Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter: Both fighters speak on the big welterweight unification fight

0 Submitted by on Sun, 22 September 2019, 11:03

IBF Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. and the WBC champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter, get closer to their battle for welterweight supremacy. It’s really a sensational matchup and one of the best fights that can be made in boxing’s hottest division, the welterweights, with two world champions, unifying the title.  Errol Spence Jr. is one of the most talked-about fighters in the sport. Many consider him to not only to be the best welterweight in the division but the best fighter in the world. But he’s going to get all he can handle from Shawn Porter, who has always faced the best of the best in his illustrious career.

 

Currently, oddsmakers have Errol Spence listed at -1000, while if you were to place a bet on Shawn Porter you would get odds of +600. This is really the type of fight that elevates the sport of boxing. So it’s going to be a tremendous night of boxing, a big night on Saturday September 28. Here is what both Shawn Porter and Errol Spence had to say ahead of their fight this upcoming weekend.

 

 

Shawn Porter

What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having me on. We’re about two weeks away and I couldn’t be any more excited than I am right now. So I’m even excited to do these interviews right now with you guys, so let’s go, let’s do it.

 

Q

Where does that mentality come from you where there really does seem to be a genuine willingness to just look down the list and fight the best guys available that you and your team can make a match against, Spence being the next one?

 

Porter

It’s how I grew up. It’s how my dad raised me and it’s where I come from. We were never allowed to shy away from any challenge and that’s the way I’ve lived my life. So when it comes to taking on Errol Spence, to me it’s like taking on any other fighter. It’s not like taking on, as everyone has coined him, the boogeyman or the best welterweight in the world. To me I’m taking on another great, exciting fighter and I’m going to beat that great, exciting fighter.

 

Q

So it is Spence specifically that you wanted to fight or was it Spence was a guy that had one of the other world titles?

 

Porter

I think it’s Spence specifically. I think it’s specifically Spence because of not only him having a belt but who is and what he’s done in the sport so far. Being undefeated and, again, being coined as the boogeyman of the division I’m like, “Yo, I need that. I need to beat that guy. I need to fight that guy.” And so that’s where the hunger really comes from for me.

 

 

Q

So then what was it can you say that put that in your mind or had your dad put that in your mind? Did you ever talk about that?

 

Porter

Again, it’s how I was raised. I can tell you story after story that would confirm that that was how I was raised. But I was ten years old playing football against guys who were 12 and 13 years old and it doesn’t sound that big but back then when you’re ten going up against preteens it’s a big deal.

 

So even at that young age, my dad has always challenged me and made sure I not only put out my best but I was going up against the best. And you look up, I’m 31 now and this is 100% familiar territory for me because it’s where I come from.

 

Q

Did you just embrace fighting all those big names pretty much right off the bat as long as the business was right?

 

Porter

Yes. For me it was always about embracing the name or the opportunity or the fighter, whatever you may want to call it. I think for me coming into the game, the way that I came into the sport and the business being ran the way that it was ran for me, I was always told who I would fight and there was never really ever a fountain of guys to pick from. They were always hey this is who’s next, this is when, this is where, and so that’s how I’ve been bred into this sport.

 

So when you talk about fighting the mandatory challenger, Yordenis Ugas, and why would you fight him and a lot of different questions were posed to me, in my mind he’s the mandatory, he’s the guy they told me I had to fight. That’s who I’m going to fight. So, again, I think it’s the mindset that I’ve had a very young age from that seems to resonate for me.

 

Q

Tom, I was wondering if you could speak to that.

 

Brown

Where I really saw it with Shawn the first time was it was our second PBC show on March 13 back in 2015 when Roberto Garcia pulled out. We brought another opponent in. There was never any questioning; he was fighting. We brought Erick Bone in and he was a tough kid. Both Shawn and his father just said whoever you get, we’re here to fight. So that’s where he really showed me that he was a fighter, both he and his father, just what he talked about, the way he was raised back in Ohio.

 

Q

Could you talk a bit about your time fighting at that much higher weight and some of the fighters you specifically fought there and if that gives you confidence going into this fight with Spence?

