By Phil D. Jay
Undefeated welterweight Shawn ‘Showtime’ Porter is ready to take the next step-up in his career after racking up an impressive 20 straight victories since turning professional four years ago this month.
The 24 year-old from Ohio scored a career standout points victory over two-time world title challenger Alfonso Gomez in his last outing and now believes that the time is right to start focusing on some of the bigger challenges in his weight-class.
“I would say that the Gomez victory was definitely my biggest win as a pro and listening to the commentators (on Showtime), this win has moved me into ‘contender’ status - no pun intended,” Porter joked to World Boxing News.
“My team has told me to stay ready, so I don’t have to get ready, and 2013 is the year we expect to get the call for a world title shot.”
Asked whether or not he has interest in the likes of champions Paulie Malignaggi or Tim Bradley, or the winner of Randall Bailey vs. Devon Alexander - Porter said he was earger to face any of them.
“All three of those fights have my interest and in no particular order,” he stated. “I would love to fight any one of them at any time.
“Even though there was a lot of controversy after Bradley’s fight with Pacquiao, and I personally didn’t agree with the decision, but Bradley winning that fight makes him pound for pound one of the best boxers in the world and it’s in the record books so you can’t take it away from him.
“We are in camp now and expect to fight before the year ends, maybe in late November, but I don’t mind hanging on until December if Tim decides to call,” laughed Porter.
“We have no names yet, but I expect to hear something in the next week to ten days and I am ready to establish myself as a force to be respected at 147 and position myself for that shot at a world title so I can’t be overlooked.”
Most of the top fighters in the welterweight division seem to be scrambling to capture a huge payday with either Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao, although Porter would be quite content to fulfil his ultimate goal without hunting for either of them.
“Whether I get a fight with Floyd or Manny is not on my mind. My ultimate goal is to win the world championship and defend it on a pay-per-view show and that’s when I will feel I have acomplished some of my goals.”
Another marquee name returns to the division in November - two-weight champion Ricky Hatton - and Porter did express his interest in a future battle.
“Ricky Hatton is a great fighter and he should do well in his comeback fight against Senchenko next month and if his team are looking for an opponent for his next fight in 2013, I would answer the call if they want to contact me,” he added.
Phil D. Jay covers boxing for worldboxingnews.com