Adam Kownacki stays unbeaten with UD win over Charles Martin and Yordenis Ugas defeats Cesar Barrionuevo in WBC welterweight title eliminator
BROOKLYN, NY — There has always been a wrought-iron will to Shawn Porter. It manifests itself in the way “Showtime” keeps coming forward when he fights, and in the way he refuses to be defined by others for his fighting style, nor denied when he thinks something is rightfully his.
Like wearing a world championship belt around his waist.
Porter became a world champion for the second time in his career Saturday night—winning the WBC’s vacant 147-pound title with a unanimous decision win over Danny Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) before 13,058 fans in the main event of a PBC on Showtime card at Barclays Center.
Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs) won on all three judges’ scorecards by scores of 116-112 from Don Ackerman, and 115-113 each from Julie Lederman and Eric Marlinski.
“I tell people all the time I don’t make predictions,” Porter said. “I made a prediction and a hard one to live up to. I said I wasn’t leaving New York without this belt and I’m not leaving New York without this belt. I knew he was going to be accurate. The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show we could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes.
“This title means a lot to me. It meant a lot to boxing and I wanted to be a part of that. He tried to outhustle me, mostly at the end of the rounds. He did a tremendous job. There was some things missing tonight and those aren’t going to be there in the next one.
“It wasn’t’ necessarily about making it wild. My dad wanted me to stay consistent with the body work and stay consistent with the pressure.”
As for Garcia, he of course thought he won.
“I thought I did enough to win,” Garcia said. “It was a close fight. The judges didn’t give it to me. I busted my head on the inside, plus a couple headbutts on my nose. It is what it is. This is boxing. He was throwing a lot. I had my defense tight so it wasn’t effective. I thought I landed the clearer shots. I thought I won this fight.
“I have to sit back, relax and see what’s next for me.”
By the 10th round, Garcia lost the distance war. Porter was in his grill, fighting his fight. It still didn’t mean Garcia couldn’t land a big shot, which Garcia did, connecting with a right. But in the last 30 seconds, the two played a game of who’s stronger, staying in tight exchanging heavy shots.
It was Garcia, however, that got the better of it in the end.
Garcia dug a right into Porter in the 11th, and as Porter tried countering, he missed lunging punches. Still, Porter tapped Garcia in the head and to the body. His mauling approach produced more oohs and aahs from the crowd, and it may have been enough for “Showtime” to win the round.
In the 12th, Porter got off to a good start. Once again, he attacked inside and pounded Garcia’s midsection. It was his most effective means of scoring and it was working As Porter crouched, Garcia popped some shots off his head. Though, a cut was opened on the left side of Garcia’s scalp, forcing blood to course down the side of his head as the final bell rang.
Yordenis Ugas defeats Cesar Barrionuevo in WBC welterweight title eliminator
In the co-feature, a WBC welterweight title eliminator, Yordenis Ugas (23-3, 11 KOs) outlasted Cesar Barrionuevo (34-4-2, (24 KOs) in a 12-round unanimous decision. Ugas upped his winning streak to eight-straight fights, dating back to 2014. The loss snapped Barrionuevo’s 10-fight winning streak that went back to 2013.
In fairness to Ugas and Barrionuevo, they had a tough act to follow, considering their fight came in the wake of the fist-flying Kownacki-Martin brawl.
It was lopsided fight and that was indicative of the scores from John McKaie and Kevin Morgan, who each had Ugas up 120-108, and Tom Schreck, who gave Barrionuevo one round in his 119-109 score.
“We won today and I think I showed my talent,” Ugas said. “I’m happy with my performance. I showed enough, now I’m ready for a championship fight. I have had some difficulties in my life. I’m back and I’m moving forward. I’m ready for whoever comes my way. I’m ready for a title.
“I feel really good and I'm happy to be in this position one step closer to a world title. I want the winner of Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter. I'm here to compete with the top level guys in the sport.”
Adam Kownacki stays unbeaten with UD win over former champion Charles Martin
In a great showcase of his power and confidence, unbeaten Brooklyn-based heavyweight Adam Kownacki (18-0, 15 KOs) remained unbeaten winning a 10-round unanimous decision over his toughest test to date—former IBF heavyweight titlist Charles Martin (25-2-1, 23 KOs). It marked the first time anyone had gone the distance with Kownacki since January 2016.
Judges Carlos Ortiz Jr., Joseph Pasquale and John Stewartall scored the fight 96-94 in favor of Kownacki.
“I think the fans liked it. It was a good fight. I worked really hard to look impressive tonight,” the native of Poland said. “Charles Martin gave it all in the ring tonight. He put up a good fight. I have a great team behind me. I think I proved tonight that I'm a top 10 fighter at heavyweight. I need a few more fights before the title shot. But it’s coming.
“I thought I won the decision a little wider than the cards, but Charles came to fight all night. He was in shape and coming forward and I had to dig deep. The Polish fans were awesome tonight. It definitely gave me a boost. It's a blessing, they're the best in the world.”
Martin had not fought in 14 months, the longest layoff of his career.
He started sluggish, slow in getting off his punches and served as nothing more than human punching bag for the first half of the half, as the heavily partisan Polish crowd cheered their hero on, singing nationalistic songs and praise to Kownacki.
He was never in any danger, though Martin came alive in the latter portion of the eighth with a left to the jaw that snapped Kownacki’s head back. In the ninth, Martin stung Kownacki again with a one-two to the head. Though, it seemed a little too late.
In the end, it wound up being an exciting fight, despite Martin’s slow start.
“I believed I got the win. I did work on the inside and no one saw that,” Martin said. “I did really good work on the inside. I will get back in the gym. I’ll keep on going. Looks are very deceiving. I put up a hell of a fight and I came up just short.”