 

Porter

I think fighting 165 pounds is no secret that the majority of the guys that I fought as an amateur were a lot bigger than Errol Spence, not just bigger than Errol, they were a lot bigger than Errol Spence and I’m talking about guys like Daniel Jacobs, who fights at 160 pounds, 168 pounds now. I fought against Oleksandr Usyk, who is unified champion over there in the Ukraine, a heavyweight now. I fought him at 165 pounds back in the day when we were about 20 years old and beat him.

 

I have wins against Jacobs and Demetrius Andrade. Me and Andrade were one and one in the amateur division. The last time that we fought we were 165 pounds and I beat him to go to a tournament as the amateur. The experience is there. The experience against taller, bigger opponents is there.

 

For me looking at Errol Spence, I don’t look at him like he’s a bigger guy than me. I don’t think he’s one of the bigger guys in the division. I think that he’s been matched up against guys who have made him look a lot more powerful and bigger and stronger than he is. Trust me when I say he’s met his match in this one.

 

Q

Can you talk about how you’ve balanced broadcasting and fighting and if you’ve had problems straddling those two professions and your focus going into this fight?

 

Porter              

I’m blessed because FOX Studios is just a rock’s throw away from Vegas so I can get there in just an hour. I do my thing. I actually have workouts and routines set around the filming and then on the ride home after we film. So it really has not been a hard thing for me to balance at all, the even more blessed part about it is I know the majority of the guys.

 

I’ve seen the majority of the fighters for a long, long time, then as amateurs and now I’ve known them as pros. So when it comes to things like being there to talk about these guys even that part of it is not strenuous for me because I know a lot of these guys, I know their styles, I know what they do, what they bring to the fight. So usually for me I’m just kind of shaping up on their statistics more than I am on who they are and who they bring to the ring. So it has not been a hard thing for me to balance and I’ve enjoyed it very, very much to this point.

 

Q

I know a couple weeks ago you mentioned that you were going to spar with Demetrius Andrade. I just wondered if you had the opportunity to do that and how it went if you did.

 

Porter

We’re still working on getting Andrade to Vegas. We tried to get him in D.C. He had some family conflicts going on and now we’re working on getting him into Vegas in the day or two so that we can get that last little bit of great work in. He’s a tremendous athlete.

 

We’ve used him time and time again when I fought southpaws and even when I fought orthodox fighters because he gives us such great work and he’s definitely a tough competitor and he makes it fun and enjoyable as well. So we do look forward to having him in Vegas and finishing up time with him in the next couple of days.

 

Q

Spence has said he’s going to knock you out and there are other people who have said that he’s going to be the first person to do that. Has that surprised your or driven you at all because you’ve always shown such a great chin?

 

Porter

I’m not surprised to hear him say he wants to knock me out. He’s even said I’m going to knock you out. I’m not surprised to hear him say that because I know his mentality. I know who he is as a person. He’s very, very driven and competitive, and I get that. The part about it for me is I think he may be trying to psyche himself out into thinking he can do it.

 

I think I have a proven chin. I’ve got a record for saying no fighter really wants to prove his chin. We never want to get hit, get hurt, anything like that but I’ve taken some pretty good shots from some top guys out there and I’ve managed to handle that and win and come out on top.

 

So when it comes to Errol Spence, I don’t look at his power any different than anyone else I’ve been in the ring with and I’m going to go at him like I’ve gone at Keith Thurman, like I’ve gone at Danny Garcia, like I’ve gone at Yordenis Ugas, Devon Alexander and the list goes on from there.

 

Q

Shawn, he said that you were a dirty fighter obviously in one of those FOX shows. Does that bother you or what was your opinion of that?

 

Porter

No, it doesn’t bother me. I think that’s his perspective. I think there may have been looking at film of me maybe and pulling on some things that he can take advantage of and he may think that my roughness, he’s misconstruing that for dirtiness.

