An intriguing welterweight bout takes place this Saturday at the Barclays Center as Shawn Porter and Adrian Granados look to steal the show from the heavyweights topping the Showtime card.
Former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter (27-2-1, 17 knockouts) is coming off a scintillating stoppage of former titleholder Andre Berto earlier this year. He nearly fought on the blockbuster Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor pay-per-view card earlier this year, but pulled out of the card after a death in the family. He gave Keith Thurman all he could handle last June in a close decision loss and is looking to maintain his position as a top 147-pounder.
Porter can't afford to look past Granados, who has played spoiler in the past on a number of occasions. Despite a not great win percentage, Granados (18-5-2, 12 KOs) has never been soundly beaten. All of his losses were via split or majority decision, and in all of them you could make a case he deserved the nod. Most recently, Granados pushed Adrien Broner to the limit and lost a ten-round split decision. Two years ago, Granados knocked out unbeaten contender Amir Imam, and he's been a solid commodity ever since.
For the Broner fight, the weight moved from 142 pounds to the eventual 147 pound limit the fight was contested at. Granados has made it clear how beneficial a set weight for this fight will be for him.
"It's better for me to know right from the start the weight is at 147," said Granados, who tipped the scale at 146 pounds, while Porter came in at 146.5. "The previous camp for Broner we started at 142 and then had to move to 147 very late in the camp. Knowing it's been 147 from the start has helped me to better prepare for this fight with Shawn Porter. It will also help me to come in a little heavier on fight night."
Porter isn't the type to take his opponent lightly, the way other Granados opponents in the past may have. He's been analyzing his opponent ever since the fight was first announced and is as ready for Granados as he would be against a bigger name.
"I feel very familiar with Granados at this point," Porter said from training camp. "One night I watched about three or four of his fights and some interviews and really got to put him in my mind. He's an aggressive fighter who's not easily hurt or fazed by what's going on in the ring. Whether that's him getting hit or an opponent making him miss."
“ This is going to be a very competitive fight. The key to beating him will be my speed. I have to out box him, make him walk into some heavy shots and eventually knock him out. ” Former Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter
Granados made it clear he's been familiar with Porter dating back to his days before he entered the pro ranks.
"Shawn fought at 165 in the amateurs, much bigger than me and I remember him well, he was also a football player so he was much heavier," Granados said. "Since he turned pro I've spent more time watching his fights and studying him, especially these last few weeks knowing that we're fighting each other at 147."
Granados throws a lot of volume, and Porter is probably going to have to up his activity level in order to clearly win rounds. Porter has been in with the better competition over the course of his career, but when Granados has stepped up, he's proven he belongs.
Porter likes to bully his opponents on the inside, but he might find that strategy more difficult against Granados, who prefers when it's a fight more than a boxing match. Granados is the bigger man in both height and reach, so Porter will have to use his superior inside game to his advantage.
"This is going to be a very competitive fight," Porter said of the matchup. “The key to beating him will be my speed. I have to out box him, make him walk into some heavy shots and eventually knock him out."
Porter is a much bigger step up than Imam or Adrien Broner was, but the confidence Granados has coming off good performances could aid him here. If he's able to have success early in the fight against Porter, it can build momentum like a boulder rolling down a steep hill. Porter's best bet would be to neutralize Granados from the outset and take his confidence away.
Porter was due a rematch with Keith Thurman after stopping Berto. He chose to take another fight rather than lie in wait the way he did before the first fight with Thurman. It could make him more prepared if a rematch comes to fruition, but Granados is ready to play spoiler for bigger plans once again.
For a complete look at Porter vs Granados, visit our fight page.