'Pressure breaks fighters': Shawn Porter interview

Shaun Brown
07/09/2018 11:54am

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

According to Shawn Porter "pressure breaks fighters," and the welterweight contender tells Shaun Brown he will break Danny Garcia on Saturday night at the Barclays Center...

Shawn Porter may have lost to both Kell Brook and Keith Thurman, his only two career defeats to date, but the amiable American is just 24 hours away from becoming a two-time world welterweight champion.

Tomorrow night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn – a venue that is becoming synonymous with boxing – the 30-year-old former IBF belt holder will throw hands with Danny Garcia in one of the year’s most exciting match-ups for the vacant WBC title.

Last year saw Porter rack up two wins against Andre Berto and Adrien Granados. A pair of performances that the Ohio-born fighter was not entirely satisfied with. He got the wins, yes, but in his eyes, there was plenty to learn from and improve on. Those victories were part of Porter’s resurgence as a 147lbs contender after Thurman got the nod against him (115-113 with all three judges) in a thoroughly absorbing affair in June 2016.

‘One Time’ Thurman and the ‘Special One’ Brook are now on the sidelines, recovering from injuries with the boxing world wondering if and when they might return. Porter isn’t egotistical enough to believe that he is having something of a last laugh nor is he quietly taking any satisfaction at how things have turned out.

“I think that’s kinda like how boxing works,” said Porter speaking to Boxing Monthly shortly after ticking off another part of his preparations in the countdown to tomorrow night.

“I think there’s a big difference between boxing and soccer, American Football, basketball. Those guys, they play so often that the momentum that a team carries is unlike what you get in boxing. You have momentum in that night and you may not fight again for almost six months or a year.

"The momentum is all about how you perform in training camp and the things that lead you up to the fight. Obviously, you get momentum from pulling back and reminiscing on your last performance and things like that. I think solely that the momentum a fighter carries in the ring is the momentum he brings from the camp.”

Momentum, as with any fighter, has been pivotal to Porter in his trek back to the higher echelons of the welterweight rankings. After losing his title narrowly to Brook in August 2014 he dusted himself down to take care of Erick Bone in five rounds before proving too hot to handle for Adrien Broner.

Then came the defeat to Thurman. Momentum lost, momentum paused, but it wouldn’t be long before it restarted.

So, what, – BM asked – has it taken for Porter to bounce back and get the momentum going once again.

“I think, if anything, it’s me understanding that in that night when I lost to Keith Thurman it was a close fight, a close decision and irrespective of that it could have gone my way it does not change me or how I feel about boxing, about New York, about Keith Thurman, anything like that at all.

"My job is to get in there and compete, get in there and fight and give it my all. I was telling someone the other day that the way I performed in that fight I had no regrets. I did essentially leave it all in the ring that night and because of that there’s no momentum swing for me because I felt like I did everything I could do.

"I think with the Kell Brook situation, that’s a fight that could have gone a lot differently had I fought smarter. But getting back into training, knowing what I was getting up for and my next fight was about getting that going. I think the momentum now is that I’m a vibrant, confident Shawn Porter.”

The vibrant, confident Porter says he will back Garcia up tomorrow night, he will take the fight to the former two-weight champion and put the pressure on him.

“Pressure breaks fighters,” he said strongly hinting at how he intends to beat the Philadelphian.

As with any Danny Garcia fight build-up, Porter and his father/trainer Kenny have had to deal with Danny’s father – Angel – and all that comes in the package. But the ever positive, every smiling Shawn P. is not a man nowadays to be flustered by outbursts or nonsensical remarks from the elder Garcia.

“As a man I don’t really pay too much attention to what guys do outside the ring.”
Of Danny Garcia he said: “He’s a good fighter. I don’t think he’s been up against anyone like me, but I think we might see something new out of him. We have seen him throw really devastating blows to guys and put them out. I think there are things we can do to offset that.

"I think he’s a really good fighter. I think he has all the tools to be what he has been, a champion. Going up against me, September 8 for the WBC title, unfortunately, he just does not have enough for me.”