By Mark Whicker
IBF welterweight champion Shawn Porter says he wants to reach across the Cold War battlefield and fight a Top-Rank affiliated fighter at some point.
Porter, who meets Kell Brook at Stub Hub Center Aug. 16, is managed by Al Haymon and promoted by Golden Boy. Since Richard Schaefer left Golden Boy, there is hope that boxing will see more of "interleague play," so to speak.
Porter was asked if he wanted to fight Keith Thurman, another unbeaten Golden Boy champ (Interim WBA) in the Golden Boy stable.
"I'm sure that fight will happen someday," Porter said Saturday, before Canelo Alvarez met Erislandy Lara at the MGM Grand. "We both think we're the best, so it would be a great fight. But there are so many good welterweights at Top Rank that a fight like that -[with a Top Rank fighter] - really appeals to me. A lot of people think I'm the kind of guy who can bridge the gap."
Porter sparred with Manny Pacquiao before Pac-Man fought Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto. He obviously would love that possibility but also mentioned Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios.
First Porter (24-0-1) has to take care of Brook (32-0). He is coming in with the wind at his back, after a 4-round knockout of Pauli Maglinaggi that had the Magic Man singing Porter's praises.
"I've been studying a lot of tape on Brook," Porter said. "They call him Special K but I can't figure out what's so special about him. He's an upright European fighter so that could pose a problem, but I'm very confident about this fight."
Porter was also jazzed about the return of fellow Akiron native Lebron James to northeast Ohio.
"I couldn't believe it," Porter said. "It'll be a great thing for our area."
Since James is known as The King, what nickname does Porter like for himself?
"It goes back to when I played high school football," Porter said. "I felt like I was unbeatable. I always felt like that, like Superman. So even though they call me Showtime, I really feel like they should call me Mr. Superman."
Mark Whicker has been a sports columnist in Southern California for 27 years.