 

If he can’t handle the roughness then you will find out real soon, and if that’s what’s working for us well then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll be rough, we’ll be hard, we’ll be rugged, we’ll keep the pressure on him and we all know pressure bursts pipes.

 

Q

Shawn, do you think it’s a psychological advantage for you a little bit that he’s thinking about that and that he’s mentioning this? Do you think that’s in his head a little bit or how do you view that?

 

Porter

At this point, I do. I think that there’s more than just that in his mind when it comes to fighting me. I think he knows that he’s up against a lot. I think that those certain things that he’s trying to be aware of or make the referee aware of, I think that that’s a mistake on his behalf. I think he may be looking at those things and overlooking other things, like my skill and my talent and my speed and my quickness and my boxing ability, So I think that he’s in trouble. I think it’s only a matter of time before the world finds out.

 

Q

When you look at Errol’s style, how do you see that faring against your style compared to when you fought Ugas? Do you see yourself having an easier or harder time dealing with Errol compared to Ugas?

 

Porter

No comparison. I think styles makes fights. I think you said it yourself. They’re two completely different styles. I think that they both have or in Yordenis’ case had, things that present problems for anyone that are in the ring.

 

I think for me I think my speed and my quickness against Errol Spence is definitely going to be superior. I think my foot movement is going to be superior and I think that it’s going to open up a lot more opportunities. I think that Yordenis in the ring with me was a little confused. He was expecting me to have a different style than I came to him with and I think that really shook him up. I’m expecting to shake up Errol Spence.

 

Q

One of the things I remember when we spoke a couple of months ago was that you wanted to have a pay-per-view main event on your resume and now that you got that, especially in a title unification, how does it feel being on this type of unique platform that so few fighters have had the opportunity to headline a pay per view?

 

Porter

It’s been a lot of fun. It definitely has been an eye-opener as well. Someone just sent me a picture telling me that the fights were going to be shown in theaters and I already knew that but to actually see it and have a preview of yourself at a movie theater is pretty cool. I’m at the theaters every other week so I’m going to do the best I can to sell the fight and let people know that they can go watch it at their local theater. I think that’s awesome.

 

It’s been a lot of fun and I’ve enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to fight week. I hope it gets even more fun and gets more exciting. Fight week is something that I’ve been looking forward to.

 

Q

Given that the winner will have two of the four world titles, do you see this fight as the winner should be considered the number one welterweight in the world?

 

Porter

I do. I think that myself and Errol Spence, are the number one and number two guys. You call who you want to be number one and number two but the best part about it is one is about to fight two and one is about to get eliminated. I think that after I beat Errol Spence, especially the way I beat Errol Spence, I think that this will see me as the number one guy in the division.

 

Q

Will you talk to us about what you gained from that sparring with Benavidez?

 

Porter              

That’s a big dude right there. That’s a fast dude. He’s competitive and honestly I really did enjoy the whole experience of being in the ring with him and being in the gym with him as well. He’s a dynamite guy. Being in the ring with him, I think at that point challenging ourselves and finding out where we were in camp and I think we found out that the conditioning that I was in at that point was great and we knew that we still had a couple of steps that we could pick up. But being in the ring with a big guy like that we definitely were able to find out that we were exactly where we wanted to be in camp at that point in time.

 

Q

Now I see that you predicted — do I have this right — you predicted an eighth round knockout of Spence next week?

 

Porter

Well someone else came on the line and they predicted that knockout. I did say I liked the thought of that prediction but I myself did not make that prediction, no, sir.

 

But if you’re asking me if I am going to knock him out, if I want to knock him out, heck yes. Do I have what it takes? Heck yes. And I think that we’ve come up with a great game plan and we definitely at some point will be looking at pressuring him and knocking him out.

 

Q

Is there anybody that you fought that’s maybe a little bit similar to Errol Spence?

 

Porter

If I had to say it would be between Danny Garcia and Kell Brook. I think that Errol Spence has great boxing ability, a great one-two, great basic fundamentals. He’s very, very fundamental structured, a lot like Kell Brook, and I think that that he tries to dictate the pace and do the things that he like to do in the ring, a lot like Danny Garcia. So I think he’s a mixture of those two.

