Q&A: Shawn Porter
Losing his IBF welterweight title against Kell Brook on a humid evening at the StubHub Center wasn’t part of Shawn Porter’s plan, but he says he took the loss in his stride.
“I did not take it like a loss of a family member, it’s not the end of my career, my life. I’ve got to keep moving,” Porter told RingTV.com. “I have to keep getting better, so I didn’t exactly shrug it off but I didn’t take it to heart as if my world had ended.”
Porter (24-1-1, 15 knockouts) will have a chance to put that summer night in Carson, California, further behind him when he returns to action for the first time since the loss against Roberto Garcia on Spike TV this Friday.
The key for Porter has been time: “After the fight I didn’t take it hard but every thought was the fight. I’d be talking to someone but I’m still thinking about the fight, still seeing the fight in my head even though I’m here talking to you.
“The same thing with sleeping, I didn’t have a hard time sleeping but every dream was about the fight. There were points where I could remember the fight so vividly. Over time, over these last six months, these dreams became less and less, every thought of the fight became less and less.”
Porter was back in the gym last September and admits that being on the sidelines for so long wasn’t easy. However, now he intends to showcase his skills and get back into big fights.
“We know first and foremost we have to win,” said the 27-year-old. “We don’t only want to win but we want to look great doing it and have the boxing world look at me and want big fights for me for the future.”
Currently Porter is ranked No. 7 at 147 pounds by THE RING Magazine.
The “Premier Boxing Champions” card takes place at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California, and is headlined by another interesting 147-pound scrap between Andre Berto and Josesito Lopez. Heavyweight Chris Arreola and junior middleweight Oscar Molina are also scheduled to see action. The SpikeTV broadcast begins at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Anson Wainwright – What are your thoughts on Roberto Garcia?
Shawn Porter – I’m excited, I think this is going to be a great fight for me. I think this fight is going to allow me to showcase a lot of my skills that I think a lot of people haven’t seen as of late. People have seen more an aggressive, pressure style. I think you’re going to still get some of that but you’re going to get a lot more boxing, more than the aggressive style that you’ve seen in my last two fights.
AW – When you look at Garcia’s strengths and weaknesses, what does he bring to this fight?
SP – Just that, he is very strong, he has a lot of strength. He likes to apply pressure, he doesn’t mind taking punches to get some and I think that plays right into our hands because not only are we good on offense but we’re very good on defense, so we’ll be able to make him walk into shots and also make him miss and make him pay for missing as well. I think overall his style is tailor-made for me.
AW – So instead of the two of you going at each other, you see this as a fight where you’ll be able to show other aspects of your game?
SP – Exactly, it’ll be showcasing my skills but also there will be points where I understand I can’t let him walk down on me and be the aggressor the entire fight, so there will be points where I step to him when I want to dictate the fight the way I want to dictate the fight.
AW – Garcia has been on the canvas but never stopped, is that something you are looking to do to make a statement to the welterweight division?
SP – Yeah, exactly, the fact that he’s been down on the canvas, it gives me the confidence that I can do it; I know what I carry with my power. I don’t think he’s really been tested the way I can [test him]. I think it’s a very possible situation that I can knock him out. I won’t be swinging for the fences but there will be points in the fight where I do look to hurt him and get the early stoppage.
The other thing is a stoppage against a guy like Roberto Garcia, it definitely sends a huge message to the boxing world and to everyone in my weight division. So along with everything else – looking great, looking good, impressing everyone – I want to send a message that I can do what it takes to beat anybody in my division.
AW – This fight is part of Al Haymon’s Spike TV time buy, and so will be on free TV?
SP – Yeah, very big deal for me. At first when I heard I wouldn’t be on Showtime, it was kind of like a question mark but once you find out Spike TV is open to the public and a network television station and that you’re going to reach so many more people, I think that’s what boxing needs. That’s what I need as an athlete, an entertainer. I need to be seen.
So the fact that I’m being seen by so many more people just makes the fight more exciting for me. The opportunities that lie ahead of having a spectacular win against Roberto Garcia just compounds what I have to do.
AW – You were last in action against Kell Brook; you lost that fight, it was several months ago now. Looking back what are your thoughts on that fight?
SP – Looking back on that fight I had to remind myself I have a great team behind me, they’re doing everything it takes, I need to do my part as well. Part of that is being able to listen to my dad and carry out the plans he sets out before and during the fight. I think my fight against Kell Brook, I kind of lost site of that.
We worked really hard to not only use our skills but also our mentality and focus and be where we need to be, in tune and in sync with one another. We can get the job done the right way. Not necessarily that everything that I did in the ring against Kell Brook was wrong – it could have been a lot better, I understand that. That’s why I’m here, I’m a competitor, I try to look better and better each fight. Sitting out was not a part of the plan but it is what it is and we’re doing what we have to do. We’ve been back in training since September, so we’ll be ready for this fight. No better opportune way to get back in the ring and do what I do than on Spike TV.
AW – It seemed as though you didn’t have a plan ‘B’ in the later stages against Brook. He seemed to adjust better late on than you?
SP – I don’t know. Looking back on the fight, when you’re in the moment, I didn’t acknowledge the fact I may have been tired or winded but looking back on the fight there were some adjustments that he did make that and I did not continue to make adjustments. It’s hindsight what you could have done better or different. You move on and understand and get better at that.
AW – Did you feel looking back you lost?
SP – I’m the type of person, I’ve boxed so long, I’m so used to being dominant. I’m used to being able to handle my opponent to win. Not necessarily the fights are easy but I just can handle everything. I didn’t feel I did that in that match. Obviously my first reaction was, ‘Oh, I lost,’ but I’ll be honest, going back and taking a look at that fight a half a dozen times or more I still can’t see how I lost that fight, but I can’t beat myself up about that. I can’t come down on the boxing world or the judges about that, I just have to move forward the right way.
AW – You’re very close with your father, what did he say to you following the Brook fight?
SP – There wasn’t much finger pointing, there wasn’t any arguments, there weren’t any disappointing comments. I think he understood that even though this is a one-man sport, one on one, our team took a loss that night and so I think he looked at himself as much as me and we both understood we have to keep working.
AW – You work with Al Haymon – he doesn’t speak to the media – can you tell us a little about him and the relationship you share?
SP – I’d say Al speaks to my dad a few times a week, they have a great relationship. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Al on more than one occasion, not as much as my dad. He’s a great guy. He’s a mastermind at boxing, he knows what he’s doing. He’s making some fantastic moves for the boxers under PBC. I’m really looking forward to the type of production that goes on with this fight we have with Spike TV. I’m curious to see what they do different.
AW – In closing, do you have a message for Garcia?
SP – He knows I’m going to be ready. I know him and he’s trying to be ready and I look forward to a great fight. God bless him and his team and I’ll see him Friday.
Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him at www.twitter.com/AnsonWainwright