By Manouk Akopyan
Shawn Porter and David Benavidez had a 10-round sparring session together to prepare for their respective bouts as headliner and co-headliner on Sept. 28 for FOX’s pay-per-view card from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Benavidez said their recent practice encounter was more friendly fire than an all-out warfare.
“It was a great sparring session,” Benavidez told BoxingScene.com. “Obviously I’m bigger and weigh more than him, so I wasn’t going in there trying to kill him. But we worked on a lot of stuff and Shawn Porter is a champion for a reason. It benefited both of us. He’s an awesome boxer and a pressure fighter.”
“My dad was trying to get a good feel of where I was at that point of camp,” Porter told BoxingScene.com. “He was at least 40 pounds heavier. He’s tall, and so skillful. I was having fun, though, and that’s been different. Sometimes training camps have been monotonous. But I’m enjoying this one.”
Benavidez brought a six-and-a-half inch height advantage, seven-and-a-half inch reach advantage and over three dozen pounds of weight to the picture to help Porter prepare for Spence. Benavidez, a former WBC super middleweight champion, will fight Andre Dirrell for the 168 crown. Porter is the current WBC welterweight titlist looking to unify the 147-pound division my stealing Spence’s IBF strap.
Benavidez didn’t offer a prediction as to who’ll the Spence-Porter matchup because he’s friendly with both fighters, but he said that he can’t wait to watch the main event.
The 22-year-old Benavidez admitted he very well may skip the shower and head back out to the arena so he can watch the fight up close.
“It’s going to be a good fight at the end of the day,” said Benavidez. “I’m looking forward to it, and the fans ultimately win at the end of the day.”
Manouk Akopyan has been a member of the Boxing Writers Assn. of America since 2011 and has written for the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Guardian and Philadelphia Inquirer. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan or via email at [email protected].