Cheer up, Ohio sports fans. Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is one of the top hitters in baseball. Todd Frazier and Joey Votto are both mashing again for the Reds. The Browns … uh … have incredibly orange uniforms.
And Shawn Porter will take on Adrien Broner on Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on NBC (8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT).
“It’s always been Cleveland vs. Cincinnati,” Porter says. “We’ve done it from fight shows to tournaments, the whole nine yards. Everyone back home knows who I am, and they all know who Broner is. They’ve literally seen us grow up even though we didn’t fight each other, but they watched both of us. This is definitely a treat for everyone back home in Ohio.”
The Buckeye State will be tuning in, while Porter is trying to tune everything else out. No time to mourn for his Cavaliers. No time to indulge the fans from back home looking to get face time in Las Vegas during fight week.
“I’ve had numerous phone calls, people coming out, all that kind of stuff,” Porter says. “I ignore it. At the end of the day, it’s my life, my career. I’m the one who has to get in the ring and get the job done.”
Afterward, Porter says, he can worry about what it all means for the state. Bragging rights can’t come till after the deal is done. In the meantime, though, Northeast Ohio could use a little pick-me-up right now. The high of those extra-orange Browns uniforms might not carry the area through until fall, unless the Indians’ pitching staff leads the Tribe into the playoffs. ... So, when do the Cavs start playing again?
“That part of it, I’ll be proud of once it’s all over,” Porter says of representing the region. “Leading up to it, it’s just us. Team Porter. That’s it.”
For up-to-the-minute coverage of Broner vs Porter, follow along at our fight page.