ATLANTIC CITY, NJ—On paper, it looked intriguing. Then again, two undefeated young fighters on a major stage should lure anyone into expecting something special to happen.
Shawn Porter made sure it didn’t—with a dominating, lopsided unanimous decision over Canadian Phil Lo Greco on the undercard of the Lamont Peterson-Lucas Matthysse main event Saturday night at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall.
Porter (21-0-1, 14 knockouts) kept his record pristine, while Lo Greco sunk to 25-1, with 14 KOs. It helped Porter erase the stench of his last outing, a 10-round draw against Julio Diaz five months ago. The draw enabled Diaz to get a shot at Amir Khan, while Porter was left to rebuild and re-examine himself, where his mistakes were and where his future was headed. Porter knew he was better than that. The Diaz draw gnawed at him for five months.
This was a nice first step in moving forward, chopping down a fighter with a glossy record built against nobodies and little else as far arsenal is concerned.
“He did everything I expected him to do in the ring, I expected him to cover up and throw wide, hard shots,” said Porter, who won on the scorecards of judges George Hill (99-89), Joseph Pasquale (100-88) and Larry Layton (100-88). “Our game plan was to outbox him, step to him when we could and get up on the ropes and broke him down.
“I’d try to say [the Diaz fight] is gone, but it’s not. It was a bitter performance for me. I’m a straight competitor to my heart. Coming into this fight, I had to be the complete opposite of how I fought in that draw. From that standpoint, there were a lot of things that I didn’t do in that fight that I had to bring in this fight. I listened, I stayed focused. I learned I can go 10 rounds and I had some power at the end of the fight. I was proud of that. I know I’m ready for title contention.”
Porter dictated the fight from the opening bell. He upped the intensity in the second round, attacking the body and hammering Lo Greco against the ropes. What little offense Lo Greco could muster was answered with a fusillade of punches.
It seemed a matter of time before Porter would end it.
Lo Greco tried to make it a fight in the third. But simply didn’t have the speed, power or strength to hold off Porter’s onslaught. After the third, a small cut appeared below Lo Greco’s left eye.
In the fourth round, Lo Greco was trying to egg Porter by holding his hands down by his sides. Porter responded to the taunt by slamming a series of blows to Lo Greco’s head and moving wonderfully up and down with body shots.
By the fifth round, the result seemed pretty academic, barring a major mistake by Porter or a lucky blow from Lo Greco. Neither occurred.
Porter knocked down Lo Greco in the waning seconds of the eighth with an out-of-position, awkward right that caught Lo Greco in the back of the head and send him lurching downward. Lo Greco was off balance and tried to plead his case that it was a slip to referee Lindsey Page, who kept counting.
In the 10th, Porter nailed the game Lo Greco with a perfect left hook on his cheek, sending him down a second time.
In an embarrassing mismatch, bantamweight Haroon Khan (2-0, 1 KO), the younger brother of Amir Khan, took care of winless Vicente Medellin (0-6) in 57 seconds.
Light heavyweight Thomas Williams (14-0, 10 KOs) looked pretty good in dismantling journeyman Otis Griffin (24-13-2, 10 KOs) over eight rounds. Griffin’s claim to fame came as a contestant on Oscar De La Hoya’s reality TV show, The Next Great Champ. He hasn’t really done much since.
Williams, on the other hand, made easy work of “The Next Great Champ” by scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice.
Other notable fights on the undercard included the American debut of 2012 Great Britain Olympic middleweight bronze medalist Anthony Ogogo, owner of one of the best names in boxing. Ogogo (2-0, 1 KO) methodically took apart club fighter Edgar Perez (5-5, 3 KOs) with a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54, 60-54, and 60-53.
Ogogo is large and rangy for a middleweight. He showed solid defense and received a nice workout from Perez, who was a wily veteran in comparison to Ogogo. But that didn’t deter Ogogo from constantly attacking, and catching a few counter shots along the way.
Ogogo throws a nasty, biting right uppercut and he exhibited good patience. He still seemed opened to counters, but that could improve in time.
“It would have been lovely to get him out, but the journeymen in America are tough and I fully expected that,” said Ogogo, plunging his left hand in a bucket of ice. “I know the guys at Golden Boy wanted me to have a test and I can only improve as a fighter by being shown different things.
“I’m going to watch the tape back and see mistakes. I’m not going to learn anything by knocking everyone out in a round or two. I think I learned I can go six rounds. It’s completely different from sparring six rounds. I’ve gone right into doing six-rounders because I want to challenge myself. I made a lot of mistakes in there. My feet weren’t as quick as they could have been. I need to double my attacks more. I think I reached a bit, and I wasn’t jabbing as much, but I hurt my hand in the second round.”
Former flyweight titlist Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs) got in an eight-round sparring session by pummeling Miguel Tamayo (13-6-2, 11 KOs) in their bantamweight bout. Seda won easily by scores of 79-73, 80-72 and 80-70.
Anthony Peterson, the junior welterweight younger brother of Lamont, blew out Dominic Salcido (18-5, 8 KOs) in two rounds. Peterson (32-1, 21 KOs) had Salcido in trouble from the start.
Rau’Shee Warren, a three-time U.S. Olympian, went to 4-0, with two knockouts, by pounding Angel Carvajal (2-2). Warren dropped Carvajal six times winning the bantamweight bout in a fourth-round TKO.
Lightweight Robert “The Playboy E-Bunny” Easter (4-0, 4 KOs) remained perfect in scoring a second-round stoppage over winless Eduardo Guillen (0-3).
In the first fight of the night, 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring upped his record to 3-0, with two knockouts, by beating Victor Galindo (1-2) in 21 seconds in their lightweight fight.
Photo: Al Bello-Gettyimages