Shawn Porter has steadily improved over the course of his past five fights.
During that span, Porter (24-0-1, 15 knockouts) has battled to a draw and a unanimous decision win against Julio Diaz, scored a unanimous decision over Phil LoGreco, dethroned Devon Alexander for the IBF welterweight belt, and defended it with a fourth-round stoppage of Paulie Malignaggi.
When British challenger Kell Brook (32-0, 22 KOs) faces Porter this Saturday in Carson, California, he will bring a string of four consecutive stoppage wins, including a fourth-round TKO of former titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko.
Brook will be making only his second appearance on American soil, having debuted in Atlantic City with a fifth-round stoppage of Luis Galarza in 2011.
RingTV.com sought the opinions of 21 insiders as to what will transpire in Porter-Brook.
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: This fight will begin competitive, but Shawn Porter will eventually pull away. The question will become whether Kell Brook goes all out to win — in which case, I like Porter’s chances of a mid- to late-rounds stoppage — or whether he fights to survive. I’m going with the latter and Porter taking a clear decision.
Record: 16-5 [Last pick: Rios W 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: Kell Brook has an apparent advantage over Shawn Porter in just about every category but two: stubborn toughness and championship experience in victories over two respected names, Paulie Malignaggi and Devon Alexander.
In the end, those will be the difference in a decision over the quick, versatile Brook, who is fighting for a major title for the first time in only his second bout in the U.S.
The cards might be close enough to warrant a rematch, but not enough to spring an upset over Porter, who will work to limit Brook’s mobility early and punish him late.
Record: 18-6 [Last pick: Rios TKO 8 Chaves]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: The truly special one here is Shawn Porter, not Kell Brook. In terms of competition, it’s a bigger “step up” fight for Brook than it is for Porter in this IBF welterweight title tilt, just Brook’s second fight outside the United Kingdom.
I don’t think Porter will be able to bowl over Brook like he did Paulie Malignaggi, but because of Al Haymon’s influence in the championship boxing career of “Showtime” on Showtime, I’m sure he can win a decision.
Besides, Brook is a wee bit overrated, and Porter is actually quite underrated. Porter stays conservative on the outside early and builds toward his best success by fighting his way inside, testing Brook’s stamina; making “The Special One” look less than special in the trenches late.
When the dust settles at StubHub, it will be the American champion with his hand raised and the British challenger taking his first loss back home to Sheffield.
Record: 17-7 [Last pick: Rios W 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter MD 12 Kell Brook: Unlike many fight fans I firmly believe that Kell Brook has the ability to give Shawn Porter a real nightmare on Saturday night. At 28 years old, the talented Brit is at the peak of his powers and he is huge for 147 pounds.
Recently, Porter has shown against finesse fighters in Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi. But Brook, unlike both of those former champions, has significant power in both fists. I think Porter will climb off the deck to claim a decision this weekend. Whether he truly earns it is something else entirely.
Record: 18-6 [Last pick: Rios TKO 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: Shawn Porter is very much in the same position as Vyacheslav Glazkov was last weekend against Derric Rossy in that he needs to consolidate an excellent victory in order to access even bigger opportunities.
Glazkov didn’t do it against Rossy, but I believe Porter will couple his impressive win over Paul Malignaggi with another against Kell Brook.
The Brit’s excellent jab and overall skills will force Porter to draw out every bit of talent and the mixture of pressure, awkward punching angles and conditioning will earn him the smallest of title-retaining edges on the scorecards.
Record: 12-5 [Last pick: Chaves UD 10 Rios]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: What’s scary about Shawn Porter is that we have yet to see the best of the 26-year-old and the improvements that we have seen thus far have made him a far different fighter than he was when he drew with Julio Diaz just under two years ago.
Kell Brook hasn’t faced anyone like Porter before and will have to deal with the compact power-puncher looking to take his head off early. But Porter is patient and will likely find holes in Brook’s defense to exploit.
While Brook does possess some speed and power, I don’t think he’ll be able to fend off Porter’s explosive advances. Expect this fight to look similar to Porter-Alexander, where Brook will be unable to control the tempo and find himself bullied around for 12 rounds as Porter takes a decisive unanimous decision.
