Shawn Porter needs statement win over Adrian Granados to lure marquee foes
Shawn Porter is stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The 30-year-old has a sparkling record of 27-2-1 but could very well be 30-0 and sitting on top of the welterweight mountain if the chips fell a different way. But alas, “Showtime” was unable to claim the WBA title from Keith Thurman and lost his IBF title to Kell Brook.
And despite the narrow scorecards in both fights, he finds himself on the outside looking in when it comes to welterweight royalty.
A rematch with Keith Thurman, despite how competitive their initial bout was, is unlikely considering the PBC is creating a clear path for Thurman to face Errol Spence Jr. at some point in the next 24 months. Having Porter throw a monkey wrench into that plan is something Al Haymon and Co. wants to stay far away from. And that goes for both Thurman and Spence.
It’s also highly unlikely that Porter will face the welterweight division’s newest entrant in Terence Crawford considering the rocky relationship between promoters and the fact that neither is a big enough draw for a fight to be worth the hassle.
The obvious choice would be Danny Garcia. It’s a fight that Porter has been after for the past couple of years. But for one reason or another, it hasn’t come to fruition. If you’re listening to Shawn and (specifically) Kenny Porter, Garcia has been all bark but no bite when it comes to making a deal.
This is why the THE RING’S No. 3 welterweight is stuck facing Adrian Granados on the undercard of the Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne heavyweight title rematch on Saturday. Granados’ physical style is something that no fighter wants to deal with unless they have to. And considering that Thurman, Spence and Garcia don’t really have to fight Porter, it keeps the former champion staring through the window of the big welterweight house.
But he has an opportunity to pry his way into the picture with a definitive performance against Granados on Saturday night. It’s not like Granados (18-5-2, 12 knockouts) is expected to win. However, this is a fight where Porter needs to shine.
“We’re going after the WBC title,” said Porter, who will be the mandatory challenger to Thurman with a win in the WBC title eliminator. “We’re going to have our sights set on Keith Thurman. I want to get that rematch sometime next year. Outside of that, the only fighter on my mind is Danny Garcia, because he’s a guy who I think I’d make an exciting fight with.”
Granted, even if Porter does win, his bruising style could end up doing more to deter opponents than have them clamoring to fight him. One look at the way he imposed his physical style on Andre Berto and it’s easy to see why many 147-pounders decided to look the other way when it came to their next opponent.
But Porter has to do what no other fighter has done to Granados: finish him. Although he has five losses on his record, Granados has never had all three judges go against him. In his last fight against Adrian Broner, Granados managed to convince one judge that he deserved the fight. Porter simply can’t allow the judges to have a say in the fight.
If Porter is able to dominate Granados, it may force his name into the conversation. Unfortunately, those conversations likely won’t be about Thurman or Spence, but there will come a point where Garcia can’t avoid Porter without boxing fans calling him out for ducking. A Porter-Garcia fight would clear up the welterweight picture a tad as the world awaits an eventual fight between Thurman and Spence.
But it has to start with Porter getting rid of Granados in spectacular fashion on Saturday night.