Former welterweight champion says he's ready to prove Saturday night on Showtime that he's better than his fellow former 147-pound titleholder in all facets of the game.
When former IBF welterweight world champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) enters the ring, fans are guaranteed action and excitement.
Porter’s next bout will be no exception. He re-enters the spotlight this Saturday, September 8, to face fellow former 147-pound titleholder Danny “Swift” Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) on a Showtime-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the vacant WBC belt.
“This is one of the biggest reasons that I box—to win championships,” Porter said. “After I won the IBF, I made it a goal: I want to win the WBC title. To fight for this sanctioning body means a lot. To be in the same breath as Ali, Holyfield, Leonard—you know the history that comes behind that belt. I want to be a part of that history.”
Despite having to deal with more inactivity than he would like and some business obstacles, like having to wait for the Keith Thurman rematch, Porter is relaxed and happy. He discussed how he has learned to deal with adversity.
“I’m a spiritual person, so I understand that worrying is not the way to handle it,” said Shawn. “I have prayed about it and just tried to follow my heart, which is where God always leads me.
“In 2011, I sat out for an entire year due to a contract dispute. Going through that frustration and the trials of that helped me be more prepared for the moments when I’m not in the ring, or not being given an exact date or exact opponent. I’ve learned how to handle it.”
Porter analyzed Danny Garcia and what he expects to see on fight night.
“The number one thing Danny’s successful at is punching when opponents are punching at him. He’s the guy who will take my aggression and use it against me. All it takes is one punch. This is boxing. I’ve gotta be aggressive but also very aware and ready defensively.”
Porter elaborated on what it will take for him to have his hand raised at the end of the night September 8th.
“Danny wins when you’re there. To beat him, you’ve gotta get him and get out, use great defense so he doesn’t get off his counters. He’s gonna be prepared for my relentless aggressive attack, but he’s also gonna try to stop me from doing that. I expect him to come in the ring prepared to clinch and kind of get me out of my game. But we’ll be prepared to box him from the outside as well.
“Beating Danny from the outside, making him frustrated, and making him come to me is just as important as being aggressive and allowing him to feel my power, strength, and relentless fortitude throughout the match. I think both are required to beat him.”
“ Beating Danny from the outside, making him frustrated, and making him come to me is just as important as being aggressive and allowing him to feel my power, strength, and relentless fortitude throughout the match. I think both are required to beat him. ” Former Welterweight Champ Shawn Porter, on Danny Garcia
Porter and his team also recognize the importance of his footwork in this bout.
“At the end of my 10-round training sessions on the bag, for the last two rounds, I don’t throw one punch. I focus on moving around the bag, feinting, and pivoting. Danny is someone who doesn’t go up against guys often who can move the way I move. I think if I do it precisely, it will present problems for him.”
On top of his understated boxing ability, Porter is a buzzsaw: a pressure fighter who uses his tenacity, stamina and activity to grind his foes down, make them uncomfortable, and pull them into his fight, regardless of their skill level.
“My style comes with a rough and aggressive approach that not many people understand. The work rate at which I perform is not common. To be able to have the reflexes and willingness to do what I do, that also doesn’t come very often. It takes a lot for me to be as aggressive as I am but also to be so willing offensively and defensively to put myself out there.
“You don’t see that from everyone. Other people who try to be as aggressive as I am, usually there’s something missing. Usually there’s a quickness offensively or defensively that’s missing, or there’s just something that isn’t clicking the way it has for me. I think because of that it’s misunderstood, that most people would just say ‘he’s aggressive—he fights and that’s it.’ It really is calculated. If you take my fights round by round and slow them down…then you really start to dive into what it takes to be Shawn Porter. It’s not easy.”
In April 2017, Porter stopped former world champion Andre Berto by employing his savage style in an entertaining bout. After the fight ended, Shawn rested his arms on the ropes and appeared to be overtaken by thoughts or emotions.
“In that moment, there was a sense of awe at how relentless and aggressive I was. How ‘no’ was not an answer at all for me.
“A lot of times you’ll get people out there who say, ‘Shawn is really aggressive, he doesn’t take a step backwards.’ Man, at the end of it, if you love the art of boxing, the art of a fighter who brings every fighter into his realm and into what he wants them to do…you find yourself in awe at the end of it all.”
For a closer look at Garcia vs Porter, check out our Fight Night page.