‘Showtime’ Shawn Porter is a former welterweight title holder and fighter that is regarded as one of the best in the weight class. On March 12th he faces what could be the toughest test of his career when he meets undefeated Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman for the WBA welterweight title belt. The fight with Thurman is one of the most anticipated fights of 2016 and a fight that could crown the winner as the best welterweight in the world.
In part 1 of my ‘On The Ropes’ boxing radio interview with Shawn Porter, I discuss with his upcoming fight with Keith Thurman and get his thoughts on the fight finally being made official. Shawn also shares his thoughts on Thurman as a fighter and talks about what he will need to do to defeat him. Additionally, Porter talks about his win over Adrien Broner and the possibility of the winner of Porter-Thurman taking over the division. Here is what Shawn Porter had to say.
Jenna J: On March 12th you will be facing Keith Thurman. How do you feel now that the fight is finally official?
Shawn Porter: I’m glad it’s official, it’s been a long time coming for the Porter camp. We’ve been out of the gym since June, so it feels good to be able to announce the fight.
Jenna J: Are you surprised that Keith took the fight? A lot of people felt that he might take an easier road than facing you.
Shawn Porter: I’m not surprised, I knew he would fight me, I just didn’t know what was going on with his side or why it was taking so long. I kind of feel like he was playing the prima Donna role a little in terms of being able to announce the fight and accept the fight and make the deal happen. At this point he understands that it’s a fight and so do I. My camp will definitely be ready.
Jenna J: What do you think of Keith Thurman and the things he has accomplished?
Shawn Porter: He’s good, he’s very good. I think he’s done a tremendous job, he’s just beat all the odds. He’s held that WBA title for some time now and he’s defended it like a champ. My job is to come in there and take it from him. My job is to come in there and bust him up, beat him down, break him down and do whatever I can to get my hand raised at the end of that night.
Jenna J: How do you feel about your last performance in the ring against Adrien Broner?
Shawn Porter: I feel very good about the performance. I think overall I did an excellent job, I did what the corner asked me to do. There was a little hiccup in that last round but that was definitely a learning curve for me. It’s something that I will always take with me, not only in the ring but outside the ring in everyday life and how you have to hold yourself accountable and really listen to what other people tell you and follow their directives to the tee. I learned the hard way in that last round, but I think overall through that fight we stayed pretty poised and consistent with the work that we were putting in and I don’t think there was any question after that fight.
I felt really good after that fight, there is nothing you could do to convince me that I lost that fight. Moving forward it’s just about maintaining that same momentum, that same energy and focus that I had going into that fight and coming out of that fight. I just gotta take it one step further against Keith.
Jenna J: Keith Thurman has accomplished a lot but he’s also showed some vulnerabilities, he’s been hurt in several of his fights. Do you see things you can exploit?
Shawn Porter: Honestly, I see that he’s open, he can be hurt, but I also see that there’s fight inside of him and he’s gonna always come back. That’s something that I’ve known about Keith for some time now, so the key to beating Keith is to continue to hurt him, continue to stay on him and apply that pressure and make it very hard for him to come back from.
I know that when guys get hurt, they either favor wherever they’re hurt at, or they don’t have the same focus and mentality and tenacity that they had before. The plan is to hurt Keith and take away his energy, take away his speed, quickness, power and make it very hard for him to come back from everything I’m throwing at him.
Jenna J: The welterweight division has changed with Mayweather retiring and Pacquiao announcing his last fight. Do you see your fight with Thurman as a chance to establish who the best welterweight in the world is?
Shawn Porter: I do and I always have. I’ve felt that way well before it was announced in the public that Keith and I are two of the best welterweights outside of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. I think that we both have displayed some of the best fighting that you’ve seen in a long time, especially in athletes as young as us. I think that once we go against each other, the outcome of this fight shows you who is the best in the world, and I’m looking forward to coming out on top.