Former welterweight titleholders Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner will duke it out for Ohio bragging rights, even though their scheduled 12-round bout will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Porter, of Akron, and Broner, from Cincinnati, will meet on June 20 in the welterweight main event of a Premier Boxing Champions card on NBC in prime time (8:30 p.m. ET), Tom Brown's TGB Promotions and Mayweather Promotions, who are putting on the card on behalf of PBC founder Al Haymon, announced on Friday. The fight will be contested at a catchweight of 144 pounds, according to Ken Porter, Shawn's father and trainer.
In the scheduled 10-round co-feature, elite welterweight prospect Errol Spence Jr., a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face rugged Roberto Garcia.
Although not formally announced yet, there will also be a PBC on CBS card the following afternoon at the MGM Grand. That card is due to include a junior welterweight bout between former junior lightweight titlist Rances Barthelemy and former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco, according to a source involved in the event.
"It's time for AB on NBC and I can't wait for the opportunity," said Broner, who won the co-feature of the first PBC on NBC card on March 7 when he easily outpointed John Molina. "This is a great fight that the fans wanted and I wanted. I'm going to come prepared and I'm going to put on a show.
"I've never lost at MGM Grand and I don't plan on starting now. Porter is a strong guy but he's never been in the ring with someone like me."
Broner (30-1, 22 KOs), 25, a former three-division titleholder (welterweight, lightweight and junior lightweight), is 4-0 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
After he lost his welterweight belt to Marcos Maidana by decision in an upset in December 2013, Broner dropped down to junior welterweight, hoping to pursue another world title. He has won three fights in a row in the weight class, but is moving up a few pounds to take on the 27-year-old Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs), a career-long welterweight and junior middleweight.
"I feel like this fight is what the PBC is all about -- bringing big fights to network TV, and this is one of the biggest so far," Porter said. "I am excited to be the headliner against Adrien Broner. I'm always ready for a fight and facing Adrien is definitely going to be a challenge, but I've watched his career, even in the amateurs and I know he can be beat.
"I'm also looking forward to fighting at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We moved to Las Vegas for opportunities like this and I would love to make MGM Grand my home."
Porter outpointed Devon Alexander to win a world title in December 2013 and made one successful defense, a one-sided fourth-round knockout of former titleholder Paulie Malignaggi. Last August, he faced mandatory challenger Kell Brook of England and lost the belt by majority decision.
Porter rebounded to score a fifth-round knockout of late replacement Erick Bone on March 13 on a PBC on Spike TV card.
Dallas Spence Jr. (16-0, 13 KOs), 25, a southpaw, will be stepping up his level of opposition against Garcia (37-3, 23 KOs), 35, of Weslaco, Texas, but will have a significant speed and skills advantage.
"I'm excited to have the chance to fight Roberto Garcia," Spence said. "He is a great fighter and I'm happy to have an opportunity to fight on this huge card. It is definitely the biggest opportunity of my career so far and I won't disappoint."
Garcia has won nine fights in a row since a decision loss to former titleholder Antonio Margarito in 2010. Garcia was scheduled to fight Porter on the March 13 card, but dropped out the day before the fight due to -- depending on who you believe -- illness or not being at weight.
"I can't wait to get back in the ring and showcase my skills on the biggest stage," Garcia said. "Spence Jr. is a strong up-and-coming fighter but I have experience on my side and I'm going to show it on June 20."
Barthelemy (22-0, 13 KOs), 28, a Cuban defector living in Miami, won a 130-pound world title last July, made one defense and then vacated to move up in weight. DeMarco (31-4-1, 23 KOs), a 29-year-old southpaw from Mexico, held a lightweight world title in 2011 and 2012, making two successful defenses before losing the belt to Broner in a lopsided eighth-round knockout loss.
DeMarco won his next three fights but is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jessie Vargas in a junior welterweight title bout in November on the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri undercard in Macau, China.