:
Porter: “I heard you, and I heard you clearly. Was there hesitation? Possibly. Do you really believe it? I don’t know. The fact remains that I am who I’ve always been. Nobody’s ever knocked me out. You can say what you want to say, but doing something is completely different.”
Spence:”My mom always said there’s a first time for everything. You’ve never been knocked out before? That’s cool. Everybody knows that I can knock him out. That’s something that I’m willing to do, that’s what I’m training for and that’s something that very likely could happen come September 28.”
On the Porter family’s familiarity with Spence (Shawn’s father and Trainer Ken trained Spence during a portion of his amateur career)
Porter: “From 2012 to now a lot of things can change and I’m sure a lot of things have changed. I do feel that in some ways, we have a good insight, but not a complete insight on who Errol Spence Jr. is and what he’s capable of.”
Spence: “You can go back and look at amateur tapes and see why I lost, but at the end of the day, you’re going to be in a real fight. I’m looking to punish him from the first round until I stop him. I’m looking to make history. I’m looking to be the best. That’s why I took on this challenge and that’s’ why I wanted to fight Shawn Porter.”
On if Spence has enough respect for Porter heading into this fight
Porter: “No, but he has the respect that he needs. The respect he needs is to understand that ‘if I’m going to beat Shawn Porter, I have to punish him.’ Those are the same words that are being said in my camp. We’re talking about punishing you. We’re talking about taking you to the deep waters and drowning you. We’re talking about hitting you and hurting you. We’re talking about hitting you with things you’ve never felt before. It’s nothing new, but the talking is done pretty soon, and we’ll have to get it on.”
Spence: “I know what he comes with. He’s aggressive and will try to take me to deep waters. That all sounds good, but everybody knows that I come in great shape. I throw a lot of punches. I can do it all. They can try to drown me, but you might be the one getting drowned.”
Porter: “I’ve been in the ring against guys who hit hard and I had to keep going until I come out on top, on the bottom or however it goes. The fact remains the same, I’m never going to stop. You can say you’re going to do this, you’re going to do that, but do you really have what it takes to stop me?”
On Spence’s fight against Mikey Garcia
Spence: “They said if it was a tactical fight, Mikey Garcia was going to beat me. They said it all throughout the whole presser and through the lead up to the fight. And I made sure that I was going to show my skillset, my talent and my abilities, not only physically, but mentally, just my whole skill set. And I’ve been saying that.
Porter: “You came on my show ‘INSIDE PBC BOXING’ sat next to me, and I said, ‘Were you mad that you didn’t knock him out?’ You said: ‘Yeah, I was a little mad.’ I said: ‘Oh, I’m surprised. I would have thought the opposite. I didn’t think you will be mad.’ You said: ‘Well yeah, I wanted to knock him out.’ Now you’re saying you didn’t want to hurt him?”
Spence Jr.: “Did I say the whole time I was going to knock him out? Through the whole lead up to the fight, did I say I going to knock him out? Now I’m saying I’m going to knock you out.”
Porter: “That’s what you’re supposed say. That’s how you’re supposed to feel.”
Spence Jr.: “You going to be swinging wild and you’ll just miss. I am going to punish you. Watch.”
Porter: “The blessed part about it is, I’m not banking on that to beat you. I’m not banking on my will. I’m not banking on my heart.”
Spence Jr.: “But the best thing about that is I’m better than you talent wise, skill wise, and I know I’ve got more talent than you. You’re going to find out on September 28.”
Porter: “Guess we’re going to find out.”
On the role of experience in this fight
Porter: “I don’t think you’ve been in the ring with anyone that has made you adapt, has made you make adjustments, has made you get out of your comfort zone, and on September 28, that’s exactly what I plan to do.”
Spence Jr.: “He doesn’t have the skills to beat me. I’m not worried about Shawn boxing like he did with Ugas, or what he did with Danny Garcia. He’s going to have no choice but to come forward.”
Porter: “What do you trust that’s telling you that’s the only way I can beat you?”
