Former world champion survived hand injury, and a game Adrian Granados Saturday night in an elimination match that secures his spot as a top challenger in the 147-pound division.
Shawn Porter’s fortitude coupled with some tough love from his hard-nosed father and trainer, Kenny, kept the former champion from succumbing to excruciating pain from a broken left hand during a unanimous decision victory over Adrian Granados at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night.
“Showtime” Porter (28-2-1, 17 KOs) overcame a possible broken hand that he suffered in the sixth round of the 12-round, 147-pound match, and a game Granados (18-6-2, 12 KOs) to win by scores of 117-111 on all three cards. The victory came in a title eliminator that kept alive his dreams of a rematch with champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs).
Porter is now 3-1 at Barclays, with a unanimous decision loss to Thurman in a “Fight of the Year’’ contender in June 2016 being the lone blemish. In his previous matches, he defeated Andre Berto in April and won the welterweight title from Devon Alexander in 2013.
Thurman is coming off a split-decision victory in a title unification match against Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) in March. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation after successful surgery by Dr. Riley Williams to remove painful calcium deposits and bone spurs from his left elbow in April.
"Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia are the two names I've wanted for a long time," said Porter. "Big names, big fights all the way around. We're going to wait around for Keith Thurman, but, right now, the only other guy I want is Danny Garcia."
During a press conference at Barclays Center last month Thurman said he plans to return to the ring against an undetermined opponent in February or March of 2018.
“Shawn’s deserving of a fight with Keith Thurman. We won’t fight anybody else until he’s ready to fight,” said Kenny Porter, during a post-fight press conference early Sunday morning at Barclays.
“We respect him as champion and the fact that he was out with an injury and will allow him to sort that out and for him to fight why they feel they should fight. When the dust clears, we’ll be there waiting.”
“ Right now, the majority of what I do is geared around fighting Keith Thurman again. We're ready for Keith Thurman as soon as possible. That's the big one. ” Former 147-pound World Champion Shawn Porter
Thurman, 28, was one of Porter’s three fights in 2015. He scored a fifth-round stoppage of Erick Bone in March and a unanimous decision over four-division champion Adrien Broner, who floored him in the 12th-round that June.
Porter wanted to knock out Granados in impressive fashion, and seemed well on his way to accomplishing his goal by the sixth round of a close-quarters battle. With the action taking place mainly along the ropes, swelling and cuts developed around the eyes of both fighters.
“I hurt him and completely controlled the action before hitting him flush with a jab and hurting it (his hand) in the sixth. Doctors X-rays say it might be fractured. Every round after, the stinging grew more intense,” said Porter, whose mauling, grinding, bullish strategy had reduced a retreating Granados into an all-but defenseless opponent.
“The one thing I lacked in this fight was body work. But in the 10th was the point when I couldn’t use my left. I had reached my limit, like, ‘What am I gonna do?’ My Dad said, ‘You’ve gotta fight through this.’ I put all of my faith in my Dad, who pushed and kept me focused in the right frame of mind through the last three rounds. I’ve sincerely thanked him more in the last 10 minutes than I have in my whole life.”
Before meeting Porter, four of Granados’ losses had been by majority decision to Frankie Gomez and former Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz, and split-decision against Broner and Brad Solomon. Gomez, Diaz and Solomon were all unbeaten before when fought Granados.
“Everyone knows I’m the warrior. I beat him decisively unlike anyone else, but it eats at me that I wasn't able to get the knockout I wanted," said Porter. "Right now, the majority of what I do is geared around fighting Keith Thurman again. We're ready for Keith Thurman as soon as possible. That's the big one."
For a complete look at Porter vs Granados, visit our fight page.