 

Q

Does it bother you that people say that Errol’s on a whole different level as far as boxing and that you can’t box with him?

 

Porter

I’m from where LeBron James is from, northeast Ohio. He said in northeast Ohio everything is earned, nothing is given. With that being said, I know how it feels to prove people wrong. I know what it feels like to do the impossible and do the things that people don’t expect you to do.

 

So it doesn’t bother me that people don’t give me credit for my boxing ability or say things like me not being able to box with Errol Spence on the outside, things like that. It just leaves room for me to do what I do where I come from. Where I come from is proving people wrong and doing the impossible and that’s what I’m looking forward on the 28th.

 

Q

I know you’re always motivated but like is it motivations on another level right now because you want to prove so many different people wrong?

 

Porter

No. The odds, the betting odds, they don’t give me any more energy or drive to do anything different. It’s my understanding that I’m going to see a lot of people who say, “Hey, man, I bet on you, man. Thanks.” And there’s going to be a lot of people out there saying, “Man, I should have bet on you.” That’s always fun to hear and see. So I’m looking forward to that.

 

Q

Would you agree that the intensity in this fight is based on who’s the best at 147, it’s not personal. It’s more business?

 

Porter

I think it’s both and the reason why I say it’s both is because I think the business part of it is just about showing who’s the best fighter and who has the best style and who’s more determined, all that good stuff. But I think that at the same time we both are challenged to show that we have a great team, great families, all that kind of stuff. So, I think it kind of mixes a little bit. But in terms of there’s nothing personal in terms of me taking shots at him, at Errol or anybody else in the division based on what they do in their personal life. It’s all based around the business and the training and all that kind of stuff.

 

Q

Do you see the perspective that this is a legacy fight for you?

 

Porter

Yes, I think it’s cool to be in my position. I’m the only one that’s taken on all those guys and still here to continue moving forward. I think if anything if we do want to talk about the betting odds and things like that. I think you take into consideration what I’ve done and who I’ve done it against. And how I’ve performed. I think that if you take into account that I’ve fought Danny Garcia at in his prime basically, Keith Thurman in his prime basically. Just recently Ugas who is a great boxer. I think that if you take in all that into account you might say, man, like, alright I think this fight is going to be a little more competitive and harder to choose the winner than I think it is going to be.

 

Porter

I’m looking forward to the 28th. I’m sure you guys are used to hearing that. But the thing you’re not used to hearing is the world is about to be shocked. Team Porter has done a fantastic job at getting prepared for Errol Spence. We are overlooking anything that he can do in the ring. But we definitely feel like we are the superior athlete, the superior fighter. And we are all looking forward to the 29th and shocking the world on the 28th. Thank you, guys, so much for the interviews. And I’ll see you all soon.

 

Flores

This next fighter just gets it done and at a very high level. As his level of opposition increases, he continues to wipe out his opponents, and he has a very tough test ahead of himself. His record, 25 and 0, 21 wins by way knockout. Please welcome the reigning and defending IBF welterweight champion of the world Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr.

 

Errol Spence Jr. 

Hey how it’s going? Happy to be here. Training camp has been really good. I am excited that it’s only two weeks away. It’s going to be a great match up between two great champions. I’m always ready to fight. So, I hope everybody’s coming to the fight. It’s going to be an amazing night and might be the Fight of the Year this year.

 

Q

Porter seems to be a guy that would be more your equal than maybe your past few opponents. What is your opinion of that?

 

Spence

I see him as a tough opponent. He’s the world champion and he throws a lot of punches. He is very energetic. So that’s why he’s a success. He’s a rough guy and he does whatever it takes to win. So from that aspect and him beating Danny Garcia, I see him as a tough test.

 

Q

How are you prepared to deal with that element of the physicality he brings that’s not necessarily to the exact letter of the rules?

 

Spence

I’m a guy that I feel like I can ward it off or write it off. Or may do the exact same thing. So I feel like I’ve fought opponents just as physical as Shawn, or just just as strong as him. I feel like that won’t really play a part in this fight.

