Kenny Porter unplugged
This Saturday night on Showtime, Shawn Porter faces Danny Garcia for the vacant WBC welterweight title, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. For Kenny Porter, who trains his son, it’s been a particular fight for which he and Shawn have been yearning.
They have seemingly been calling for this match-up for a few years.
“I think around the time (Garcia) fought Paulie Malignaggi (in 2015), which was at least three years ago, was the time he said that, ‘Shawn Porter would be tailored made’ for him and, since at that time, we were having a lot of trouble – and still do today – getting people to take the fight. We said, ‘OK, great; someone wants to fight us. Let’s go to New York and make this fight.’
“And of course, that points to now. It’s taken this long for (Garcia) to accept it.”
It finally took the WBC stripping the dormant Keith Thurman to finally bring this fight for the vacant title to fruition. Mr. Porter believes that without that mandate, this bout doesn’t become a reality.
The consensus is that this is a toss-up fight; a strong argument can be made for both parties. Porter told UCNLive.com, ”I haven’t actually envisioned how the fight goes but there are some different things that I think are going to play itself out in in the fight and there’s going to be maybe ebbs and flows in the fight, where we’re looking at Shawn’s speed and Shawn’s quickness and Shawn’s aggressiveness and Danny trying to counter-punch that.”
This evokes another opinion from Porter, “The problem I would have, me personally, if I was training a guy who was relying on power or relying on counterpunching with Shawn, is he’s a volume puncher that is aggressive and doesn’t stop coming. So it’s hard to counter a guy repeatedly without it now becoming a fight. And I don’t think Danny wants to fight Shawn. And if he starts to fight Shawn, then he’s out of his element because he wants to counterpunch. So he’s really the kind of guy who wants to pick his shots, pick his punches and fight at his own pace.”
Garcia is the superior technician but Porter is the type of fighter who is adept at smothering his foes and making them uncomfortable. It’s not necessarily asthetically pleasing but it’s hard to argue with the results. This former high school running back isn’t afraid to put his head down and stick his nose in a pile. At times, his style can be described as “four yards and a cloud of dust.”
Those whom are tabbing Porter are doing so in part because they believe he is the hungrier, more passionate fighter, one with more fire in his belly. But as you ask Kenny if he believes Garcia’s pilot light as a prizefighter still burns brightly, he gives an interesting reply. “Honestly,” he said, with a chuckle, “as I look at Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia, Shawn Porter, they’re all in their primes. They’re all at that point where they’ve got to make some decisions and those decisions have got to be based on what they want to do with the rest of their lives beyond boxing.”
Porter and Garcia are 30; Thurman turns 30 in November.
“And I think these guys have to fight each other and they have to channel the energy they once had to be great and fight each other. So I don’t think (Thurman)’s as hungry as he once was,” Porter continued. “I don’t see Keith as he once was and I’m still lighting fires under Shawn’s ass and we’ll see how that plays itself out on Saturday night as well. These guys are right at that point.”
Speaking of Thurman, he hasn’t fought since defeating Garcia 18 months ago. So what’s Porter’s theory on him?
“I think a lot has to do with the age factor. These guys start to take on other responsibilities. They start to take on other hobbies. They start to take on other people’s thought processes on what they should be doing with their time and they get away from what brought them to the championship level, the world championship level, what brought them to being one of the top guys that they are and it’s kinda hard for them to get back to it,” said Porter.
In the past, the Porters have made it clear that they would like a chance to avenge that loss to Thurman but, should they come out victorious and capture the WBC strap on Saturday night, Porter believes it’s realistic that they face IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. next year.
“Extremely realistic,” he stated. “If I have my way, if Shawn is able to take this championship, be successful in winning this championship, it’s my thought that Errol Spence should be the next guy. There’s always a chance that something happens with Errol fighting somebody else but that would be the preferable choice for me.
“I’d say, ‘Shawn, this is the number one guy you should be fighting next. Number one-A should also be Errol Spence. He’s the guy we should be fighting.”
So if the fight between Spence and unified lightweight titlist Mikey Garcia does come to fruition, how does Porter see this playing out? Could Garcia overcome the physical advantages of the hard-hitting Texan?
“I think it may be competitive for a few rounds and it’ll be competitive for more than a few rounds,” he opined. “I think it’s a competitive fight but I think the size factor in the later rounds becomes a problem for Garcia because I’m pretty sure that Errol walks around at a much, much heavier weight than Garcia – much heavier.
“And by him walking around so much heavier on fight night, that’s really a hard thing to overcome.”
You’ll hear from Tom Loeffler, Amir Khan and Kenny Porter on this week’s episode of “The 3 Knockdown Rule,” with Mario Lopez and me:
On Thursday morning, Top Rank announced a new multi-year promotional pact with WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford, who will face Jose Benavidez, on October 13, on ESPN from Omaha, Nebraska…Bob Arum says there’s a chance that the lightweight unification bout between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Jose Pedraza might actually take place on December 8, in New York, and not in Los Angeles the week before…Junior welterweight Maxim Dadashev, who was scheduled to face Antonio DeMarco next week, in Fresno, suffered a biceps injury which will back that fight up to mid-October…”The Bobby Brown Story” on BET was enjoyable…Please tell me Mark Richt will start going to the bullpen this weekend with some other quarterbacks…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.