By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Undefeated 22 year old junior middleweight Shawn “Showtime” Porter (11-0-9 KO’s) says he learned a lot from being in the ring with pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao during the Filipino southpaw’s preparation for his “Fire Power” showdown with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto last November 14.
In an interview with boxingscene.com Porter, who battles undefeated Jamar ”Young Prince” Patterson (8-0, 4 KO’s) at the Grand Casino in Hunckley, Minnesota on a December 18 “Showtime” fight card said, “Being in the ring with one of the greats is an experience I'll never forget. He works hard and has fun, and to watch Pacman and Freddie in the ring together is nothing short of awesome. I was also able to test myself as a pro boxer, and now I have no doubt I'll be one of the best soon.”
Porter said he is always looking to do his best and “my best is usually getting a knockout” which he is probably hoping he could do in his clash with Patterson.
Porter revealed that his experience in Pacquiao’s training camp in the Philippine summer capital of Baguio City with an altitude of just over 5,000 was really about how to prepare for a title bout. Porter noted that Pacquiao “worked hard everyday! I saw his commitment and love for the sport come out in the gym. It all showed in the ring the night he fought Miguel Cotto.”
Celebrated trainer Freddie Roach and conditioning expert Alex Ariza both commended Porter for the way he gave everything in his sparring with Pacquiao and approximated the style of Cotto. Porter himself said he pushed Pacquiao “really hard” and that the sparring sessions were “very intense. I didn't allow him to be comfortable in the ring. I was aware that was how his fight (against Cotto) would progress. I think the simulation of our sparring made the fight easier for him.”
Pacquiao himself conceded that if a fighter trains really hard, the fight becomes so much easier.
Looking ahead at the planned fight against undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr on March 13, Porter said he hasn’t been asked as yet but that he would “love to get in camp again to help him" prepare for another championship bout. He said "I was proud to be a part of the Pacquiao camp and it was an unforgettable experience, especially as a young fighter on the way up.”
Porter said he thinks the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight is “ going to be tough for both fighters. I think it's going to be an exciting 12 round match and we will definitely see boxing at its best when they get in the ring for the highly anticipated fight.”
The promising young fighter believes Pacquiao “has what it takes to win the fight” but made it clear that he would have to “bring the pressure with combinations (all night) to make Floyd uncomfortable.”.Porter noted that among Pacquiao’s assets are “ his quick feet, ring generalship and fast hands. We all know he has a vicious straight left that can floor anybody.I think Floyd has a great defense that allows him to counter without being touched, however, I think Floyd has to be ready to move too. Manny will come at him fast, strong, and all night long”
Discussing his own career, Porter told us that irrespective of the talent in the 154lb division he believes that “with timeand patience, I will be a champion in this division; as well as others. My focus continues to be and will remain my training, learning. By doing so and staying focused, I will continue to develop as a fighter.”
Porter said he would most definitely love to return to the Philippines and perhaps see action on a fight card in Manila adding “The Filipino people are beautiful and gracious. They love the sport of boxing, their champions and everyone that has helped their champions become successful. My dad andI hope to be invited to participate in a number of events over there. I really like the Filipinos. They showed me a lot of love when I was in camp with Manny and I am hope they will embrace me throughout my career.”
Porter ended our interview by extending his thanks to Pacquiao “for allowing me to be a part of Team Pacquiao. Hopefully we'll have an opportunity to do it again. Thanks again to the Filipino fans for the great support of your fighters, myself and the sport in general. Make sure to check out "Showtime" Shawn Porter on Showtime Network Friday at 11 pm ET (Saturday in Manila.).