Shawn Porter and Jermell Charlo delivered dominant performances on the way to stoppages in a pair of blistering fights at Barclays Center on Saturday night.
Porter earned the right for a rematch with Keith Thurman as the mandatory challenger for Thurman’s WBC world welterweight belt with a win over Andre Berto in a championship eliminator bout. Charlo made his first defense of his WBC world super welterweight title in his victory over Charles Hatley.
It was Porter’s first fight since last June’s dynamic title fight against Keith Thurman at Barclays Center, with Thurman winning narrowly on all three cards. After Porter finished off Berto in the ninth round, Thurman again joined him in the ring.
“Hopefully I’ll see you soon,” said Porter. “Brooklyn, that’s what you all want?”
Ten months ago, Porter came up short of taking Thurman’s WBA crown. Thurman added the WBC belt with a unification win over Danny Garcia at Barclays Center in March. Porter secured his shot at that belt with a rugged and relentless victory against Berto.
Porter threw nearly twice as many punches as the former WBC champion.
“I thought I fought smart tonight,” said Porter. “I thought I picked my punches well. I thought there were times where, yes I smothered my shots, but I also smothered him. We all know that he has a dangerous uppercut and those were a few reasons I didn’t step back and create space.”
The in-close fighting led to a flurry of clinches, as well as head butts that left both fighters bleeding from above the eye.
Porter registered his first knockdown in the second round, and kept up the attack. The punishment added up to Berto, who continuously found himself on the ropes, struggling to hold off Porter or counterattack.
Finally in the ninth, Porter finished things off, bouncing Berto off the ropes before the referee stepped in and covered Berto up in the corner. There was 1:31 to go in the ninth when the fight was stopped with Porter leading handily on all three judges’ cards.
“I got to clean up those head butts,” said Porter. “We tried to use the whole ring, but sometimes in the heat of the battle, I’m a fighter and Mr. Berto is a fighter as well. Those head butts were just the two of us going in and fighting. My intention is never to use my head as a weapon. This was just a very hard-fought battle by both of us and I’m blessed to get the victory.”
Charlo was in control of Hatley from the start in his first title defense since capturing the vacant WBO world super welterweight title last May. He battered Hatley throughout, registering his first knockdown in the third round.
“I know Charles Hatley,” said Charlo. “He’d go down sometimes and get back up because he’s a warrior. So he’d keep fighting.”
Still, it seemed like just a matter of time, and that came late in the sixth round. In an exchange along the ropes, Hatley missed with a left, leaving himself wide open for a crushing right hand from Charlo that sent him face down to the canvas. There was no count, as the referee immediately called the fight.
Amanada Serrano became women’s boxing’s first five-division world champion with her eighth-round TKO of Dihana Santana to claim the vacant WBO bantamweight championship. Also on the card, Jose Miguel Borrego defeated John Delperdang by TKO, Joseph Williams registered a TKO over Felipe Romero, Julian Sosa earned a TKO win over Emmanuel Valadez, Richardson Hitchins took a unanimous decision against Alexander Picot and Kenny Robles defeated Latorie Woodberry by TKO.