Spence Jr.: “Like I said, you’re going to have no choice but to come forward. Period. You’ll find out September 28.”
Porter: “I want to know where the confidence comes from.”
Spence Jr.: “The confidence comes within me, I’m going to punish you, man. I promise you that.”
On fighting for the top spot in the welterweight division
Porter: “1, 2, 3. Make them however you want to make them. Shawn Porter, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao. After this right here, there’s only two.”
Spence Jr.: “I want to be a legend a sport. And he’s in my way. So, I’m not thinking about Manny Pacquiao right now. Shawn Porter is first.”
Porter: “You can still have your legacy and everything, I’m just going to slow you down a little bit.”
Spence Jr.: “We’ll see. I’m going to put you on my resume.”
On getting the win by stoppage on September 28
Porter: “I most definitely can stop him. It’s all about timing. Everything you send to me, I’m going to shoot it right back at you. The difference is I’m willing, I’m capable of doing it when we get in the ring. I don’t think you are.”
Spence Jr.: “It doesn’t matter what you say. You can lie to yourself all you want.”
Porter: “I’ll come out and knock you out in the first round. It’s still going to be exciting. People are still going to be on their feet. It’s going to be one of the most exciting knockouts of the year. I’m making it plain and simple, baby. No matter how this fight goes, I’m leaving the ring with the belt. And because you are who you are, it’s going to be exciting watching me.”
Spence Jr.: “You’re not. You’re going to be congratulating me as a unified champ. That’s what you’re going to do.”
Porter: “However he lets it end, it’s going to be with me winning.”
Spence Jr.: “This fight ends in a spectacular knockout by me. I’m going to punish him. I’m going to beat him up mentally and physically. I’m going to have him distraught in the ring. Then, I’m finishing him.”
Here is what the fighters had to say Tuesday at the open to the public event from STAPLES Center in Star Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles:
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“This is going to be an amazing event. The co-main event could be the main event on any normal, but this main event is going to be fire. You know it’s man down when I get in the ring and we’re going to show you just that on September 28.
“Shawn is a warrior who always comes to fight and leaves his heart on the table. He always comes ready, but I’m in shape and ready for him too. We’re both always in exciting fights and that’s what we’re going to give the fans.
“You’ve seen my growth over the years to where I’m fighting in bigger and bigger stadiums and headlining the pay-per-views. Now I’m in a unification fight, which is what I’ve wanted for a long time.
“I know Shawn will keep this same energy on fight night. It’s going to be an amazing moment when I get this knockout at STAPLES Center.
“This is what I’ve been waiting for. I had to be on the sidelines and watch Shawn fight Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia, but now I’m in that group. I have the opportunity to fight these top guys and make my name known.
“My whole thing is that I’m looking for the stoppage. I want to make a statement that I’m clearing out the division. I want Manny Pacquiao and all of the top names in this division.”
“This fight demands this kind of excitement and energy that we have here today. We’re coming to the STAPLES Center for these fans, because they give us the energy that we need.
“Being in this position is amazing and I love it. I’ve always looked forward to opportunities like this and I’m going to bring this same energy into the ring.
“I know what’s about to go down. I know how great and how special this fight is going to be. The closer we get, the more excited I get. We will be prepared for it.
“People don’t understand the level that Errol and I are on. He’s expecting the same thing I’m expecting. We’re both training to go 12 hard rounds and out class each other. It’s all about that one moment, and I know I have what it takes to make that moment all mine. I’m looking forward to it.
“It was only a matter of time until this fight happened. I’ve been patient my entire career and never rushed anything. For me, this fight is happening on time. He’s amongst the elite of this division now and will be after September 28 no matter what.
“When I beat Errol Spence Jr., it doesn’t mean he’s going away. He’s still elite. But I’m going to take care of him September 28 and go after Manny Pacquiao. That’s the plan.”
“Benavidez is a come forward fighter who throws a lot of punches. You can frustrate him and do what you need to do to counteract that though.
