In boxing, one loss on an unblemished career used to mean you cherry picked opponents and avoided real challenges.
Today it means that your market share might go down to a general consensus of casual boxing observers but not its staunch fans who understand that the pugilism and popular culture politics are a strange marriage.
Enter Shawn Porter, a fast rising welterweight and former IBF welterweight champion who, until last August, was also undefeated and still a champion. Also entering the scene is the Premier Boxing Champion Series created by boxing advisor to the stars, Al Haymon, who brought with him a new opportunity for redemption to the layman-boxing observer and another great match-up on primetime television.
I spoke with Shawn and his Father, Kenny, about his career and his upcoming bout on Spike.
“No pressure at all but I do feel excited and grateful for the opportunity and I think this will be the second but the best of the PBC events so far,” said Porter. “We’re looking to come in there and put in a great show for the fans, put on a great show for PBC, for Spike TV and obviously for Team Porter walk out of there with the victory and look to get back in there as soon as possible”
After a stellar amateur career, Porter began his professional boxing career with four TKO/KO victories, three of which were in the first round. He compiled a record of 24-0-1, with the last two wins coming over Devon Alexander and by a fourth round TKO over former decorated champion Paulie Malignaggi. Then came Kell Brook, who defeated Porter by a majority decision at the
“Just staying focused and prepared I think more than anything that’s what I learned from that fight,” said Porter. “There were points in the fight where I take a look at it I don’t think I lost the fight but I think I could have done a lot better in some areas and I’ve learned from that.
Porter is managed and trained by his father, Kenny Porter who fostered a sense of competition in his son from a young age.
“I definitely was the energy pushing them but it was natural from the standpoint that I was an athlete and my mom was an athlete; I just grew up playing all sports,” said Kenny Porter. “Shawn had two older brothers and immediately they were all playing basketball, pee wee football and just taking them to the gym so these things were just part of our lifestyle everyday living he’s just now transitioning into doing it in front of millions of people but its what he’s always done.”
Porter’s opponent on the live Spike card is Roberto Garcia who is currently on a four-fight win streak and has never been knocked out.
“Styles make fights and I think I have the perfect style against him and I think the style that I’m going to bring to the ring will make for an exciting fight,” said Shawn Porter. “I look for him to step forward and keep the fight entertaining and keep the pressure coming all night. We worked on everything it takes to defend that and to capitalize on that.”
His father echoes the sentiment and effused on the quality of this training camp.
“He’s very strong and not just physically strong but he’s mentally strong. Another strength that he has is the guy is a very rugged dirty fighter so those things are his advantages that he will try to impose his will on us but we worked on countering those types of pressure fighters throughout this camp and we’re ready for it,” said Kenny Porter. “The weaknesses that I would say he has is at some point he’s looking to get a knockout and that becomes a weakness for you when that’s the only thing you can do to win the fight. We expect to out box him, out punch him and at different points in the fight we expect to out brawl him when we decide we want to bang then we will out bang him. As Shawn said the styles makes the fights him coming straight at us and we get a chance to show people that we can outbox a guy that only knows one way.”
The Porter family has been challenging themselves from inception and Roberto Garcia just represents yet another challenge Shawn Porter will not shrug off. Like the decision to become a professional fighter, the Porters will enter the ring this Friday in the manner in which they do everything.
As a family.
“Even at a young age I kind of entertained the thought of being a professional fighter just from being around the sport,” said Shawn Porter. “I think as I got a little bit older in high school was when I really started to realize the potential I had as a professional fighter. My senior year in high school is when I really gave it some serious thought and I spoke to my Dad about it and we went for it.”
And went for it he did. Now he gets to go for it again and get it back, starting Friday night.