Record: 18-4 [Last pick: Rios TKO 9 Chaves]
Shawn Porter TKO 8 Kell Brook: The diverse, improved Shawn Porter eventually will prove to be too strong for Kell Brook, a solid boxer who has been matched smartly on his way to a 32-0 record.
Record: 11-1 [Last pick: Rios SD 10 Chaves]
Edward “Revolver” Khabrov, guest/fan, Zaporozhye City, Ukraine
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: It’s an intriguing bout in which I consider Shawn Porter a solid favorite. Porter is a mentally and physically strong fighter who already proved his quality in title fights against top-level fighters such as Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi.
I can’t say same about Brook, whose biggest names are ex-beltholder Vyacheslav Senchenko and Carson Jones. I can’t get beyond Brook’s first fight with Jones, where he struggled to win a controversial decision. That being said, I’m giving Brook a shot with skills, fundamentals, quality jab and handspeed. Brook is a boxer-technician with decent pop in his right hand.
But I believe that Porter’s pressure and high-paced style are all wrong for Brook, who will probably start well and have his moments boxing from the outside. But eventually, Porter will get to him and wear him down by championship rounds for a late stoppage or decisive decision.
Record: 1-1 [Golovkin mid-round TKO Stevens]
Shawn Porter KO 8 Kell Brook: Good fight, excellent matchup. Undefeated champion, undefeated challenger: Nice! This will be a significantly more difficult fight for Shawn Porter than was Paulie Malignaggi.
I think Kell Brook will try to keep Shawn outside, and if he can his chances increase. However, Porter should be able to get close and he will dominate inside. Porter will grind Kell down, slowly but surely.
Shawn is getting better every fight, developing at an amazing pace. He may be the most polite, respectful boxer outside the ring, but he’s got plenty of mean inside of it, and Brook will find out.
Record: 18-6 [Last pick: Rios TKO 9 Chaves]
Shawn Porter W 12 Kell Brook: Kell Brook is a talented and heavy-handed fighter, but Shawn Porter is in his absolute prime, and he has much more power than he gets credit for.
Porter’s boxing skills are brilliant, and his timing is impeccable. It would take a big effort from Brook to force Porter into a close range fight where Brook could have a better chance at landing solid combinations and slowing Porter down. Otherwise, it’s going to be another dominant win for Porter.
Record: 5-4 [Last pick: Chaves W 10 Rios]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: Shawn Porter and Kell Brook are undefeated. Both guys can punch — with a combined 37 knockouts in 56 victories. Porter has faced the better opposition.
Porter won the IBF welterweight crown by defeating Devon Alexander. In his first defense, he sent former champion Paulie Malignaggi to sleep in four frames. Brook was last seen in the ring disposing of little known Alvaro Robles. Before that he stopped Vyacheslav Sencheko.
Shawn Porter W 12 Kell Brook: I still think the jury is out — or that it should be — on Kell Brook. It’s hard to gauge what he really has when his competition has been so limited.
Contrast that with Shawn Porter, who has been on a nice run lately against top-10 level competition. Porter is starting to look like something special.
I think he will continue to perform that way in this fight, too. Brook will be game, but the contrast in skill levels and professional experience will show.
Record: 18-4 [Last pick: Rios KO 9 Chaves]
Shawn Porter W 12 Kell Brook: I like Kell Brook’s chances, but can’t shake the feeling that, on the road, he’ll be hard-pressed to get the decision no matter what happens in the ring.
That aside, Shawn Porter seems to have hit his stride as a pressing brawler-boxer, and also can’t shake the image of Brook struggling with Carson Jones.
Shawn Porter W12 Kell Brook: The only way I could see Kell Brook beating Shawn Porter is if he hurts him early in the fight. Brook has good tools, but he’s taking a major step up in class against Porter.
Brook had a hard time with Carson Jones while Porter has gotten better and better since a disappointing draw against Julio Diaz. Porter wins the decision.
Record: 6-0 [Last pick: Rios TKO 11 Chaves]
Shawn Porter W 12 Kell Brook: I’m going with Shawn Porter to put on another top shelf performance and come away with an even better than expected performance against a tough challenger in Kell Brook.
