Shawn Porter returns to the ring following an 11-month layoff on Saturday night. The two-time champion's return this weekend marks his first fight back since pushing Errol Spence Jr. to the limit in their welterweight title unification last fall,
Porter (30-3-1, 17 KOs) will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card on Saturday from an empty Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles (Fox, 8 p.m. ET) when he faces heavy underdog Sebastian Formella (22-0, 10 KOs).
The 12-round WBC/IBF title eliminator provides Porter, 32, a chance to move one step closer to regaining a 147-pound title that he most recently lost by split decision to the unbeaten Spence. Yet, given the unheralded nature of his German opponent, Porter should get a stay-busy fight with big exposure on the same network he works as an analyst.
"Me and my dad [trainer Kenny Porter] have been working hard since April staying ready for this opportunity to get back in the ring," Porter said. "Over the past couple of years, any time I step in the ring there are some new wrinkles to my game. We understand that you can't fight one way against everyone, so you're going to see some small, slight wrinkles, but I'll always been an aggressive fighter. Once I smell that blood, I'm going for it. We're excited to show off a different side of Shawn Porter."
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Porter is a prohibitive favorite largely because the 33-year-old Formella has never fought out of Germany or Sweden.
"I have always said that I wanted to compete against the best, and now I have that chance" Formella said. "Even though the experts may think I'm the underdog, I have trained hard for this fight and will give everything I have in the ring. Shawn Porter is rightly a superstar in this weight class and I'm excited to get in the ring and test myself against him."
Fight card, odds
- Shawn Porter -1200 vs. Sebastian Formella +750, welterweights
- Sebastian Fundora vs. Nathaniel Gallimore, super welterweights
- Joey Spencer vs. Shawn West, super welterweights
Whether he choses to rely on his footwork and quick bursts to box from the outside or decides to attack with his high-pressure attack, Porter has too many ways to win this fight against an opponent who simply isn't close to being on his level.
Although Formella is elusive and often finds a home for his looping right hand from awkward angles, he simply hasn't faced an opponent with the same combination of aggression and athleticism and should be handled with ease.
Pick: Porter via TKO6