“I’ve had some tough fights and people think that because of those fight, Benavidez is going to beat me. I feel otherwise. I’m the champion. I’m older and smarter and I’m going to go in there and defend my title successfully.
“I’m an experienced fighter. I’ve been doing this for 25 years going back to my amateur days. He’s only 22-years-old and he can’t possible know what I can do. He’s going to find out on September 28.
“I can’t only rely on just my experience. I have to throw punches and go in there to execute my game plan.
“Him going for the knockout definitely excites me. We’re going to give the fans something to see. They’re coming to see a knockout and I’m planning to give it to them.
“Being an underdog is great, it motivates me. I’m fine with it because I can prove everybody wrong at the end of the day. It’s about making history, and you can’t make history if you don’t go in there and take a chance.
“I’m ready. We’ve been wanting this fight for over a year. Now it’s here and we’re both ready to go. I’m looking for the knockout and I know he is too.
“I know that I can take a punch, but we’ll see if he can. He’s been dropped before, as have I. I’ve come back from worse than that though. We’re both warriors and we’re both going to be ready to give the fans something to see.”
“Anthony Dirrell is a tough, rugged fighter who has a lot of experience and has been in there with the best. He has height and reach like I do. We’re putting together a good game plan.
“Fighting in Dallas in front of 50,000 people was definitely one of the biggest fights of my life, but I feel like it’s just getting better and better from there.
“It’s a dream come true fighting at STAPLES Center. I’ve always dreamed about fighting here in front of all my people. It’s going to be like I’m fighting at home.
“The winners of this fight are going to be the fans. It’s going to be a great fight and I want to steal the show and put on the fight of the night.
“I have the opportunity to become the youngest two-time super middleweight world champion in history. I’m working hard to do my best to give the fans an action packed fight and accomplish my goals.
“There’s a lot of motivation for me because he has my title. We have respect outside the ring, but none of that will be in the ring. We’re both going for the knockout and it’s going to be a war from round one.
“There are a lot of things that I can do. I can box on the inside and I can brawl. I think Anthony Dirrell is going to want to make it a brawl and stay in there with me. That’s how he fought his last fight and we know there’s a lot we can do if he brings that style.”
“Fighting on a card like this is a dream come true. This will be my third fight at STAPLES Center and I always get a lot of love in Los Angeles. It’s always an exciting experience and I’m looking forward to it again.
“I’m fighting for a title and I’m not going home to San Antonio without it. I know that he’s going to bring everything he’s got. This will be my toughest opposition by far, but that won’t change anything on September 28.”
“This a great opportunity for me to be part of such a momentous card. I’m grateful to my whole team for getting me this opportunity and I’m training to take full advantage.
“On September 28, it’s going to be a great fight. I’m going to start writing my history in this fight by winning this title.”
“I’m excited to be a part of this great card. It’s been seven years since I had that great showing at STAPLES Center against Victor Ortiz, and it’s a great feeling to be back.
“I’m going to put on a show, just like I did my last time fighting at STAPLES Center. I’m going to deliver another great performance.
“Expect fireworks. We’re going to start this pay-per-view off right and get things ready for the rest of this card. It’s going to be a night you don’t want to miss.”
JOHN MOLINA JR.
“Here we go again. It’s going to be another exciting fight. This is a long time coming for the both of us. We both have a never say die attitude and that’s what you’re going to get on fight night.
“Make sure you’re there on September 28, because you’re going to enjoy this fight. We’re both going to leave it all in the ring, just like everyone expects us to.”
“I’m excited to be back on this stage again. We have two great champions in the main event and it makes for an exciting night from top to bottom.
“I just wanted to say something about the shooting incidents that have happened in our country. One of the incidents happened in my hometown in Gilroy, California, so a portion of my purse is going to go to the victims of that tragedy.”
“I’m really happy and honored to be a part of this card with all of these great champions. I can’t wait to go out there and put on a show.
“It’s amazing just to be in the building, let alone to be fighting on a card like this. I’m really excited to give all the fans a great show.”
