Shawn Porter Trounces Sebastian Formella
By Caryn A. Tate on August 22, 2020
“Let’s rough this dude up.” (photo: Sean Michael Ham/Premier Boxing Champions)
On Saturday night, “Showtime” Shawn Porter (31-3-1, 17 KOs) faced German contender Sebastian Formella (22-1, 10 KOs) in a 12-round IBF and WBC world title eliminator. It was Porter’s first fight that was not for a world title in nearly three years, which says it all about the man, his ambition, and level of competition. The event was broadcast on FOX by Premier Boxing Champions.
As he typically does, Porter came out feinting and offering a lot of movement that kept his opponent guessing. Formella landed a few decent shots himself, but it was Porter who landed the harder, more effective blows.
After the first round, Porter’s father and head coach Ken Porter could be heard telling Shawn, “Let’s rough this dude up. He’s just gonna tie you up, he ain’t gonna fight you.”
He was right. To Formella’s credit, he showed incredible heart in his first fight in the United States. He had his moments but he wasn’t able to win a round against the elite and relentless Porter.
Shawn Porter took advantage of his headlining position on network television by putting on a truly masterful performance. He’s proven he’s one of the most versatile and elite fighters in the sport, including in the lion’s den of welterweight, for several years; in this fight, he was able to show it all yet again in a single fight. His footwork was stellar; he made it look easy to cut off a good boxer like Formella, and more importantly, to close distance extremely quickly. At times Porter pivoted beautifully to achieve superior positioning again and put him in a spot to better land his own offense, while still being defensively responsible. He threw smart and swift combinations, and his punch selection really showed his experience; Formella was particularly open for the jab, hook and uppercut, and Porter used those to good effect. Shawn also dedicated himself to the body in this bout, something that really slowed down Formella, who tends to be a mover in the ring and seemed to be planning that strategy for this fight.
As is always the case in Shawn Porter matches, when he employed his thrilling and effective buzzsaw style, his opponent often appeared flustered and almost shocked. Formella, who had only fought in Germany prior to this, seemed aghast at times at the rough and very “American” tactics Porter employed at times. In fact, early in the fight when Porter closed distance and threw on the inside while the fighters’ arms were tied up on the other side, Formella looked to referee Jack Reiss, as if he was thinking Porter had committed a foul and expected the ref to intervene. But there was no foul and, hence, no break.
At the end of the seventh, Porter landed some hellacious clean shots including a left hook that wobbled Formella. Formella’s body began to show signs of failing him where his heart wasn’t. But Formella didn’t appear to really be trying to win anymore, but to survive, and a surviving fighter is always a tough one to stop because of the lack of risks taken.
The rounds continued with Porter teeing off on the tough Formella and doing basically whatever he wanted. He alternated roughing up Formella with boxing him, utilizing his phenomenal footwork, angles, and athleticism to baffle Formella and keep his hands at home for the most part.
After 12 rounds, all three judges appropriately scored every round for Porter, with the official cards reading 120-108.
After the fight, Porter stated in an interview that he thought Formella was there to survive. “I think he made his mind up before the fight and his body just went with it.”
When discussing his training camp, Shawn explained his and his team’s vigorous training regimen. “We didn’t do any less than what we’ve done for any other fighter, just because this guy wasn’t known over here.”
Shawn Porter’s work ethic and mental strength, coupled of course with his boxing skills, make him an extremely difficult fighter to beat and keep him at the very top of an elite division.
Between fights, it was announced during the broadcast that FOX commentator Joe Goossen will be training 18-year-old prospect Vito Mielnicki Jr. going forward. Goossen stated that he thinks Mielnicki may be a world champion in three or four years.
Super welterweight prospect Joey Spencer (11-0, 8 KOs) took on sometime MMA fighter Shawn West (5-2, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout. Spencer is skillful, and at 20 years old, shows a lot of promise. He’s athletic, explosive, and puts everything together well—feet, hand speed, combinations, and angles. He sometimes shows some defensive flaws but appears to be getting better in every bout, as a young prospect should.
Spencer got caught with a few shots in round one, thanks to West’s MMA background and resulting awkwardness that made him a bit hard to read. But in the second, Spencer began laying it on upstairs and down and dropped West after a clean combination. In the fourth, Spencer hurt West badly again, and the referee waved it off. It was clear West’s body had given out.
The first fight of the FOX broadcast were super welterweight contenders Sebastian Fundora (15-0-1, 10 KOs) vs. Nathaniel Gallimore (21-5-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round contest. Fundora, called “The Towering Inferno,” stands at a staggering 6’6” but doesn’t use his height or reach advantages typically. He likes to stand in place in close to midrange.
In the early rounds the slight underdog Gallimore did well, hurting Fundora several times. But Fundora’s volume became a serious problem as the rounds went on, and he wore Gallimore down with his sheer work rate more than anything else. Gallimore began to throw fewer and fewer punches, and he ate so many from Fundora that finally, in round six, referee Ray Corona waved it off. It was Gallimore’s first stoppage loss.