By: Sean Crose
The recently retired Shawn Porter was a hard fighter not to cheer for. Not only did the Ohio native possess an exciting style, he pretty much took on all comers, from Kell Brook, to Danny Garcia, to Paulie Malignaggi, to Adrien Broner, to Keith Thurman to Errol Spence to Terence Crawford. In a sense, Porter, being a professional fighter, was a man who didn’t fit into his time. Boxing in the just recently passed Porter era was pretty much the same as it is now – a place where a fighter’s brand trumps ambition. That was most distinctly not the case with the man known as “Showtime.”
Therefore, when Porter speaks on the contemporary fight game, it’s worth a listen. Asked on his podcast by co-host Anthony Brenagh what his thoughts were on the recent Spence-Crawford fallout, where a battle many fans have longed for didn’t come to fruition, Porter was polite as always – but pointed. “You’re looking at the most stubborn guy in boxing,” he said of Crawford, “probably one of the most stubborn guys in sports…if he’s not getting what he feels he deserves, what he wants, then he’s saying ‘I’m going to go in a different direction.'”
There’s no denying Crawford’s headed in a new direction. Having just signed with BLK Prime, he’s preparing to fight David Avanesyan in a pay per view event December 10th. Yet Porter also made it clear that fighters are different. “Boxing was not the only thing on my mind,” he said of himself, “not the only thing I wanted to do.” As Porter went on to indicate, that’s not true of other fighters. “Those other guys,” Porter stated, “they’re squeezing those lemons.” Although the former welterweight titlist understands fan’s frustrations, Porter indicated the Spence-Crawford debacle isn’t worth walking away from the sport over. “At the end of the day I encourage everybody not to give up on boxing,” he laughed. “I do expect that eventually it does get right.”
Porter then went on to make a bold prediction. “I’m going to go on record for saying I think it gets right at 154,” he claimed, “and I like the fight for both guys at 154.” That means that, although Spence and Crawford wouldn’t be fighting for welterweight supremacy, as has been expected, they would still be fighting at junior middleweight – something Porter himself would appreciate. Perhaps the most interesting thing Porter had to say however, came in the form of a piece of advice to fight fans, no matter what particular bouts they would like to see go down.
“Until you see both guys at the press conference,” he said, “that’s when you know its real.”
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