Here is what the fighters had to say Saturday from MGM Grand, plus quotes from Spence’s trainer Derrick James and Porter’s father and trainer Ken Porter:
ERROL SPENCE JR.
“He didn’t want to fight me. I wanted him. I have no choice but to come out on top. I’m the guy that’s going to make the fight on pay-per-view. I’m the guy that’s going to make the most money. So I feel like he didn’t have a choice but to fight me. It just had to happen.
“I want to be the best. I want to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and he is in my way. I feel like by the end of next year, you’ll find out who is really the best welterweight in the division.
“I’m used to fighting and sparring aggressive guys that come forward. He’s not a fighter that just likes to come forward, but he likes to use his angles and use his legs. I’m expecting a Shawn Porter that is going to try to get on the inside for the fight.
“This is a fight that I have been asking for, for a long time. If you follow me on social media, you can see that since I was 14-0, I have been calling out the big name fighters and they decided not to fight me. All to keep me out. You all wanted to fight each other. Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, even Shawn Porter. I had to get in the ring and ask for this fight, saying I will fight you anytime, anyplace. Now it’s finally happening.
“I guarantee you, I will become the undisputed welterweight champion of the world, but I have to get through Shawn Porter first and become unified. This is going to be a tough fight. Shawn is a dog and he has amazing heart. I am not going to say he has all the skills in the world, but he does have talent. He’s a guy that’s going to come to fight and give it his all. But I believe I do have the skills and talent and the dog and the heart to not only make this an easy fight but I can stop him and that’s what I am looking to do.
“You saw a different fight when I fought Mikey Garcia. Everybody said I didn’t have the boxing IQ or the boxing intellect to keep up with Mikey Garcia, or to box him on the outside and to show that I was sharp. I am not just a guy who will just maul you and run through you and beat you up. In this fight I will get back to my old self and you’ll see a guy who is going to push the pace, look for the fight and try to go for the stoppage or the knockout to score an impressive one-sided victory.
“Everybody tune in to the fight. It’s going to be a great fight, action packed fight and it can be the Fight of the Year.
“I feel like there’s no way he’s going to be fighting me on the outside. So he’s going to be a guy that’s going to try to come forward and try to set the pace and rough me up. He’s going to try to show me things that have never been brought out of me, that I’m going to have to prove.”
“When I fought Keith Thurman in 2016, he was considered to be the most dangerous guy in the division. I wanted to take that away from him. I wanted to take that title away from him. So yes, in a lot of ways, I’ve been down this road before. I think I’m more prepared this time around.
“When you talk about the new monster in the division as Errol Spence Jr., I’m not foreign to taking on those challenges, or being prepared for this kind of challenge. I’m not foreign to understanding what a fighter can do and what skills he possesses. I’m willing and able to come out on top of the challenge. That’s why he was selected. Once he got a belt, I needed to get a belt. There’s nothing but excitement around this.
“My natural mentality is to be more aggressive. But, we have a guy right here in Errol Spence Jr. that likes to be aggressive too and dictate the pace and be the general of the ring. I like to do the same thing. So our skills are really going to be a big part of this fight.
“By the beginning of next year, we will know who is the best. It’s not just going to be who is the most aggressive in our fight that will determine who is going to win, but also who has the most skill and who is the most talented fighter. If there is any fight that can prove I’m the biggest dog in the welterweight division, it will be this one versus Errol Spence Jr.
“This guy right here calls himself ‘The Truth’, so I felt it was fitting that today I tell the truth. The truth is that you guys are in for a treat. The truth is that this going to be a fantastic fight. The truth is that this dude has skill, he has power and speed. He has everything, but the truth is, I have all those things as well.
“The truth is I don’t think you all have seen him in the ring with someone like him before. You all have not seen him in the ring before with someone who possesses all of those things. The speed, the quickness, the power, the intelligence, the mental fortitude, the dog, the fight. The truth is that I have all of those things. The truth is that it takes all of those things to beat the guy called ‘The Truth.’ The truth is, I am prepared to do those things to beat this guy and give him his first loss and finally become the unified champion in the welterweight division, which we don’t have right now.