 

Q

Were you disappointed you couldn’t get Pacquiao next and sort of settled for Porter?

 

Spence

I was just looking for the next available guy. I wanted a unification fight too. Shawn Porter was the easiest fight to make and the quickest fight to make. So, that’s why I decided with the fight, Shawn Porter.

 

I wanted the chance to beat Pacquiao. Pacquiao is a bigger name and a bigger fight. So, of course I wanted that fight. But Shawn Porter is the champion too. He has the build. So, I definitely wanted to unify too. I knew that if I wasn’t going to get Pacquiao there was going to be a good chance I was going to fight Shawn Porter.

 

Q

Mikey Garcia had maybe a little bit of a bigger name, maybe a bigger fan base. I think most people would look at the fight between yourself and Shawn perhaps is the more competitive fight. Where do you stand on that? Which is the bigger fight in your mind?

 

Spence

I’d say Mike Garcia is the bigger name than Shawn Porter. But as a fan friendly fight or as an entertainment fight and tough fight, I would say this fight with Shawn Porter is going to be I feel like way more entertaining than the Mikey Garcia fight. I feel like the Shawn Porter fight is bigger just because it’s a unification fight.

 

Q

Do you think that it’s been easier this time around just because you have the experience of preparing for a Pay-Per-View event against Mikey Garcia? Or would you say it’s more or less the same?

 

Spence

I think it’s a lot easier. Because the first fight I was traveling to New York doing things and going back to California doing things. So I was basically going in and out of camp. I would say the first time it was harder than the second go around.

 

Q

Do you believe the winner of this fight should be considered the best welterweight in the world?

 

Spence

Definitely. There’s no way around it. The winner is the unified champion. So, I definitely think the winner should be considered the top welterweight in the world and that makes me even more excited and hungry to win.

 

Q

This fight you’ve been a lot more vocal that you’re going for a knockout. Usually you’re’ more reluctant to say that. Just wanted to know if that has to do with his style how your styles will mesh, your overall respect for him as a fighter, or just the mindset you’re bringing to this fight?

 

Spence

It’s just my overall mindset and something I want. I feel like the way he fights and the way he comes forward, I think I can exploit that. But I can’t go in there and just force knock out. I’m going to try to work a bit and break him down.

 

Q

How do you prepare for that physicality that’s going to come with that fight?

 

Spence            

Mostly by preparing mentally for it and having sparring partners that bring the heat and bring the pressure. I feel like I’m ready. And I know that Shawn is going to bring it but that’s why we work so hard to be ready for anything he brings at any time.

 

Q

Are you trying to probably make more of a statement in this fight, ?

 

Spence

Making that statement is something that I really want to do. It’s one of my goals in this fight is to knock him out. I’d be the first person and that would make it a real statement. I’m ready to go in there and deliver. I want it to be a great knockout.

 

Q

Do you feel beating Porter will give you that respect that you deserve or seek?

 

Spence

About the way I beat Mikey Garcia, because I just didn’t go in there. People thought I was just going to go in there and just bulldoze him. I just boxed and used my mind and made it a boxing match. So I think the people respect me from that standpoint. Where I just didn’t try to use my size to beat him up. But I definitely see how I want to win against Shawn Porter. I think people give me more respect and value my skills and my abilities.

 

Q

How you want to beat up Shawn Porter.

 

Spence

I just want it to be a calculated knock out. I don’t want to be going in just over anxious throwing a lot of punches and missing a lot of shots. I want to go for the knock out, be poised and pick my shots. I want to break him down and get a calculated knock out.

 

Q

What is it about Porter that has you working a little bit harder for this fight?

 

Spence

Porter’s a guy trains hard and of course he has dad in his ear pushing him. So he’s pushed to the limit every chance, every training. So that keeps me focused. Keeps me humbled. Because I know he’s going to come in shape. I know going to throw punches. And I know he’ll do whatever it takes to win. So, that keeps me basically on my toes. Keeping me training a little bit harder.