I’m thinking that Shawn is going to be highly motivated to prove he belongs in that deep mix in his weight class and is going to fight very accordingly.
Record: 11-6 [Last pick: Golokin KO Geale]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: Despite the fact that there aren’t many recognizable names on Kell Brook’s record, he can fight , he can punch, and he doesn’t know how to lose. Shawn Porter is one of the fastest-rising stars in boxing, and is also undefeated.
This fight has the makings of a pier-six brawl that could be ended early by either fighter. Porter is the naturally bigger guy and more physical than Brook.
Porter will look to rough up Brook and overwhelm him with pressure, while Brook will look to keep Porter off of him by using his jab and legs. I think the fight will be close, with Porter getting the nod from the American judges.
Record: 14-3 [Last pick: Golovkin UD 12 Geale]
Bradley Starks, guest/fan, Novato, Calif.
Shawn Porter KO 6 Kell Brook: Shawn Porter has a lot of forward momentum coming into this bout. And Kell Brook is a slick, talented fighter from across the pond who definitely has some Floyd Mayweather Jr.-esque ingredients to his style: Brook is patient, fights straight up, has good upper body movement and he can crack.
Unfortunately, “The Special One” doesn’t seem to fight too well going backwards, and almost always drops his hands when backing up; even when just leaning back to avoid incoming punches. You can’t have holes in your game like that at the top level. If Porter can use intelligent pressure and exploit that weakness — which I think he can and will — then he wins by knockout.
Record: 5-0 [Last pick: Rios TKO 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter TKO 10 Kell Brook: Shawn Porter has really come into his own in his last few fights and has Mo and Co — momentum and confidence — in abundance. As a longtime amateur fighter, Porter has a well-rounded game – improving on his boxing skills – though Kell Brook does, too.
Porter is stronger, can fight effectively from the inside and the outside, and Brook has a tendency to leave himself open when he throws punches. I see Porter taking advantage of that and getting through in the later rounds when Brook tires. It will be a very close fight for 8-9 rounds, though.
Record: 11-4 [Last pick: Golovkin KO 7 Geale]
Shawn Porter KO Kell Brook: Kell Brook has shown some brief flashes and resemblance of former middleweight champ Randy Turpin, who was also British and fought most of his career in the United Kingdom.
I see Brook using his educated jab, circling his shorter adversary with precision punching. But I also envision Shawn Porter scoring a come-from-behind knockout.
Record: 17-5 [Last pick: Rios W 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter UD 12 Kell Brook: Kell “Special K” Brook appears to have been blessed with all traits you would want out of a prospect. Fast hands, great foot and head movement, and respectable power. The problem is that he’s been fighting at the prospect level despite turning pro 10 years ago. Injuries have contributed to his slow activity, but a step up has been due for a long time.
Having a resume with names like Carson Jones, Vyacheslav Senchencko, and Matthew Hatton doesn’t scream out “monster.” Shawn Porter, on the other hand, has been on a relative hot streak in his last three fights. Porter managed to dispatch two former champions in Paulie Malignaggi and Devon Alexander, and remedied a previous draw in aggressive fashion against Julio Diaz. But with this being boxing, some scrutiny can be applied to those wins.
Diaz and Malignaggi’s best days are far behind them, and Alexander appeared unprepared to deal with a rough fight. Opposition level will be the deciding factor in this matchup. Brook appeared to be uncomfortable during his first match with Jones when the fight turned into a scrap in the second half of the fight. Look for Porter to work his way inside, impose his will, and make things rough for Special K en route to a unanimous decision win.
Record: 10-7 [Last pick: Rios TKO 10 Chaves]
Shawn Porter W 12 Kell Brook: A very interesting matchup of two unbeaten fighters in what on paper looks to be a 50-50 fight. I believe that with the fight taking place in America and in the Californian heat outdoors at StubHub Center, Shawn Porter’s greater strength and infighting skills will be assisted toward the winning of a competitive but deserved decision over Kell Brook.
Record: 16-5 [Last pick: Rios W 10 Chaves]
By the resounding shutout of 21-0, the insiders have chosen Shawn Porter to defend his IBF welterweight belt against Kell Brook.