Shawn Porter vs Andre Berto, Jermell Charlo vs Charles Hatley, Amanda Serrano vs Dahiana Santana, Jose Miguel Borrego vs John Delperdang
BY KID HERSH
From the Barclays Center in New York came PBC on Showtime and Showtime Extreme. First up on Showtime Extreme was Jose Miguel Borrego (11-0, 10KO's) vs John Delperdang (10-2, 9KO'S). Referee was Eric Dali. Borrego was switching between southpaw and orthodox in the first round while landing hard power shots. Borrego has very heavy hands you can tell - his punches crack when they land just like I saw back in February when I viewed him in person for the first time. Delperdang was very easy to hit and was pressing forward but was already looking slow by the end of the first round. It was more of the same in the second round as Borrego was doing a paint job on Delperdang, who was bulling forward but not throwing enough punches while getting hit very frequently both to the body and the head. In the third round Delperdang dug deep and continued weathering the storm while landing a few good right hands of his own - the one punch that Borrego is not getting away from. Delperdang was bleeding by the end of the third round and it got worse in the fourth as his face was becoming a mask of blood. Borrego unloaded in the second half of the fourth round and it looked like he was going to take out Delperdang as he hurt him and backed him into the ropes but Delperdang was not willing to back down and he was landing good power shots in return. Delperdang is extremely game but his right eye was starting to close in the fifth round and he did not have a very good round as Borrego unloaded punches and moved on him. This continued through the sixth round where you had to wonder if they were going to stop the fight. Delperdang showed his heart, guts, will, and a lot more going into the seventh round as the fight was eventually stopped while he was on his feet and wanted to continue but was taking too much damage. Interestinly enough, he was landing punches occasionally even in the seveth round. Borrego showed great skills and power and good stamina. He needs to shore up his defense against right hands but it was a great showing overall.
Next up was Amanda Serrano (31-1-1, 23KO's) vs Dahiana Santana (35-8, 14KO's). Referee was Benjy Esteves. In the first round Santana was doing a lot of dancing and when she did unload it was a very ugly looping overhand right that would miss by miles. Serrano was tracking her down and landing the clean, straight blows. This continued until the third round when Santanas legs started to fail her and so she had to fight Serrano. Serrano was absolutely destroying Santana, looking like a much different class of fighter. The fourth round was an absolutely brutal war and Santana actually hung in there with Serrano for the majority of the round, although Esteves took a point away from her for holding. It was a real fun fight to watch as both fighters swung away and were landing good punches. Santana came out swinging wildly in the fifth round but then suddenly was back on her bike, like in the very early rounds, in the sixth. Santana is clearly grasping at straws to try and find some sort of success but having no luck. She went back to getting beaten up in the seventh round and the fight was stopped by Esteves in the eighth round when she had just taken too much damage (knots on her head) and looked like she had no way of winning the fight. She made history and became the first female to win five titles in five weight classes.
On the main Showtime card first up was Jermell Charlo (28-0, 13KO's) vs Charles Hatley (26-1-1, 18KO's). Referee was Harvey Dock. In the first round Charlo was very cautious while Hatley was also cautious early on but then started coming forward in the second half of the round. The best punch of the round was an early right hand behind a jab by Charlo. In the second round Hatley was having success by letting his hands go first but Charlo ended the round well by landing a one-two that nearly put Hatley down, although he was more off balance then hurt. In the third round Charlo landed another one-two (this was landing almost every time he threw it) and landed a right hand to the temple that dropped Hatley. Hatley rose pretty quick and Charlo chose to not go after him. Charlo continued dominating the fight as Hatley came forward, looking like he was trying to make things happen but really he was not throwing enough punches or combinations to make anything happen as he waded forward but allowed Charlo to get off first. In Hatleys defense though, he just does not have the speed to deal with Charlo because he is getting beat to the punch very frequently. In the sixth round he was on unsteady legs from a left hook and then Charlo unloaded a short right hand that put Hatley and down completely out for the count underneath the ropes. Great knockout, possibly knockout of the year for Charlo.
Before the main event Brian Custer had Gervonta Davis, Errol Spence Jr, and Keith Thurman on for interviews and picks in the main event. Thurman had the best out of them in my opinion, talking about how he is open to fighting anyone and how he would like to fight legends like Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, or perhaps Errol Spence if he can bring the belt back from england.
Main event time featuring Shawn Porter (26-2-1, 16KO's) vs Andre Berto (31-4, 24KO's). Referee was Mark Nelson. In the first round both fighters looked a bit tight and rusty. Berto was pressing the action, which was already different than I expected as Porter was on his toes on the outside. In the second round Berto was extremely frustrated from accidental clashes of heads that were happening frequently as Porter was crowding him on the ropes and making it his style of fight. At the end of the round Berto went down from a right hand to the head. Porter also put in great body work in the second round and carried that through the third round. Berto did not really seem warmed up until the end of the third round. There were tons of accidental butts as both fighters were bleeding and frustrated at times - although Berto was far more frustrated than Porter because as we all know Porter just fights no matter what. Berto was starting to unload some of his signature uppercuts in the fourth round and had success with them but so far has not hurt Porter just yet - which is not a good sign because he is not having success boxing or banging. The doctors were getting in the way of the fight in New York fashion - especially before the sixth round started as they seemed to take an entire minute or two in order to look at the fighters multiple times. In the sixth round Berto had himself a good round, seeming to turn the fight around a bit as he woke up and was energized, throwing away a punch and waiting for right hand openings to launch uppercuts or straights. He carried the success into the seventh round but Porter was doing a good job with his jab and keeping his distance while using footwork to slow the pace of the fight. Then suddenly in the eighth round Porter came out in a fury and blasted away at Berto after backing him into the ropes and unloading punches to his body in bunches. Porter blasted away for nearly the entire round and while Berto was never in serious trouble he took lots of damage to the body that clearly had an effect. It was mounting up though, as he was taken out in the ninth round from the ongoing barrage of Porter who looked like he was not going to let up and instead come on stronger in the late rounds while Berto was going to fade. The post fight was a good one, with both men embracing and Berto apologizing for the head butts - a "public apology"!