• Boxing

Porter stuns Alexander to win IBF welterweight title

December 8, 2013
Shawn Porter emerged victorious from a unanimous decision © Getty Images

When Devon Alexander and Shawn Porter were maybe 8 or 9 years old in the late 1990s, they met as amateurs at the Ohio State Fair where Alexander won a three-round decision.

All these years later they met again as 26-year-old grown men and professionals, and Porter turned the tables, beating up Alexander in a unanimous-decision victory to win a welterweight world title on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Porter controlled most of the fight, which was the co-feature on the card headlined by the all-Brooklyn welterweight showdown between former world titleholders Zab Judah and Paulie Malignaggi.

Alexander (25-2, 14 KOs), making his second defense, thought he would be facing Amir Khan in a fight that was all but signed before Khan backed out in mid-October because he was the leading candidate to get a May fight with pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr.

In came Porter (23-0-1, 14 KOs), who had never before scored a significant professional win, but did have a standout amateur career, gained tremendous experience as a Manny Pacquiao sparring partner and was in tip-top shape for the fight, which he won 116-112, 116-112 and 115-113. ESPN.com also had Porter winning, 117-111.

"We worked hard and it came through in the ring. We made it look easy tonight," Porter said. "This is a blessing. We wanted to come out here and establish that I was the better fighter and we made that happen.

"I think I was able to control the fight with my experience and because I'm the bigger guy. We did what we had to do. The opportunity was here and I stepped up to the plate."

Porter took it to Alexander right away, looking to brawl against the slicker Alexander. He to rough up Alexander and was successful for the most part.

"I'm disappointed. I didn't do what I was supposed to do," Alexander said. "I didn't follow the game plan. He was rushing in and I didn't capitalize on that, and that was we had planned on."

In the third round, Porter wobbled Alexander with a right hand early in the round and then again with a series of shots late in the frame. By the fourth round, Alexander, of St. Louis, had a bloody cut over his right eye, perhaps from a head butt, and was having all kinds of trouble with the more physical Porter.

By the seventh round, Alexander's face was a bloody mess as he was taking shots and their heads were also coming together.

"I'm a very proud father tonight," said Kenny Porter, who is also Shawn's trainer.

Porter, of Akron, Ohio, suffered a damaged right eye when an accidental head butt opened a cut bad enough for referee Harvey Dock to call timeout so the wound could be examined by the ringside doctor.

Alexander suffered only his second defeat, also losing a technical decision in a 2011 junior welterweight unification fight against Timothy Bradley Jr.

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This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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