 

Q

How might Porter approach you as opposed to how he approached Ugás?

 

Spence

Shawn is the guy who just goes by the game plan. So I think the game plan is the try to beat me from the beginning and try to throw a lot of punches and bring me down. Try to stop me. So, I think that he’s going to be more aggressive than he was against Ugas.

 

Q

Did you think he won that fight?

 

Spence

I think either guy could of won. I think it was super close where either guy could have won.

 

Q

Did it surprise you that Shawn approached that fight the way that he did?

 

Spence

Yes, a little bit. I would have thought he would be more aggressive like he did in the later rounds, in the early rounds. But they tried that strategy. He still won at the end of the day. So, that gives him the motivation heading into this fight.

 

Q

Errol, do you think you have gotten under his skin by calling him a dirty fighter?

 

Spence

No. Because I’m not the first person to call him dirty. I don’t know if he’s a dirty fighter but he has a dirty style. A lot of elbows and things like that. But he’s good for a reason. Whatever works, he’s doing it.

 

Q

How important is it for you in your fight, Errol, in the beginning of the fight if things get rough and he does some of the things that you’ve mentioned to do that right back to him to let him know that you’re not going to tolerate that type of thing?

 

Spence

It could happen that way. But I’m not really worried about it. I think a lot of times, when he fights stronger, he isn’t dirty like that. Danny Garcia, he wasn’t dirty like that. I think he does that to fighters he can just push around. I’m not really concerned with his dirty tactics.

 

Q

How do you feel about getting this second pay per view?

 

Spence

Yes, of course. I started at SHOWTIME and I have a lot of love for SHOWTIME. Had my first fight on there. First title fight on there. So it’s a lot of first moments on SHOWTIME. So now FOX has had amazing promotion for all their PBC fights. Really getting bigger than getting slots in between timeouts for the NFL. So it doesn’t get bigger than that.

 

The promotion’s been great and getting all the commercial slots. We’re all very happy to have a promotion like this. It’s been a great ride.

 

Q

Can you talk a little bit about what role you play in having your hand on Man Down promotions? You have a couple fighters fighting on this card, if you want to speak on that a little bit.

 

Spence

Yes, I have Man Down Promotions co-promoting. We have a couple fighters fighting on the card. We’ve got Burley Brooks, Amon Rashidi and Fernando Garcia all getting in the ring.

 

I’m a guy that I don’t want to have a big stable of fighters. I want to have a few. So I can put my attention on just them and get them fights and make sure they’re busy and things like that. So I’m not looking to really find any more fighters than what I have now. So, I can be focused on them.

 

Q

How will you balance whether it a dog fight or a chess match against Shawn?

 

Spence

It’s just instinct. I feel like I know when to box and when to bang and how to pick and choose my spot and things like that. So it just happens naturally in a fight. I feel like at the first round, I’ll know definitely where it’s going. I’ll figure him out, break him down and tear him apart or I’ll beat him backing up.

 

Spence:           

Everybody make sure you’re there. Make sure you order the Fox Sports PBC Pay-Per-View September 28. It’ll be an amazing event. I can’t wait. I’m in great shape. Shawn Porter, he comes to fight. And like I said, I’m looking for the knock out. So it might be Fight of the Year if he can withstand my punches for all 12 rounds.

 

ABOUT SPENCE VS. PORTER

Spence vs. Porter pits unbeaten IBF Welterweight Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. against WBC Welterweight Champion “Showtime” Shawn Porter in a 147-pound title unification that headlines a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event on Saturday, September 28 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

 

The pay-per-view event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell facing unbeaten former champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez in the co-main event, unbeaten contenders Mario “El Azteca” Barrios and Batyr Akhmedov battling for the WBA Super Lightweight title, and rugged veteran Josesito “The Riverside Rocky” Lopez and brawler John Molina Jr. competing in a 10-round welterweight fight.

 

Tickets for the September 28th event, which is promoted by Man Down Promotions, TGB Promotions and Shawn Porter Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased at AXS.com.

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