“The truth is, I believe in myself. The truth is, I will be ready September 28 at STAPLES Center. The truth is, I am extremely excited that it will be at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. I have never fought there before. You guys asked me where I wanted to go, I say Las Vegas or Brooklyn because I have been there before. I even said Dallas because it was a great promotion when he did it against Mikey Garcia. But the truth is, I would love to fight in STAPLES and I can’t wait to get there.
“The truth is you all are going to have to wait until September 28 to see what goes down. But I am telling you the truth right now, I will leave that ring as the unified champion.
“He knows I’m a dog and have plenty of heart. I have heart to give and he knows I’m bringing all of it. He’s saying there’s going to be a man down, but I’m not focused on that. I’m focused on being prepared. I know he thinks in some ways he can make it an easy fight, but trust me, me and my team are looking at the exact same thing. No surprises on September 28 when I knock him out, it’s been said.”
“I’m thankful to my team for allowing me to be in this fight. It’s going to be an amazing card with Errol Spence and Shawn Porter, two of the biggest welterweight stars in boxing right now. I get to co-headline the pay-per-view and I also get to go fight for my title back, which is something that I have wanted since I lost it.
“I’ve worked extremely hard to get to this point in my life. I’m only 22 years old and I’m fighting for my second world title, so everyone knows I’m very talented. People want to see me because I have exciting fights. I feel like I could be that next star, because I’m bringing that old school boxing back and knocking people out. If I’m not knocking them out, I’m beating them up the whole fight.
“Anthony is a tough fighter. He’s a fighter that I want to go against to not only show my fans but to show myself I’m the best in the division in the world today. There are so many good fights in my weight division. But right now there’s just a lot of opportunities in front of me, so I’m going to keep working hard and showing the fans and everyone that I am the best.
“I am very excited and motivated. Anthony Dirrell is a rugged tough fighter and a veteran in this sport. I have been watching him since I was 13 years old. This is a fight that I really want and I know I can go in there and really dominate and I am going to do that in spectacular fashion. I will knock Anthony Dirrell out.”
DERRICK JAMES, Spence’s Trainer
“I am very happy to be here on this special occasion. This is one step closer to Errol Spence’s personal goal that I plan to help him get. He wants to be the undisputed welterweight champion of the world and this is another move towards that.
“We have a very formidable champ in Shawn Porter, who is a very tough rugged fighter and we look forward to the challenge. We know what he brings and that he will have a great strategy and game plan. I know that he has a great trainer in his father helping him.
“I look forward to putting together an amazing game plan. It is my goal to help my fighter be the man that he wants to be. He wants to be the IBF world champion as well as the WBC world champion and we are heading towards the WBA and anything else, and my job is to help him do that. That’s what we are in for and we are really happy to be here.”
KEN PORTER, Porter’s Father & Trainer
“It feels good to be here. Shawn has done everything I have asked him to over the course of the last eight or nine weeks. All we needed was a date and location.
“Errol Spence is a great fighter and he has a great trainer. I have been a fan of Errol Spence as long as he’s been boxing. I have been up against him, been with him and I knew one day he would be a world champion. And if he recalls, we had a conversation a few years ago that he and Shawn would probably fight. When Errol is not fighting Shawn Porter, I am the biggest Errol Spence fan.
“They gave him the name ‘The Truth’ but I knew that a long time ago. He is definitely ‘The Truth,’ he always has been. So it’s up to us, Team Porter, my son Shawn Porter, my coaches and all of us to change everything that has already been said. To change the perception of what is going to happen that night. I believe we can do it. We have the team to do it. I have the fighter to do it and it’s a great challenge.
“It’s the biggest challenge of Shawn’s career but this is why we box. This is why we fight. Everybody can say what they want but the only thing that matters is fight night. When it’s over with then we will know.
“I am looking forward to this. We have great fight in front of us. This is what it takes to make great fighters. These guys can make each other great. This is for the legacy.”