What he needed was a rubber chicken, maybe one of those novelty squirting flowers, definitely a tiny car with way too many dudes improbably crammed inside.
“I’m the man of the hour,” Broner leered on his way to the press-tent stage in a lot adjacent to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, pausing once he got there to mock a photo of his opponent on the fight backdrop.
And so it began.
Broner and Porter were opposites in both attire and temperament, the former demanding attention with his usual all-eyes-on-me cavaliering, dressed in a T-shirt and track pants, Mr. T-worthy thick gold chains dangling from his neck.
Porter, meanwhile, was alternately congenial and stone-faced, clad in a Wall Street-ready, plaid-esque sport coat, natty blue slacks, red tie and, yes, matching pocket square. He looked more like an investment banker than a fighter, the kind of guy who knows what NASDAQ stands for.
The hijinks began in earnest when Broner feigned outrage at being introduced to speak first, busting out the questionable acting chops of a Corky Romano extra as Floyd Mayweather Jr., whose Mayweather Promotions is promoting the fight, playfully held him back.
Porter obliged Broner’s heel turn and took the podium, leading the crowd in a “Showtime” chant and keeping his cool as he spoke about how enthused he was to be fighting at the MGM Grand Garden Arena for the first time after seeing other cards there as a spectator.
“I’ve closed my eyes every time I’ve been at those big fights, visualized myself doing it,” he said, smiling warmly. “The time has finally come for that.”
Then Broner got on the mic and began firing shots at Porter’s father and trainer, Kenny Porter.
“He’s out spending Shawn’s money,” Broner jabbed. “That’s why he’s got the better cars—the big-boy Jeep, the Corvette with the Lamborghini doors—while Shawn’s out catching an Uber or he’s hopping out of his 2011 CTS. The little one.”
The elder Porter got riled up soon enough, getting to his feet and shouting back at Broner, who grinned like a kid who got exactly what he wanted for Christmas.
“He hot!” Broner howled Kenny Porter’s way as Shawn Porter sat quietly, face betraying no emotion.
Broner got his share of chuckles, which seemed to be his main reason for showing up in the first place.
“Y’all making this a joke,” he beamed at one point, mission accomplished.
For his part, Porter appeared neither rattled nor amused.
“I think he worked on the script,” Porter said of Broner afterward. “I think he took some time to study and do research on us, which meant he took some time out of his training and preparation. He got my dad hyped up, but we got you out of your preparation and out of your training schedule.”
Through it all, Porter seemed relaxed, ready to move forward.
“All the talking is done,” he said once he was finished on the mic, appearing eager to get to the ring, where fists trump mouths.
For all things Broner vs. Porter, visit our fight page.