Broner-Porter: No build-up toward the Battle for Ohio
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LOS ANGELES – Friends. Acquaintances. Pals.
Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter have lobbed these words toward one another while growing up in the state of Ohio.
Since they represent the Buckeye State, it would not surprise fight fans that each have cheered the other on from ringside or followed their escapades on social media.
On June 20, both fighters will throw their friendship out the window and, instead, will lob jabs, hooks and crosses at one another inside a ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
The bout, which will be fought at a catchweight of 144 pounds, will headline a Premier Boxing Champions card and will be televised live on NBC, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT.
Ohio bragging rights may be on the line for both fighters, who are coming off wins in March. Broner resides in Cincinnati; Porter was born in Akron, near Cleveland. While no title is on the line, bigger fights could await the winner, including an outside possibility of fighting Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the fall.
First things first, Broner (30-1, 22 knockouts) and Porter will square off in a highly-anticipated bout. Unlike some fights in which fighters jaw at each other at a press conference, a weigh-in or social media, Broner-Porter has been devoid of that.
Never shy with words, even Porter admits talking trash before the fight has been odd.
“This is actually a fight where I don’t have to talk trash about Kenny [Porter, father/trainer] or Shawn,” Broner told assembled media at a press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “[There is] no bad blood. We’re both from Ohio. We grew up in the amateurs together. We watched each other’s careers. We’ve even been in the ring before. It’s just a business. Now I’m going to get this money.”
Porter (25-1-1, 16 KOs) agreed.
“I’ve been looking forward to this fight since it was announced,” said the former IBF welterweight titleholder. “It’s a big, exciting time for boxing. I’m very pleased and honored to be a part of it. [This] is one of the most anticipated fights that I could remember for a long time.”
The Broner-Porter bout is being anticipated as one of the better fights of 2015 so far. Both have one loss each on their records and are fighting in the primes of the respective careers.
While Porter has the strength and size advantage between the two, Broner has faced the better opposition. Despite the loss to Marcos Maidana in Dec. of 2013, Broner believes he has the tools to defeat Porter.
“I know he’s going to be prepared. They say he’s strong. They say he comes like a bulldozer. Whatever. It don’t matter. Whatever he brings to the table on June 20, we’re going to be ready. I’m going to be the most skillful fighter on June 20; I’m going to be the most powerful fighter on June 20 and I’m going to definitely be the prettiest fighter on June 20.”
After bouncing back with a knockout win over Erick Bone on March 13, Porter believes he has the tools to defeat Broner.
“He’s slick and fast. He’s got it all. He’s going to do some things that night that will make you say that, ‘This fight is better than [Manny] Pacquiao and Mayweather.’ Camp has been great. [I’m] loving it. Every part of it. This is peak-week. [We’re] coming up on the last few days, putting on the final touches. It’s been an awesome camp.
“Life has been great for us and I’m looking forward to June 20.”
Opening the NBC telecast, unbeaten Errol Spence Jr. will fight Roberto Garcia in a 10-round welterweight bout.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since Oct. of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (CA) Star newspaper, Boxingscene.com, and Knockout Nation.He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing