Porter ready for ‘old-school night of fighting’ vs. Garcia on Spike TV
It was one thing for Shawn Porter to suffer his first career loss as well as lose his IBF welterweight title to Kell Brook.
It was entirely another to spend the past six months watching the rest of the activity in the 147-pound division from the wings.
RING champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. unanimously decisioned No. 9 Marcos Maidana in September and No. 1-rated WBO beltholder Manny Pacquiao rolled over Chris Algieri during a six-knockdown unanimous decision in November.
On Dec. 13, No. 7 Keith Thurman pitched a shutout unanimous decision in a clash of unbeatens over Leonard Bundu and on the same card, No. 3 Amir Khan won a clash of former titleholders by unanimous decision over Devon Alexander.
Also on Dec. 13 was a draw between No. 4 Tim Bradley, a two-division titlewinner, and 10th-rated Diego Chaves.
“After fighting in August, we wanted to come back in December but that didn’t happen. So it’s been a long time. Me, I like to fight. I love to fight. I love being in the ring and hearing the crowd yell and all of that. Not being able to have that and seeing other guys go through it, it makes you anxious,” said Porter.
“So it makes you want to get back to it even more. We stay focused on our game plan and the tasks that we have ahead of us and on our goals, so we haven’t stopped training. I’ve been back training since September and I feel that on March 13, we’ll be more than ready to go.”
That’s when Porter (24-1-1, 15 KOs) will be matched with Roberto Garcia (36-3, 23 KOs) as part of a new boxing series on the Spike TV cable network that was unveiled by adviser Al Haymon on Thursday during a press conference in Santa Monica, California.
“This is the perfect time for me. We’ve been in training non-stop. We’ve been looking forward to having this moment and to having this opportunity for a long time, so we’ll be ready. For anybody that knows me, they know that I’m always in shape and that I train non-stop,” said Porter, 27.
“So I’m always ready to go in and to do my job and to do whatever I have to do. That being said, I’ve been ready for March 13 since Dec. 13. My timetable is not based on when I have a fight coming up. We define our timetable by always staying ready and so we will be ready.”
Porter-Garcia is the co-feature to a bout between two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto and rugged Josesito Lopez on the debut episode of a monthly “Premier Boxing Champions” series. The show will air on Fridays at 9:00 p.m. as part of a multi-year deal with Spike. Although the site of the first show has not been finalized, the StubHub Center in Carson, California, is reportedly in the running.
“There’s no pressure at all. You know me and you know that my dad demands the best out of me. So coming out and being magnificent and great and impressive and all of that, that comes easy for me,” said Porter, who is trained by his father, Kenny Porter.
“That’s because that’s the expectation that I have of myself and also the expectation that my dad has for me as well. So I think that there’s no pressure involved with this situation at all. Obviously, I do want to come out and be as great as possible on that night and I do know that I have the capabilities of doing that.”
Porter lost his belt by majority decision to Brook in August after having won it by fourth round technical knockout over two-division beltholder Paulie Malignaggi in April. Prior to Malignaggi, Porter was coming off a unanimous decision win over Alexander, during which he dictated a physical fight that left both fighters bleeding from cuts around their eyes in December 2013.
In his last fight in July, Garcia secured a unanimous decision over Breidis Prescott, representing his eighth consecutive victory since losing a unanimous decision to former titleholder Antonio Margarito in a junior middleweight bout in May 2010.
“Roberto Garcia is a dog. He’s a brawler. He’s a fighter and he’s a fighter that you have to respect. Now I like to fight but I can also box and I know that Roberto Garcia is a guy that likes to use his power and come straight ahead,” said Porter.
“So I know that I could be in for a long night and also a great night and on a great platform to showcase my boxing ability as opposed to some of the brawling and some of the aggressiveness that you’ve seen in my past few fights. So for anyone tuning in on Spike TV on March 13, you’re going to see an old-school night of fighting.”