Shawn Porter has his sights set on Danny Garcia
LAS VEGAS – When Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez stepped off the scale one day before their superfight, Shawn Porter looked intently at the stage. He couldn’t help but imagine himself in that position, flexing his own muscles before thousands of fans.
“Showtime” simply hasn’t been active, though it’s surely no fault of his own.
Porter, 29, has demonstrated that he will fight anyone. In the summer of last year, he took part in his own marquee bout, seen by millions on CBS, against Keith Thurman. He dropped a narrow decision in a scintillating bout, which raised his profile.
But he hasn’t built on the momentum. Instead, he has fought only once since, an action-packed beatdown of Andre Berto in April. Porter planned to stay busy by fighting Thomas Dulorme in September but he had to pull out of the fight because of a death in his family.
Even if frustration sometimes rears its ugly head, confidence is never an issue. Porter’s day will come, he believes.
He hopes a matchup with Danny Garcia will do the trick. The WBC is expected to order an interim welterweight title fight between the pair with Thurman sidelined until 2018 following elbow surgery.
Porter isn’t waiting around for a sanctioning body’s orders, though. He wants the fight now.
“We’re going to let everybody in this world know, especially Danny Garcia, that Shawn Porter isn’t aiming for anybody but you,” Porter (27-2-1, 17 knockouts) told RingTV.com. “There’s nowhere you can go. You already fought the top guy (losing to Thurman in March). Now you need to fight the next best guy out there.”
Porter and Garcia share an advisor, Al Haymon, who knows Porter wants the fight. That gives him optimism. And if it doesn’t happen, he wants to fight someone else before the end of the year.
But what if there are no TV dates available for the 147-pound contender? What if he must endure a second consecutive year in his prime with only one fight to his name?
“I know it’s realistic for Danny to take the fight; it’s just a matter of when,” said Porter, THE RING’s No. 3 welterweight. “He knows right now that he has no other place to go. He’s not getting a rematch with Keith Thurman. Nobody wants to see him fight anyone else under the rank of (No.) 3. And I’m at 2 (in the WBC rankings).”
Porter is a tall order for any boxer. His swarming, never-let-you-breathe pressure style was too much for Adrien Broner to handle. It was far too much for Berto. And it pushed Thurman to the brink.
Can Garcia risk a second consecutive defeat? That must be a concern for the Philadelphian in a sport that places such a premium on glossy records. Porter believes that, “hell yeah,” Garcia isn’t keen on fighting him for fear of another “L” on his record.
“He’s all about status,” Porter said. “He’s not about being great. He’s not about fighting other great fighters. He’s about making money and being looked at who’s unbeatable and undefeated.
“Well, you’ve already lost one. You can’t be afraid to lose two. You gotta go out there and fight the best and do everything that you claim to be. Show it against the best.”
There’s one last, perhaps best reason that Porter is pushing for the fight with Garcia. The winner will be promised a coveted rematch with Thurman. That’s reason enough. But Porter also wants to step into the big time. And to do that, he needs a signature victory over a name opponent. In his mind, Garcia is that opponent.
“I think I can outbox him and I know I can outpunch him,” Porter said. “You don’t see that often. People call him a cherry-picker. … The guys that they put in front of him are guys that match up with his style.
“It’s time for me to fight a guy who matches up very well with my style. The great part about it is, I have multiple ways of beating him.”
Porter is tired of waiting for his opportunity. He’s running out of patience.
Mike Coppinger is the Senior Writer for RingTV.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCoppinger